Staff Reporters
Jun 27, 2019

How YouTube helped Decathlon drive personal ads at scale

CASE STUDY: The sports retailer wanted to get more from its video ads, and sought to increase their personalisation and relevance.

Background and aim

Global sporting goods retailer, Decathlon, which opened its first outlet in Singapore in 2016, has a diverse customer base. Each person has their own interests and different purchasing journey. Hence a key challenge was to reach the brand's audience with the most relevant messages. The brand wanted to increase the impact of and drive more business through its video ads.


To use video ads on YouTube to deliver an insights-driven and dynamic video campaign that effectively delivers personalisation at scale.


Phase 1 began using a skippable video format designed to turn viewer attention into meaningful action for the brand, known as TrueView for Action. Using these ads, Decathlon was able to reach people who recently searched for the brand’s products and effectively drive results (such as adding items to carts and online transactions) by reaching them with video ads on YouTube.

In Phase 2, Decathlon wanted to create a dynamic campaign that tells a different story to each person. The company used YouTube Director Mix to create multiple versions of a base video and set elements to be swappable―customising text, image, sound and video elements to assemble the right video for the right audience and context. This enabled Decathlon to share more than 110 variations of ads based on customers’ recent Google searches or videos watched on YouTube.

For example: People who searched for outdoor activities (hiking, fishing, travelling) would see product ads related to that; those who have searched travel locations (hiking in Lombok/Mount Bromo/Philippines) would be served different copy; and even those riding on latest events and music videos (such as Ed Sheeranwould be served a “Before Watching” ad based on the video content. 


Phase 1:

  • Over 175% increase in online conversions at 63% lower cost per customer acquisition.

Phase 2:

  • Decathlon measures and runs its campaigns so they make a profit on every SGD spent on advertising, and this improved by 51% as a result of the campaign.


  • Brand recall increased by more than 70%.
  • The video ads led to increased interest on search. Decathlon saw a more than 10% increase in organic search as a result of the video ads.


Gilberto Gaeta, director of Google Customer Solutions, Singapore:

The campaign by Decathlon is exciting as it shows the possibility of reaching customers with a tailored messaging at scale. Using YouTube Director Mix, they have married technology and creativity seamlessly.

Maxime Chabaud, Chief Operating Officer, Decathlon Singapore:

The ability to convert our product catalogue into personalized creative videos allowed us to reach each viewer with the most relevant message for them - which significantly boosted our results.


Laurent Petit, head of communications & marketing, Decathlon SG (and his team); Gilberto Gaeta, director of google customer solutions Singapore (and his team), who worked with the Decathlon SG team on YouTube Director Mix.

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