How Much Does A Viral Video Ad Cost? [Nike]

How do you figure out how much a “viral video” ad budget costs? On YouTube any video can be an ad, but the viewcount doesn’t distinguish how many views are paid and how many are organic (not paid). Viral videos are certainly hard to engineer, and usually, highly viewed ads are mostly driven by paid media.

On YouTube, ANY VIDEO  CAN BE AND AD, but the  view count doesn't separate  how many views are paid  and how many are organic  (not paid).

But how much do they cost, exactly? If you’re budgeting, you want to know how much money is being spent on your competitor’s ads, because you are going to have to budget too, right?

Today we’re estimating the organic vs paid views and costs of Nike World Cup “Never Stop Winning” ad, featuring the women of the US Soccer Team at the World Cup.

The video has 4.8 million views and it has 9,100 likes.

Viral videos are certainly  hard to engineer, and  usually, highly-viewed  ads are MOSTLY DRIVEN  BY PAID MEDIA.

From vidIQ, we can see that on July 7th, it started off with 16,000 views and by July 8th it had 4.6 million views. And since then it’s gotten 200,000 views, but not a ton, maybe 300,000. So almost all of this happened in 24 hours. And using vidIQ, we can see also that the views-per-hour were very, very quick. So 100,000 views-per-hour, 180,000 views-per-hour, on July 8th. But today, about 500 views-per-hour.

Using my own formula there was 9,100 likes, and 4.87 million views. So if you had 9,100 likes, most likely you had almost a million views on this video organically, which is great. And the total views was 4.87 million, minus the organic views.

That means that there was almost four million paid views. Now we don’t know how much of the video people watched, but when you have four million paid views that you have to get within just one day, most likely this is a pre-roll video, versus a discovery video. So the pre-roll in-stream on YouTube. We don’t know how long people watch, but they watch a little bit less, so they’ll probably have not watched the full minute, certainly.

So 30-seconds counts as a view, so those views were probably somewhere between 30- and 40-seconds. They can also have a lot of impressions that don’t count for 30-seconds, so there’s probably even more impressions than views.

If you're budgeting, you  want to know how much  money is being spent on  your competitor's  VIRAL VIDEOS ADS.

So how much did they pay? Let’s say they paid two-cents, then they would have paid $80,000, just for the ad buy itself. If they paid five-cents, it was $200,000. And 10-cents, $400,000.

Now their ad company, we don’t know how much they would have charged, but let’s say they charged 17.5%. And so that means that their cost for the management fee, unless they did it in some other arrangement, was either $14,000, $35,000 or $70,000.

ON A YOUTUBE PRE-ROLL AD (“in-stream”) that’s 30 seconds  or longer, a view is counted when  a viewer watches more than 30  seconds, or CLICKS ON IT.  A shorter-duration view is  registered as an impression.

So what was the total ad buy, plus management cost? It was either $93,000, $233,000, or $465,000. Now what was their production cost? Now this was a very good video, so let’s just average a million dollars. We don’t know how much.

This is about $1.1 million to $1.5 million all-in for this ad, including production, execution, and distribution.

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