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How to Safely Advertise to Families on YouTube in 2023

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Privacy laws like COPPA, GDPR-K, and AADC have changed the landscape when it comes to advertising to children. Find out how to successfully navigate the rules.

In an almost perfect storm, advertisers targeting the younger end of the consumer  market had their wings severely clipped just a couple of months after COVID-19 was officially announced as a global pandemic. Circumstances forced a captive young audience (and their parents and guardians) to turn online for education, information, and entertainment.

In the U.S. alone, exclusive research from PreciseTV and Giraffe Insights into children’s consumption of online video content confirmed the following:

  • 9 out of 10 children aged between 2 and 10 had access to YouTube in 2021
  • YouTube remains the most-watched platform with children

YouTube's power in the US grows

The research also highlighted the fact that children are 2x more likely to recall an ad on YouTube vs any other platform.

The stars should have been in full alignment between the target audience and the brands that wanted to expand their reach. But that all changed in March 2020. 

Advertising and compliance bodies, including the IAB and the FTC, have issued very clear guidelines around advertising to children under 13. And as far back as 2000, the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) became Federal law in the U.S. with the intent of protecting the privacy of children from online sites eager to claim their data.

However, the staggering impact of COPPA was only fully realized when the FTC fined Google and YouTube $170M in 2019 after both companies were found to have violated COPPA. In 2020, the platform then issued its own protocols around advertising to kids.

If you were a brand running ads against children’s content on YouTube before the 2019 COPPA ruling, you were encouraged to practice a safety-first, ethical mindset. 

Post COPPA, you are required to.

Here’s How to Engage Children via YouTube Ads After COPPA

In 2019, we covered the breaking news about the COPPA ruling and what advertisers could expect in the brave new world of family-friendly YouTube promotion. 

But those under-13s still remain a hugely profitable target audience for brands and their agencies looking to sell their products or services. So how can advertisers continue to comply with the standards and regulations in 2022?

  1. Brands, Agencies, and COPPA Compliance Assurance

COPPA prohibits advertisers from collecting cookie data and using retargeting to reach young audiences. Working with a trusted third-party authority that understands how to maximize your advertising budget within the constraints of COPPA regulations is a winning strategy. 

  1. Use Contextual Advertising Intelligence to Engage Kids and Families

By using contextual advertising to deliver brand-safety, and privacy-compliant video campaigns you can ensure your ads don’t end up being served against the wrong content or to the wrong audience. You'll have insight into what you’re buying in the pre-bid phase which is a vital step to ensuring you have the control necessary to ensure peak brand safety.

Contextual targeting usually works via a combination of natural language processing, human intervention, and AI. These processes allow brands to have the ability to advertise on a video-by-video (rather than channel) basis. A massive advantage of contextually-driven video-level targeting is to avoid a good percentage of wastage that's almost inevitable with channel-level targeting. 

Revisiting the research carried out by PreciseTV, contextually aligned ads drove higher recall in children. So not only does contextual advertising meet the standards of current privacy laws, they provide higher campaign ROI.

Brands and agencies can easily avoid any uncertainty over navigating a post-COPPA advertising ecosystem by teaming up with a skilled third-party team of experts who provide exceptional ROI with a commitment to brand safety and compliance.  

For further insights, please download our PARK Report, today.

Topics: coppa, kids marketing, youtube, Google, privacy, advertising, contextual targeting, brand suitability, tiktok, youtube kids