- NBC partnered with Google on YouTube ads that promote the new season of the network's sitcom "The Good Place," according to Ad Age. In exchange for watching the ads without skipping after six seconds, users will get to see a clip from season 3 of the show, which premiers Sept. 27.
- The video ads feature bunnies, dogs and kittens and a message asking viewers to pause and "enjoy something good." NBC and Google hosted a 360-degree experience at San Diego Comic Con to support the show, and Google also launched an extension for its Chrome search engine called "Ask Janet" that plays off a programmed assistant character on the show who answers questions.
- As part of the campaign, Google Chrome additionally unveiled an Obscenities Censor, which replaces curse words used in Google searches with more appropriate phrases, Syfy Wire reported. Inappropriate words in the idyllic afterlife setting of the show are replaced with work-safe alternatives, such as "fork." Other elements include "Joy of Missing Out" reminders and an option to replace YouTube's up vote and down vote with "Good Place" or "Bad Place" functionalities.
As ad skipping becomes more popular, NBC and Google are recognizing the need to incentivize viewers to stick around for a spot's completion, in this case by doling out special previews of a hotly-anticipated returning show. Ad viewing experiences that unlock new content, rewards or special offers could help marketers capture the attention of consumers who have no shortage of digital media alternatives to turn to.
It's an approach that's starting to show results in terms of engagement. Two-thirds of surveyed consumers say they are willing to watch a full 15-second ad in exchange for rewards or premium content, per a recent study conducted by OpenX, the Mobile Marketing Association and MediaMath. Video incentivization strategies might help marketers combat the rise of ad blockers. Eighty-one percent of consumers feel overwhelmed by the number of ads that they see, the study found, while 67% said ads are not relevant to them and 85% have used an ad blocker or are open to the idea because of this.
The push for the third season of "The Good Place" additionally illustrates how Google is leveraging its suite of products and platforms, including Chrome and YouTube, to develop more innovative marketing campaigns. YouTube integrated similar elements to promote its own original series "Cobra Kai," including "wax on" and "wax off" animations, a figure doing the "Karate Kid" crane kick on the site's progress bar and more.
NBC has also been embracing more digitally-minded marketing tactics of late. The network debuted new ad formats as well as an artificial intelligence-powered tool to scan TV show scripts and match advertisers to a show's content earlier this year. This fall, NBC also plans to reduce the number of primetime ads by 20% and ad time by 10%.