Creator ads should be your new creative leverage

Google’s Ali Cheikhali recommends three tips for your next brand campaign

You’re familiar with sponsored/ branded content which is made with a creator with different levels of brand integration. You’re familiar with organic content which is brand driven, helpful or entertaining content by brand creators in order to build a stronger brand organic presence.

So, what exactly are creator ads? Well, it is an ad made with a creator. That’s it. It is produced by or featuring creators as talent, based on YouTube trends and formats.

Basically ads that don’t look like ads, native to YouTube and its content. They are ads that sit at the magical intersection of what creators want to do, what the audience cares about and how the brand wants to appear. So, what’s in it for brands?


In our line of work, we come across great campaigns with an amazing creative idea and exceptional execution that either fails to achieve its objectives or falls short on achieving its full performance potential.

Most of the time this happens because the campaign is not optimized for the different funnel stages. Creator Ads help you meet your users at every step of the funnel which allows you to reach all your marketing objectives. And YouTube loves creator collaborations from awareness to consideration to action.

Brand recall for creator content registers 4 times higher than traditional media. 8 in 10 campaigns with YouTube creators drive significant lifts in awareness and purchase intent and 63 per cent of YouTube viewers in the markets we’ve studied, say that they bought from a brand as a result of seeing it on YouTube.This doesn’t mean that you now have to ditch brand ads and replace them with creator ads.

Interestingly, through multiple brand experiments we’ve run, we found that Creator Ads are actually a powerful tool that work even harder when partnered with a brand ad delivering the highest increase in ROAS and reduction in CPA compared to the brand ad and to the creator-only ad.

For your next campaign: Do not limit yourself. Wherever you are in the funnel, augment your campaign with creators for assets that work for different parts of the funnel.


How many times have we attended briefings, shared research, watched panels and read articles about the most sought-after, ever-elusive Gen Z audience? Trying to reach new audiences with specific relevant interests always poses a challenge for brands and drives them outside their comfort zones.

Creators have evolved to win fans faster than brands and audiences have kept up and kept listening which is why 70 per cent of YouTube subscribers say that creators change and shape today’s culture.

Why this is important is because this can help locate and involve your brand among key audiences especially when 92 per cent of consumers trust creators more than traditional celebrity endorsements and 87 per cent of viewers agree that YouTube creators give recommendations they can trust.

This seamless connection between creator and consumer has led to an abundance of loyalty. Something that not many brands can claim nowadays. As trust becomes an even more critical currency for the Gen Z audience, and all ages, you’ll need to harness creators’ honesty and integrity like never before.

For your next campaign: Let creators be your proxy. Let them do the heavy lifting for you by leveraging them as a more cost effective way to drive user action for your brand, faster.


We all know how important storytelling is for brands particularly in the digital age where attention is the scarce commodity, not reach.

With their digital-native experiences, Creators are more than just the talent you hire; they’re the hook. Fluent with audiences and experts in authenticity – they know exactly how to build that beloved bridge between consumers and brands.

No matter where you start in the process, all the brand should do is identify a key message then let creators bring their own voice to the table. A clear brief allows both brand and creator to find the right balance and sets everyone up for success by making your brand stories richer, deeper and more grounded.

For your next campaign: As difficult as it sounds, free yourself from the stresses of storyboarding and storytelling by trusting the creator’s magic and their production style.

After all, there’s a reason that audiences can’t wait to skip an ad, but proactively watch them for hours. We need to start thinking about creators differently. No matter where you start with a Creator, or how you decide to tell your story, be intentional with how you partner with them. Then, sit back, enjoy the show and reap the rewards.

By Ali Cheikhali, Creative Strategy Lead, Google Creative Works