Marines Launch New Pandora-inspired YouTube Brand Channel


If you’re interested in building a successful channel on YouTube, you’ve got to think beyond just getting one big hit. You need to think about how you can build a cohesive channel experience for your audience.

Your channel strategy – and the ability to drive subscriptions – will be critical to your success on YouTube. Fortunately, the United States Marine Corps has already launched a new Pandora-inspired YouTube Brand Channel that you will inspire you to follow their lead.

In fact, they launched their campaign Toward the Sounds of Chaos on YouTube in March even before the debut of new Brand Channel.

The USMC continues to stretch their social limits and their investment in video with the debut of a content hub that is a first-of-its-kind for YouTube. Unlike any other channel in design, aesthetics and functionality, the circular player features back-end logic and an algorithm similar to Pandora.

The official YouTube channel of the United States Marine Corps serves up content based on what the users are liking, creating a unique and different user experience for every person who views the page. This movement toward guiding the user and showing recommended content is a huge step in a new direction for YouTube.

With more than 33,700 subscribers and over 11.8 million views, the Marines’ updated channel, managed by Marine Corps Recruiting Command, has proven to be a successful platform to communicate with their target market. And their innovative YouTube Brand Channel exemplifies their commitment to leading in the social space.

Marine Corps prospects and supporters search for information about the training, values, and life of active-duty Marines. YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world. So, JWT Atlanta created an immersive experience to provide those prospects and supporters with the content they’re searching for, where they’re searching for it. The Marine Corps’ YouTube brand channel, presenting a breadth of information on a dynamic platform, turns fence-sitters into decision makers.

Search Engine Watch interviewed Jeff Small, Director of Creative Technology for JWT Atlanta. Below are his answers to our questions.

Greg Jarboe: Why did the new Brand Channel get built?

Jeff Small: With a broad spectrum of video content and a large user base, the need to present an experience that equally allowed users to be exposed to a wider range of content types and also have a specialized experience led to the updated brand channel powered by a unique, custom playlist generator.

In addition to this updated brand channel, the Request More Information form has been incorporated into the experience so prospects can now fill out the form while still remaining within the experience.

GJ: How do you identify Marine Corps prospects and supporters who are actively seeking more information about the training, values, and life of active-duty Marines?

JS: By understanding our target audience, the 18-24 demographic, we successfully established online communities across a broad range of social media platforms with messaging that was tailored, based on the platform. This way we were essentially, “we went to where our audience was”.

GJ: How do your write a message or create content that appeals to their interests and needs?

JS: The uniqueness of this particular experience is that it takes a wide variety of video content and gives the audience the ability to create a playlist based on their own interactions. We recognized early on that we had a broad range of video content that appealed to an even broader audience, and wanted to empower the audience to create their own content delivery mechanism based on their unique wants and needs.

GJ: How does a YouTube Brand Channel help you to get your message or content to your prospects and supporters?

JS: By allowing them to create a custom playlist based on their likes, the users have the ability to take that broad range of branded video content and build a unique experience based on their interactions with the channel.

GJ: How do you measure the results of content marketing when your prospects don’t actually buy something?

JS: We view the commitment to the United States Marine Corps as an action that transcends typical buying behaviors as we are asking the young men and women to make a lifelong commitment to be one of the few, the proud.

GJ: How does this new Brand Channel compare to other things that JWT has done for the Marines in the past 65 years?

JS: It’s a continuation of the tradition of forward thinking that JWT has brought to the United States Marine Corps.

So, the next time someone asks you for an example of a YouTube Brand Channel that has built a cohesive experience for its audience, send in the Marines.

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