At its digital Newfronts event last week, Google’s YouTube announced a new ad offering that it hopes will give advertisers the ability to take advantage of viral videos.

Breakout Videos is part of Google Preferred, which launched in 2014 and gives advertisers access to inventory from YouTube’s most popular channels and content creators.

Through Preferred Breakout Videos, advertisers can now capitalize in real time on inventory belonging to content that is gaining significant traction.

As detailed on the official YouTube blog…

Pop culture moments like the Harlem Shake and Let It Go are as unexpected as they are popular. While Google Preferred gives brands access to established creator channels, our new Breakout Videos offering lets them advertise on emerging content – the hottest and fastest-rising videos on YouTube.

With the launch of Google Preferred Breakout Videos in the US, brands can be there alongside the next breakout star. 

What’s more, Google announced that advertisers will be able to execute their Preferred Breakout Videos campaigns programmatically using a new offering, Programmatic Guaranteed for Google Preferred, which is accessible via the DoubleClick Bid Manager.

A new avenue to capitalize on shifting ad budgets

According to Google, “Already this year, among the Google Preferred campaigns we measured, 75% drove lifts in consideration and 61% drove lifts in favorability. Google Preferred is driving results later in the consumer journey, too: it raised purchase intent in two-thirds of campaigns.”

With results like that, it’s no surprise that some brands are investing more heavily in their YouTube ads.

Just last week, news broke that Interpublic’s Magna Global had signed a deal with Google that entailed shifting $250m of its television ad spend to YouTube through Google Preferred.

While still a single-digit percentage of what Magna Global spends on ads every year, the agreement marked YouTube’s biggest upfront deal to date and demonstrates that brands and their ad buyers are increasingly comfortable with online video ads.

Over time, Breakout Videos could help Google acquire an even bigger slice of the pie.

That’s because while the channels that are part of Google Preferred generate a considerable amount of its most desirable ad inventory, viral hits can come out of nowhere.

For instance, according to video performance analytics firm Visible Measures, within the first 40 days, Harlem Shake videos had generated over 1bn views.

Such viral hits represent a great opportunity for YouTube advertisers, but making the most out of these trends while they’re smoking hot is not always easy for brands.

If Google has its way, Preferred Breakout Videos will change that, ensuring that fast-moving brands can piggyback on the next Harlem Shake before the world comes to its senses.