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Can videos of boats make you a better marketer?

Finding inspo on YouTube

Howdy Haveaclues!

Take a minute, get comfortable, take a breath, take a huge glug of water in your preferred drinking temperature. How does Barry Hott take his water? HOTT! DUH. Stay hydrated, fam.

Here’s something fun to listen to while you read. It’s what I had on in the background while writing this and I’ll bring it up again later in this newsletter.

I’m going to keep trying different things in this newsletter. It’s a new format for me, so I apologize if you’re expecting consistency or some rigid format from me, cuz that’s just not how I do it.

Buckle up, Haveaclues, we’re gonna keep trying some stuff! If you have any feedback on what you’re reading, smash that reply button and let me know.

I’ve been procrastinating and struggling with writing this newsletter, but last week’s newsletter drove some encouraging responses, so I’m feeling more motivated knowing that y’all actually want to read this.

I gave away over a thousand of dollars worth of my audit template to subscribers who replied to my last newsletter. I probably won’t be doing that again anytime soon, buuut stick around until the deep end (don’t skip ahead), I miiight have something to give away!

This week, I want to talk about inspiration.


I touched on this in a previous newsie where I told you to stop looking at Ad Library and Foreplay for inspo from other advertisers and instead create new Instagram or TikTok accounts to find interesting organic content relevant to your customers that you can replicate. (Btw I love Foreplay and apparently I’m even a Foreplay Expert 😉)

My first piece of inspo I want to share is this month’s sponsor, Foxwell Founders, where I get so much inspo for media buying, creative, business, and more:

It’s the ideal community for business and agency owners/leaders, freelancers, consultants, media buyers, creatives, and CRO specialists who want a private place to talk about any and all of these topics with others.

There’s no spam, no chest pounding, and no anonymous trolls (unless you count me as a troll, sorry!).

There is tons of information/experience sharing, intimate cohorts, group calls, supportive feedback, useful resources, and community events.

I owe Andrew and the Foxwell Founders community a huge thank you for helping me make some amazing friendships and for helping me launch my account audit template.

If this sounds like it might valuable for you and you want to join me and the rest of the incredible members, click here to get started. You can always try it for a month or two to see how it feels. I’m sure you’ll get a ton of value out of it!

If you’re in/around NYC, there’s a Foxwell meetup in September! I hope to see you there!

While I don’t have a discount code, if you’re looking for a deal on a Founders membership, Andrew told me to have you email him directly: [email protected] and because you're on my email list he'll hook you up.

Alright, back to inspo.

One of my main forms of inspiration for ads is YouTube content

Annnnd that’s what I’m going to be talking about for the rest of this newsletter!

Why is an expert Facebook advertiser talking about YouTube content? Welp, this is the content that consumers consume. Your ads are not just competing for attention against other ads and organic content on Facebook, but against users leaving the platform to consume content elsewhere.

You can make your ads less like ads and more like relevant engaging content. That’s what you should be thinking about more.

After a long day of ads, tweeting, and consulting calls, I like to crash on the couch and watch YouTube on my TV. The YouTube algo almost always has something interesting ready for me from channels I already subscribe to or some random stuff I’ve never heard of before.

Did you know that watching YouTube on TV screens is growing rapidly and now accounts for almost half of YouTube viewership?

If you haven’t tried it yet, you should!

There’s so much content available, it’s likely that you and I don’t watch any of the same things. (Is there a tool that let’s me see what YouTube channels my friends are subscribed to so I can know our overlap?)

I love watching content about ads (shoutout Dara Denney, Alex Cooper, Adtopsy, and my own channel I need to update more), but I also watch lots of other random stuff like nerdy Roller Coaster Tycoon lessons.

A bunch of these channels help provide me with some ad content inspiration, so I thought I should share them with you:

Here’s my top 10 list of YouTube channels to watch for fun and for ad/content inspiration:

I recommend you watch each of these, or at least the beginning hook and see if it gets you to keep watching more. Here we go:

10. Taskmaster (UK)

What It Is: British comedy “game” show where participants complete bizarre and humorous (sometimes humiliating and infuriating) tasks. Many seasons and clips are available totally free on YouTube. Other countries have great Taskmaster series too, but don’t watch the US version, it’s horrible.

What They're Known For: Ingenious and entertaining tasks that lead to unexpected and comedic outcomes. Combining humor, competition, creativity and unique challenges to create compelling content. The show's format is inherently engaging because it allows for endless creativity in the tasks and their solutions.

Why Their Content Gets and Keeps Attention: Some celebs and weird tasks get attention and then the unpredictability, competitive, and creative elements make each moment and episode fresh and engaging, and keeps people watching.

Takeaways For Your Ads:

  • Show people authentically trying new things and get their real authentic reactions.

  • Make content assigning people tasks related to your product/brand

9. Wavy Boats (and other similar channels)

What It Is: Boats coming in and out of a wavy Miami inlet. There are actually many channels like this, this is just one of them!

What They're Known For: Capturing boats in boring and extreme conditions, sometimes in a dramatic fashion.

Why Their Content Gets and Keeps Attention: Calm and relaxing content mixed with drama, tension, and suspense. Sometimes you can just enjoy nice boats coming in and out of the inlet, then suddenly you’re watching someone falling overboard, a boat getting stuff in a wave, or a daring rescue. You never know which it’s going to be (unless you’re watching a compilation)

Takeaways For Your Ads:

  • Oddly satisfying is a vibe. You can make chill content that people will watch if it’s soothing/relaxing or creates curiosity.

  • The title and thumbnails of these vids show something exciting eventually in the video, think of your hooks this way. Tease something in the beginning that will happen later in the video.

  • Create drama or suspense in your video that people will stick around to see resolved.

Fun note: I plant to visit this inlet next week while I’m in Miami for Creative House Miami with Adcrate, Dara Denney, Sarah Levinger, and more shooting ads all week long!

8. Coffeezilla

What It Is: An investigative channel that focuses on debunking online scams and calling out fraudulent activities.

What They're Known For: In-depth investigations into online scams and fraudulent schemes around NFT’s, crypto, and marketing guru’s. Telling stories, digging deep into topics, fighting for justice for those affected by these issues.

Why Their Content Gets and Keeps Attention: The element of mystery and the satisfaction of revealing the truth sustain viewer interest.

Takeaways For Your Ads:

  • Make content that uncovers the truth about something bad or evil.

  • Don’t break the law or be shady. You don’t want to end up on Coffeezilla’s show!

7 & 6. Danny Gonzalez or Drew Gooden

What It Is: Two similar comedy channels that critique and parody pop culture, internet trends, and more. They both often reference this similarity in their content and collab sometimes.

What They're Known For::Danny and Drew scratch some weird itches that others don’t have the time for like trying those really bad mobile games, or investigating niche TikTok accounts, and deep dives of things like Christmas movies, SNL, and Instagram ads.

Why Their Content Gets and Keeps Attention: Silly but deadpan delivery make it easy to watch him talk about almost anything. Wit and smart editing maintain a fast-paced, engaging narrative. Btw, they also do interesting and engaging ad reads for their sponsors that I never skip.

Takeaways For Your Ads:

  • A well-timed joke or clever wordplay can make an ad memorable.

  • Pointing out and examining a common problem that your product solves can be a compelling hook or story

  • A compelling short story or scenario related to your product can grab attention.

5. Jomboy Media

What It Is: Sports micro analysis (mostly baseball) with a quirky comedic angle and sometimes intentionally amateur editing touches.

What They're Known For At: Highlighting the weird and unique moments in sports, breaking down unusual plays, reviewing fights, and doing impressive lip reads of players, coaches, and umpires, adding humorous or relatable commentary.

Why Their Content Gets and Keeps Attention: Cherrypicking the most unusual moments from sports and highlighting them. Expert breakdowns and a genuine love for the sport draw in and keep a committed audience. He also usually includes a bigger situational set up

Takeaways For Your Ads:

  • Niche expertise: demonstrating authority in a specific subject can help build trust.

  • Simplified analysis: Breaking down complex ideas into easy-to-understand chunks can keep the audience engaged.

  • Take time to find the unusual things your audience cares about and dig into them.

4. Marc Rebillet

What It Is: A channel featuring improvisational music, often created in real-time based on viewer inputs. His recent series of impromptu live shows in public spaces were broadcast live on YouTube.

What They're Known For: “Loop Daddy” is known for his improvisational music, he creates content that is unique, spontaneous, and highly engaging, often incorporating viewer suggestions in real-time and using a wide variety of genres.

Why Their Content Gets and Keeps Attention: Spontaneity and audience participation create a unique, interactive experience with drama where you don’t know what’s going to happen next. Marc is insanely talented in multiple areas: improvisation, looping, keyboard, singing, rapping, dancing, and overall entertaining.

Takeaways For Your Ads:

  • Genuine, off-the-cuff content can captivate an audience.

  • Make content that appeals to multiple different niches.

  • Don’t be afraid to get silly!

  • There are real creative experts out there. If you’re not that creative or an expert, consider hiring someone who is.

3. Ryan Trahan

What It Is: A quirky lifestyle vlogger who combines humor and relatability to make everyday activities interesting.

What They're Known For: Turning mundane tasks or wild challenges into entertaining journeys. He’s good at making mundane activities interesting through editing and storytelling.

Why Their Content Gets and Keeps Attention: Tight, fast-paced editing, unique concepts, and doing difficult challenges. Relatability and humor keep viewers connected to the content.

Takeaways For Your Ads:

  • Focus on editing to turn ordinary content into something compelling.

  • Try something new or that’s never been done before.

2. Colin and Samir (and their 2nd channel, Creator Support!)

What It Is: YouTube about YouTube. They talk to creators to learn more about why their content works and what they do to be successful.

What They're Known For: They study what makes great content great. They break down and analyze trends, platforms, and creators in the digital content world. Their strength is in thoughtful, well-researched narratives, and deep expert interviews.

You might’ve noticed I call the end of my email “the deep end” which was inspired by Colin and Samir. They coined “The Deep End” as the end of their Creator Support podcast, where they get into the deepest topics for those who stuck around for the whole video.

Why Their Content Gets and Keeps Attention: Interviews with other YouTubers and experts in the creator space. They use their experience and the tricks they learn from fellow creators to make extremely grabbing and engaging content.

Takeaways For Your Ads:

  • Study their interviews and their podcast and listen to what all of the creators say about focusing on thumbnails and titles, and storytelling. Seriously, their content is a goldmine for helping you create better content.

1. Mr Beast

What It Is: The biggest YouTuber and one of the most watched humans on the planet. A channel known for extravagant stunts, challenges, and philanthropic endeavors. Each of his main channel videos gets more views than the Super Bowl.

What They're Known For: Mr Beast is known for extravagant stunts and philanthropy, keeping viewers hooked by upping the ante in each video. He also has a variety of additional channels for philanthropy, gaming

Why Their Content Gets and Keeps Attention: Every moment of his content is meant to get your attention and keep you locked in, and he heavily reinvests his earnings into making even more ridiculous content. He and his team OBSESS over attention and retention. He is constantly asking everyone around him and other experts in the space for ideas on how to make the video better, rather than asking for people’s approval.

Takeaways For Your Ads:

  • Obsess over your content and sweat the details!

  • Make content for your viewers, not for yourself or your brand.

  • Make content that many people will enjoy, not just your existing audience.

What do these all have in common?

  1. Authenticity: they harness real reactions, stories, problems, and show them in believable and relevant ways.

  2. Retention: through editing and storytelling, they can keep you watching and watching. YouTube wants this and rewards this, which is why both the creators and YouTube’s system optimize for retention.

Each channel has its unique way of engaging the audience—whether through storytelling, spectacle, or focused content. You can adapt these tactics to make your ads more engaging and effective.

If you need an additional ongoing source of a variety of performance creative, Adcrate.co is a fantastic creative partner that’s like having an entire additional creative team producing high-performance ad creative in your account without you needing to think much about it. I advise and own a piece of Adcrate, please reply to this email “Adcrate” if you’d like to know more or if you’d like an intro!

If you want to quickly and easily make a bunch of ugly ads using my favorite templates, you need to get my Creative OS Expert Volume.

You’ll be able to use these ugly ad templates immediately and get them live in your account in minutes. Use my code Barry10 to get 10% off!

Welcome to the “deep end”

If you’ve made it this far, you deserve something. Yes, even if you simply skipped all the way down here, you cheater.

Here’s a coupon code for $100 off my ad account audit template, knocking the price down to just $97: use code HAVEACLUES100.

Also, I’m trying to build up some reviews on Intro.co, so I’m giving the first five people to book 15 minutes with me a bonus 30 minute call. You pay for 15 minutes, you get 45 minutes. AND I’ll throw in either a Make ugly ads hatt or the audit template for free if you’d like.

That’s all for this week! Thanks again for subscribing. Have a high-performing week!

Hott regards,
Barry Hott

If you’ve made it down here, check out my buddy Tod’s newsletter (and daily podcast!) for everything going on in digital marketing:

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