Pre-Roll Ads as Talent Contest? The Longer You Don’t Skip, the More Votes These Musicians Get

Extra Gum creates a modern twist on The Gong Show

Sydney-based punk-pop quartet Rackett was one of 16 acts chosen for Extra's Support Acts contest. - Credit by Extra

Extra Gum is making the medium the message with Extra Support Acts, a campaign that turns YouTube pre-roll ads into a platform that gives 16 emerging Australian music acts a significant audience boost and a chance to perform live on a major stage.

From now to Sept. 30, YouTube pre-roll ads viewed before any 5 Seconds of Summer, Alison Wonderland, The Rubens and 360 videos feature one of the budding artists. The project allows these major acts to help boost the next generation of Aussie up-and-comers.

Musicians typically accustomed to a few thousands of views may now see a big jump in exposure, as audiences vote with their attention and interaction.

Think of the approval process as a digital version of “The Gong Show.” The longer one watches, the greater that vote counts. Not a fan? Stop watching, but that will ding that artist’s score. The top four acts with the most engagement, based on an algorithm tracking views, likes and shares, will perform at Universal Music Australia’s (UMA) Aria showcase this November.

The campaign was a collaborative effort between Clemenger BBDO Sydney, MediaCom, UMA, Bring (UMA’s in-house agency) and YouTube. Coinciding with the pre-roll ads are additional social media content and traditional OOH advertising to promote the effort further.

“This is a brilliant example of how you can innovate and change the way you partner with platforms like YouTube – building reach and using real music discovery data to bring the idea to life,” said Dan Connor, head of strategy and planning at MediaCom.

Though this campaign is awesomely Australian, its global scope allows the world to see the breadth and depth of new talent bubbling up from a nation with a rich and impressive musical history—and we’ll give you a head start here:

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Amy Corr is a contributor to Adweek.