YouTube is not always a kid-friendly place, a fact that can harm not only young viewers but also the advertisers trying to target them and even young video creators. Yesterday, SuperAwesome decided to do something about it.
SuperAwesome is a U.K.-based advertising technology company that helps brands get their messages out to young internet users in a safe and “zero-data” manner. Brands use its services to engage with over 500 million kids every month.
In the wake of YouTube’s year-long struggle with providing brand safety, SuperAwesome’s clients reached out for a little help. They didn’t want to risk advertising on channels or videos that were later shown to be harmful either to the video creators or the audience. The problem, notes company CEO Dylan Collins, is that “YouTube is an adult platform designed for adults, but being used by a vast number of kids.”
There are simply a lot of gray areas on YouTube, Collins says, such as prank videos that can go wrong. Also, many creators are still in grade school, so their parents run their channels. Those parents aren’t always digital-savvy, and need a little educating, as well.
To help the entire ecosystem, SuperAwesome announced the SafeFam certification, the first YouTube certification system of its kind. SafeFam is a set of standards and best practices directed at content creators. It schools them (and their guardians) on the finer points of online safety.
There are three parts to SafeFam: One, it trains creators on what it means to be brand- and kid-safe, and tells them what can happen if they’re not. Two, it guarantees that all videos covered by the certification have been reviewed for appropriateness. And three, it updates participants on new issues and best practices, and gives creators a place to turn with questions.
One thing it ensures is that video creators under 16-years-old don’t film for over 3 hours at a time and don’t work late into the night. This certification isn’t just about protecting brands, it’s also about protecting young people.
“We have had many, many of our 250 global clients actively asking us to apply our safety brand to YouTube,” Collins says. “This week Keith Weed (Unilever’s CMO) announced that Unilever will be prioritizing ad dollars for platforms that are specifically designed to protect kids. There is no buy-in required from advertisers—they are the ones driving this agenda.”
Visit SuperAwesome’s site to learn how to get SafeFam-certified.