Case Study


We set out to reach classical music enthusiasts on YouTube for the New York Philharmonic…without video content. What came from that was an innovative use of display on YouTube that brought the sounds of NYC’s most celebrated orchestra directly to classical music enthusiasts.


The New York Philharmonic presents their season each year from September to June. In a single season, they offer over 50 concerts – each with unique programming featuring a range of composers, guest artists, guests conductors, themes, etc. Programming that might appeal to one classical music lover might not appeal to another.

It’s all about the music, so ad placements where we can use sound are ideal. The challenge with 50+ concerts a year and limited budget means we do not have the funds to create video content for each concert. However, we do have sound clips on which give people a taste of the concert line up.

Our solution was to run a GDN placement targeting campaign only on which meant the 300×250 ad unit on the right hand side of the search results page. The thought process was that since the user was currently on YouTube, they would be more willing to listen to music at that moment than if we ran a display campaign that reached a consumer in a non-video environment. This creative linked to where audiences could listen to a bit of the music. The targeting was adults 25+, the affinity segment classical music enthusiasts, and NY DMA. The creative changed consistently throughout the campaign depending on the concert we were messaging.


We launched this campaign at the beginning of the 2016-17 season. For the fall flight (9/2 – 11/26/16), we saw tremendous results. All our GDN campaigns are 3PAS campaigns, so results were tracked through Doubleclick. We use a metric we call “cost per view” which is [cost/(clicks + post-impression website visits)] in order to determine the cost we pay to get someone to go to our website and learn more. The cost per view for this campaign was projected to be $2.00 and came in at $0.60. In addition, we saw an ROI of 7.57x, well above our goal of 2.00x using a last click attribution model. Also exciting to us was the fact that 19.5% of the tracked revenue was post-click. For a typical campaign we usually see 0 – 5% of all tracked revenue as post-click. Total tracked revenue increased 9.02% in the linear attribution model. The success of this campaign drove us to include it as an ongoing execution throughout the entire season.