It still surprises me how many brands are still ignoring video. It is estimated that by 2012, 90% of data will be video, and with YouTube unlikely to be unseated as one of the most popular site for video content, its simply a channel that brands won’t be able to ignore. The following collection of some of the best YouTube Channel design, highlight and showcase the major brands who are getting it right, and spending the time and money on YouTube as a platform to attract an audience. Not only are these guys getting their designs perfect, but they are also creating compelling content to go along with it.
Drinks brands have always been pretty good at youth culture and engaging with their audiences using social media, and Smirnoff have managed to do so successfully through this brand channel on YouTube. Their recent campaigns have concentrated on experiences, and being there at popular culture events such as music festivals and gigs. They have successfully leveraged video content to bring this concept to life, interviewing several artists, and sharing their own thoughts on YouTube.
Burton’s snowboarding channel design remains as clean, crisp and minimal as some of the riders showcased on their YouTube channel. At the time of writing they only had a couple of videos on their channel, however they have achieved over 2 million views, showing just how powerful YouTube can be in building brand exposure. As with Smirnoff they are enrolled in YouTube’s partner program (for premium publishers), giving them access to additional social media links to Facebook and Twitter.
Although this is currently set to Nike Air, this channel represents Nike’s main brand channel on YouTube, as you can see from the URL, it is the main landing page from many of their digital campaigns. Interestingly this channel makes no use of the advanced publisher features mentioned earlier, and the effective design is achievable by any YouTube channel owner.
Nike Football’s current YouTube content centres around their sponsorship deal with one of the largest football clubs in the world, Manchester United, and concentrates on their training regime, and how they improve performance. Much like Smirnoff, the content isn’t the hard sell, with Nike preferring to educated their audience. Perhaps its this and the professional way in which the brand is portrayed which has kept both United fans and others interested in their content.
Audi have been using video as part of their overall marketing strategy since 2009, and with this German audience focused channel, racked up over 1.8 million views of their extensive list of nearly 500 videos. As with many of the other active marketers on YouTube, Audi rotate their YouTube channel design with whatever product is currently flavour of the month. At time of writing, the Audi A1 was getting the majority of the focus.
Gillete’s (Sponsored) YouTube channel is probably one of the most customised channels showcased here. It not only uses all of the features of the premium partners program, it also has a custom flash player used on the home screen, and full brand engagement available through other links on the channel. Still the design is striking, and showcases the content perfectly to the audience.
Another premium partner channel, Harley Davidson use the flash video slideshow feature to showcase new content. The remaining parts of the channel tie in well with the brand, and a ‘biker on the road’ image is definitely projected.
Honda’s use of video to project a human side to the company is both clever and well executed. Their YouTube channel educates the audience perfectly, showing that they are not just an automobile company, but one that has a focus on human mobility as well. The colour scheme and background used in this custom YouTube channel also perfectly reflects a professional, elegant and innovative brand.
Pepsi not only have reinforced their advertising campaigns on YouTube, they have produced content that highlights their philanthropic efforts as well, and their YouTube design is focused around that.
Motorola’s channel is vibrant and funky, and unlike some of the other marketing showcased – is extremely product focused. Whilst this may entertain brand advocates, it didn’t really do much for me – although the designers have clearly put a lot of thought and effort into maximise the impact the channel receives.
A modern, crisp, classic design shows the full Panasonic product range and links extensively through to their main website.
4OD have went all out with a custom YouTube flash thingy on their channel, and this often changes to reflect the change in programming on the channel. It certainly grabs the attention of the audience, and shows what’s happening on 4OD on a weekly basis.
I love that its not all great big brands that have attracted an audience. Well done Charlie McDonnell, for not only wiping the floor with some of the above brands from a subscriber point of view, but for also coming up with a great YouTube background design, and well worth a mention here. Oh – and the videos aren’t half entertaining either.
YouTube Channel PSD Template
As a bit of an added bonus, and with me failing to find any half decent YouTube photoshop template, I’ve decided to create my own, ready for download, for your own use. The layers have been separated out so that you can get a feel for how your channel is likely to look, prior to setting it live. It also gives you a way to get the perfect background, as you can be that bit more creative in Photoshop. The guys over at Strange have a great little post on how you can setup a custom design, once you get the photoshop file sorted. Enjoy.