Examining Neutrogena’s YouTube Ad Strategy Success | Spin Creative
Examining Neutrogena’s YouTube Ad Strategy Success
Sep 2017 29

Anti-acne brand Neutrogena has made a significant investment in its video marketing over the last several years, particularly on YouTube. In a market that hasn’t seen a whole lot of change in the last decade or so, Neutrogena was planning to introduce a Light Therapy Acne Mask, a revolutionary new product that would, in turn, require a completely new a bold marketing strategy.

In the “Power of Light” marketing campaign the company devised, it tried out a number of marketing tactics for the first time: its first male teen influencer (Nash Grier), its first bumper ads and its first digital-first campaign it has launched in the U.S.

These bold moves have paid off. When compared to the other Johnson & Johnson brands, Neutrogena had an ad recall that was five times the 2016 average, and a lift in product awareness that was 13 times the 2016 average. The company also experienced a big lift in its sales for the Light Therapy Acne mask, which it strongly attributes to its YouTube advertising.

Here are a few of the main ways Neutrogena was able to achieve these results:

  • Thorough strategy: To address the challenges the company faced, particularly awareness, the company would have to create a thorough strategy ahead of time. Neutrogena worked with Google BrandLab to pinpoint data-driven strategic solutions: to reach out to the customer, to make the ad relevant and to convince the customer the technology would work. This three-pronged approach guided all of the steps taken in the marketing campaign.


  • Creativity: With a focus on a younger audience, Neutrogena’s creative team needed to figure out what types of videos most spoke to them. The team found “life-hack” videos were especially popular among teens and young adults, and that there were plenty of beauty influencers these audiences listened to. Therefore, Neutrogena decided to go with an “acne hacks” and “beauty hacks” branded approach to its content.


  • Finding the audience: Neutrogena used a variety of ad formats to bring customers through the sales funnel. With TV viewership plummeting among younger audiences, the company knew it would have to go digital first, as 12- to 24-year-olds now consume primarily digital content. Its six-second bumper ads helped the company reach approximately 35 percent of that entire demographic each month.


The incredible amount of success Neutrogena has had with its digital-first advertising campaign will surely be used as an example by other companies that need to revolutionize the way they reach out to their customers.

For more information about how to develop a smart, strategic video campaign that reaches out to your target audience, contact us today at Spin Creative.

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