There’s been a lot of talk about brand safety after reports of ads on YouTube appearing in objectionable videos led to a full-blown boycott.

To be sure, Google has stepped up its efforts to address the situation and put new measures in place to flag offensive videos and protect brand advertisers.

Some of this is just the nature of the beast though. Since the beginning of user-generated content (MySpace anyone?) brands have had to weigh the risks of running ads around questionable content against the rewards of reaching highly-desirable audiences in the places they’re most engaged.

Not all UGC is created equal though. When the content appears within the walled gardens of social media or television, there are additional layers of safety for brands.

In social, there is the element of associated identity (ie, Facebook is not anonymous) which makes it easier to police – and in some ways, self-policing.

Meanwhile, “reality” television is subject to human editors and censors to ensure nothing too risqué gets on air – although sometimes what a personality does off-air can trigger a brand crisis.

At the end of the day, every brand needs to set its own guidelines on where it’s comfortable running and work with partners that can help ensure compliance.

College basketball is one place that’s pretty safe. Sure not all the players are wholesome when it comes to on-court and off-court behavior and sometimes the referees are objectionable but, by and large, the content itself is advertiser appropriate. And it’s also quite effective.

As we saw in our March Madness Final 4 and Championship Impact Report, all the big TV advertisers drove strong social lift from their spots.

Bud Light won the Battle of the Brands with a 24,782% lift in social engagements during the 2 minutes after its ad was televised. 

Now go grab a Bud and (safely) enjoy the rest of 4C’s Insights!

Read the rest of 4C’s Insights Volume 50 here.

Subscribe to our newsletter to get updates from 4C in your inbox.