$137.8B U.S. ad spend for top 200 advertisers
At least every other Monday afternoon, five men in their mid-20s post a new video to the YouTube channel "Dude Perfect." It will likely depict these young men, who are collectively known as Dude Perfect, performing a jaw-dropping trick shot with, say, a basketball or pool stick, eliciting howls of approvals. Within 24 hours, the video will garner hundreds of thousands of views.
Brands such as Pringles, Nerf and Pennzoil have taken notice and begun working their products into these videos. This week, LG joined the roster, paying for the Dude Perfect team to integrate the company's LG G3 smartphone into a five-and-a-half minute romp through the Dude Perfect office, which looks more or less like a frat house, a sporting goods store and a Dunder Mifflin satellite office slammed into each other.
"Dude Perfect accomplishes tasks that seem impossible, and we think this really fits with LG's brand motto, 'It's all possible,'" Chris Yie, leader of marketing communications at LG Electronics MobileComm, said in an email. "Their content is also so lively and youthful that the younger generation is able to relate to their energy."
Mr. Yie declined to discuss the cost of the integration, which comes as LG attempts to claw its way its way up in the U.S. smartphone market. This May, LG accounted for just 6.5% of U.S. smartphone sales, according to ComScore.
Reaching customers through video content on YouTube will help the company build brand recognition and boost sales, according to Mr. Yie.
Dude Perfect began five years ago, when its founders -- then undergraduates at Texas A&M University -- posted a lo-fi video of themselves making wildly impressive basketball shots in their backyard. Many viewers assumed the shots were the result of clever editing tricks. They were not, according to Cory Cotton, one of the members of Dude Perfect, which now counts nearly 2.9 million subscribers on YouTube.
"We live in a fake world where people doctor everything, so anything that makes you go 'wow' must be fake" said Mr. Cotton. "But we're just five best friends creating great content that will make people's jaw drops."
Creating the videos is now a fulltime job for the team, which has put out a book and a mobile game. It's working with a production company to bring Dude Perfect to TV.
Dude Perfect has joined up with The Whistle, a multi-channel sports network on YouTube that rolled out in January. The Whistle handles ad sales for Dude Perfect, and the two sides split the revenue.
Integrating brands into the videos is a good deal for Dude Perfect and The Whistle, which are able to collect a check from not only brands like LG but also from the pre- and post-roll ads shown around the videos.
John West, CEO of The Whistle, said the bulk of the ad revenue stems from branded videos. "YouTube takes a cut of pre- and post-roll," he said. "It's a bigger win to do an integration with a brand because we don't have to split [that revenue] with YouTube."
Contributing: Mark Bergen