Launching FirstVet to the UK market with YouTube

FirstVet had already established itself as a leading 24/7 online veterinarian service in several European markets, but it was relatively new to the UK. To date, FirstVet had been running low-level TV activity aiming to build awareness of the brand. However, as an app-based service, we knew overlaying digital to existing activity would both supplement brand building and provide a more direct route to site and app stores to install.

YouTube would provide the best amplification of TV, with its high reach capabilities across the platform against specific pet owning audiences. According to an Ipsos/Google Study, Google saw significantly higher ad recall and awareness from 1 exposure on YouTube and 1 exposure on TV, than from 2 exposures from TV, so complementary activity was key to maximise impact.

What we did

With access to Google’s programmatic buying platform, DV360, we were able to identify, size and ultimately target our audience of female dog-owners aged 25-54 years old, using In-Market segments, Affinity Audiences, Keyword and Life Events within the platform. This formed the basis of our targeting strategy which was further enhanced by the addition of bespoke Channel Factory whitelists that ensured we delivered against brand-safe, contextually relevant and suitable channels and content.

What we did

We needed to deliver a cost-effective level of impressions reach and frequency, whilst ensuring a high level of quality as measured by key metrics such as view through rate, cost per completed view and viewability. The overarching success would then be assessed by a Google Brand Lift Study, measuring the awareness of the brand seen between users exposed to the ad versus those that weren’t. Having completed a similar (and successful) Brand Lift Study in the Swedish market, results could therefore be easily benchmarked.

What we did

Still, an element of activity was dedicated to eliciting engagement from the target audience with the intention of driving traffic to site, to either complete install or be retargeted through further marketing channels. A YouTube For Action tactic provided the means to achieve this, optimising towards clicks and site visitations.

We exceeded all performance targets, achieving higher than benchmark figures for several YouTube metrics.

We saw a 20% increase in completed views than planned at a CPCV of £0.01, with a strong overall VTR of 65%. A key contributor to this was the Channel Factory suitability whitelisting tactic which saw a VTR% of 75%, smashing typical YouTube VTRs which vary between 15%-40%.

In terms of engagement, our YouTube For Action tactic generated a 1.46% CTR.

The Awareness Brand Lift Study results were equally as impressive; For UK activity, we delivered an absolute lift of 11.9% in the percentage of exposed users who had heard of the brand vs unexposed users with positive responses, equating to a Cost per Lifted User of £0.09 and smashing the previous study in Sweden at 3.2%.

This campaign really highlighted the effectiveness of running YouTube activity in conjunction with TV to break into a fresh market, with moderate yet effective dual-channel media buying.

  • 20%

    Increase in completed views than planned

  • 1.46%


  • 65%


Our work

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