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Partnership Case Study: YouTube, Film Hack

Engaging top agencies with film craft


YouTube sought to reinforce their position as a home for craft, creativity, and effective advertising. In order to demonstrate this, YouTube partnered with D&AD as a Professional Awards Partner for Branded Film Content and Entertainment categories.

Not only did YouTube want to align with excellence in the medium, they wanted to connect with top agencies to help them better understand YouTube’s creative parameters. YouTube brought its annual competition entitled Film Hack to the partnership. D&AD’s network of creative professionals meant YouTube was able to connect with a more senior level of Film Hack participants than otherwise possible.


Film Hack is a competition where agencies pitch their talents against each other to create an ad for YouTube and compete for views. D&AD engaged BBH, JWT, Grey, and Ogilvy to compete and set a brief to further its key mission: inspire young, diverse talent to pursue creative industry jobs.


D&AD helped YouTube raise their credibility amongst the creative community not only by positioning YouTube as the home for Branded Content but also as a home for creativity by educating and inspiring agencies through the Film Hack project. D&AD amplified Film Hack by increasing participation and providing access to top agencies who generated exceptional entries.

Advertising publication, The Drum, took interest in the project and covered the competition with two press pieces circulated to its 700,000 readers who also happen to be YouTube’s target audience. Stephen Lepitak, editor of The Drum, said: "Understanding how to create highly engaging video content on YouTube is a vital ingredient in today's marketing landscape and the same is true when aiming to successfully advertise through the platform. Issuing a brief as part of this competition that centred around recruiting fresh and diverse talent into the creative advertising sector was a shrewd move and the resulting entries were all on point.”

Film Hack engaged Executive Creative Directors and creative teams from each agency. The competing ads of Film Hack garnered a total of 200,000 views on YouTube in just one week proving the power and reach of the platform. D&AD included a call-to-action at the end of each ad which ultimately drove 5,000 views to D&AD’s education hub and drove an influx of over 200 applications into its new night school programme.

To see the film ads created for the competition, click here

As a non-profit organisation, D&AD rely upon effective collaborations with likeminded organisations that further support developing and diversifying talent within our industry. Want to get involved? Contact Partnerships today.

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