Online Video Changes Game For Brand Marketers

March 25, 2009 by

Two years ago when online video burst onto the scene, the growth engine behind it was centered on consumer-driven uploading and sharing of video clips. At the time, commercial media companies were trying to take advantage of the migration of audiences to the Web and also open up new revenue streams through online video advertising.

Today, the growth engine behind online video has shifted dramatically. Video has expanded well beyond the media industry and into nearly every corner of the professional Web, as corporations, governments, non-profits and educational institutions look to use video as a cornerstone of how they communicate, market and inform on the Web.

With the explosion of online video adoption in the last two years, savvy marketers are now using video across their business to help build their online community, evangelize their products and engage directly with customers. The following examples are all our clients, but the video trend applies across many industries.

Building a community

Vanden Borre leverages online video to help build community interactions and enhance the experience of its vendors, drivers, partners and employees. The company uses online video extensively for product education, corporate communications and product launches through his web TV. Community members and employees have on-demand access to a large library of video content, as well as the ability to comment on and rate the content to help foster ongoing engagement and interaction.

Evangelize your product

Eurostar recognized early on in the Web 2.0 era that video was a powerful force in promoting its brand and reaching customers directly. When Eurostar launched its “Royal Guard Cheeese Game” campaign, the main video was placed on YouTube as a teaser to drive traffic back to the full campaign website, where users could experience a full video game based on  the mastermind concept. The campaign drove thousands of viewers to the site.

Boost customer engagement

Other companies like the CarGlass and PoolCover have launched online video initiatives to engage with customers in a more visual, impactful way. CarGlass take care of hundreds of client in his service centers around Belgium, so during the waiting time, the client stay informed about the new services and products of the company with a cost effective budget.

PoolCover has launched a comprehensive online video initiative to educate consumers on its range of products. This has proven to be extremely effective, as consumers making high-consideration purchases value the opportunity to see the product in action online. This can be accomplished more effectively through the use of video versus static images and text.

Online video has certainly become a powerful tool for marketers to expand their brand presence and reach customers and prospects in a new way. These companies recognize that when it is done effectively, video can be a major force in opening direct-to-consumer communications.


don’t tell me, show me

February 13, 2009 by

Very often, I am talking with marketing managers and/or managing directors. In the middle of telling  them about how we’re producing and distributing branded original content across a network of sites online, they ask me a very simple question: “Why video content?”. Admittedly, they went on to say that they know who they are (and who their companies are), “I’m the producer and seller of Product X, which does A, B and C,” they said, “not the producer of great video content.”

So I explained that when they do tell people who they are(mostly via banner advertising), fewer and fewer people tend to trust them. In fact, Don Tapscott’s book “Grown Up Digital” points to a whole generation that is amazingly adept at detecting, filtering, skipping and blocking ad messages all together.

The old screenwriter adage “don’t tell me, show me,” is extremely relevant, and branded entertainment is something advertisers have been doing successfully for years. Just as they embraced running TV spots online, advertisers find it a natural progression to embrace other proven “offline” tactics like product integration and show sponsorship, and bring them online.

Unlike ads, branded content engages people with good story-telling, while at the same time showing your product in action. Rather than telling people the features of Product X, you get to illustrate authentically, without heavy sales spin, how Product X fits into a particular lifestyle.

I pointed out that Honda, which recently produced a “Dream the Impossible” documentary series, states in one of its videos: “Honda is an engine company.” But even as an engine company, Honda strategists saw the potential of tapping into the power of story-telling and communicating personal narratives that correlate with their brand.

Where banner ads simply flash a message, and rich-media ads only invite interaction, good content and Webisodic series hold the customers’ attention for minutes at a time, lure them back for repeat exposure, and communicate much more than the often forgettable “buy me” messaging of a traditional 30-second spot.

In today’s digital environment, where empowered consumers dictate their media schedule and only flock to brands they can relate to and connect with, offering your client base quality and entertaining content is a better way to connect and stick out from the clutter. What’s more, the best of traditional Web advertising still applies. In terms of distribution, content can be super-targeted to the right eyeballs, significantly reducing waste. Could you imagine if television networks, rather than shooting a number of shows out to a diverse audience and crossing their fingers for big pockets of success, could target each of their shows to the people who wanted to watch and enjoy them ?

As an example, I pointed out that Honda could easily distribute full episodes of their documentary series around the Web and target them using contextual and behavior methods to get in front of their core target; 25-to-49-year-olds with a youthful spirit and who are comfortable with technology.

Finally, I pointed out that unlike banner ads, whose success is often judged by how many clicks a unit got (a metric that has yet to correlate to brand lift), content can be tracked on a whole new set of much more in-depth metrics.

“You can see how long people are engaged with content, where they rewind or fast-forward, how many times they watch and re-watch content, as well as where and when the pass the content to friends or re-post the content to their own social media sites,” I noted.

I would have continued — but they stopped me at that point by yelling over me, “I get it! Goodbye banners, hello Webisodes.”

“Exactly,” I said. “Exactly.”

Follow Your INSTINCT

February 10, 2009 by

2009 has to be the year for ad-sponsored online video to go somewhere new.  We need to stop  publishing  30” TV spot and  quit relying solely on the backend plumbers and technologists who just add more functionality to video windows — and, instead, start focusing on the poetry part of the video business: new video narrative structures and applications that will help move the space forward.

Despite those who think we’re in for a video slowdown along with every other form of digital media spend, there’s still room for lots of innovation around video ad units before we all advise our clients that chasing friendships in social networks is the next Holy Grail.

Non-linear video makes most creatives’ heads spin.  The idea of using a pre-roll primarily to tease and then create different ending narratives based on consumer choice or pre-set business rules (as in Visible World’s TV application) is something more akin to gaming narrative than commercial copywriting.  Maybe that’s why so few creative agencies have had the courage to go down this multi-forked road.  Samsung’s “Follow your Instinct” videos on YouTube begin to demonstrate the engagement possibilities of thinking this way.  We just need more agencies writing and shooting this way — and the possibilities for advertisers just multiply.

The Monty Python Channel on YouTube

January 23, 2009 by

Have you checked out Monty Python’s YouTube channel? It’s got a selection of their brilliant (as always) clips, and it’s got links to buy their DVDs on Amazon. As those crazy Monty Python dudes put it,

“We’re letting you see absolutely everything for free. So there! But we want something in return. None of your driveling, mindless comments. Instead, we want you to click on the links, buy our movies & TV shows and soften our pain and disgust at being ripped off all these years.”

And you know what? Despite the entertainment industry’s constant cries about how bad they’re doing, it works. As we wrote yesterday, Monty Python’s DVDs climbed to No. 2 on Amazon’s Movies & TV bestsellers list, with increased sales of 23,000 percent.


Smaller screens, bigger opportunities

November 27, 2008 by

To appreciate how far online video has come, consider a few contrasts between the 2008 and 2004 elections.

In the 2008 campaign season, primary debates were co-sponsored by YouTube, and questions from the public were submitted through the pioneering video-sharing site.

In 2004, YouTube did not exist.

According to Visible Measures, in 2008, footage of Sen. Obama’s election night victory speech received 500 unique online placements within 36 hours. That encompassed unique video clips, as opposed to multiple embeds of the same clip. Further, videos of the speech were viewed more than 6.8 million times in the first 36 hours (not including live streams or feeds from broadcast sites other than

In 2004, the online video infrastructure could not have supported anywhere near that level of viral syndication.

A huge video market is developing online.

eMarketer projects that the US online video audience will grow to 190 million people by 2012—that will be 88% of the Internet user population.

US Online Video Viewers* and Online Video Advertising Viewers**, 2007-2012 (millions and % of Internet users)

“After some false starts with ill-fated transactional experiments, online video content owners and distributors are pursuing a strategy that closely follows the standard TV business model,” says Paul Verna, eMarketer senior analyst and author of the new report, Video Content: Harnessing a Mass Audience. “The bulk of online video programming is now supported by advertising, with ad formats ranging from in-stream ads—prerolls, midrolls and postrolls—to in-text and in-banner ads.”

Although many consumers are loath to sit through ads when watching online video, they seem even less willing to pay directly for content.

According to a study by The Diffusion Group (TDG), as ad-supported video grows the balance of the inventory will tilt toward longer-form content.

TDG analysts projected that in 2013, long-form video will represent 69.4% of ad revenues, up from 41.6% in 2008. Alternately, in the same timeframe, the share of short-form video will decline from 54.8% to 28.7%.

Of course, viewing online content on a television is still unwieldy, costly or both.

“Cable and satellite providers, ISPs, TV manufacturers and developers of set-top hardware have yet to come up with compelling solutions,” says Mr. Verna. “However, once this domino falls—and it is almost inevitable that it will—online video will take a major leap into an interconnected future.”

Pousser mémé dans sa Web TV

November 25, 2008 by

Bienvenue sur Amakusa TV, première chaîne de télé nippone sur Internet présentée par des mamies. Au Japon, pays de 36276 centenaires, Shino-chan 105 ans et Mi-chan 84 ans, comptent parmi les nouvelles coqueluches du PAF nippon.

Le studio de la chaîne est basé dans la baie de Shimabara, à Hondo, petite ville au sud ouest du Japon. Là les gens vivent de la pêche, de l’agriculture, de la riziculture ou de l’artisanat. Leur vie quotidienne et leur us et coutumes constituent le coeur des programmes d’Amakusa TV. Avec des mots simples et le sourire, les mamies en blouson rose commentent les affaires locales, dénonce la pollution maritime ou défend le patrimoine de la région.

Les trois mamies sont devenues des stars du YT nippon : 46000 internautes ont suivi leur reportage sur la pêche et la consommation d’étoiles de mer.

YouTube lance les “vidéos sponsorisées”

November 13, 2008 by
On se demande tous (et depuis déjà pas mal de temps) comment YouTube va enfin réussir à rentabiliser son incroyable audience, un début de réponse certainement avec cette nouvelle qui a été dévoilée mercredi: La vente de spots vidéos sponsorisés qui remontent sur des requêtes spécifiques.

En même temps quoi de plus logique qu’un système similaire à celui qu’utilise déjà Google pour monétiser son moteur de recherche (surtout lorsque l’on sait que YouTube est le Google de la vidéo) ==> Un annonceur achète une position pour certains mots clés et lorsqu’un utilisateur effecue une requête sur ces termes au sein de Youtube, une vidéo sponsorisée sera mise en avant par rapport aux autres résultats (apparemment en première position et avec un système de highlight à la adsense)

Après les bannières classiques, les in-video ads ou encore les post-roll, il s’agit certainement ici du meilleur moyen de monétiser le trafic sans affecter l’expérience utilisateur et de la manière la moins intrusive possible

The Marvellous Flying Box

October 20, 2008 by

Cet automne, Ebuco sera en tournage d’une nouvelle web série The Marvellous Flying Box. Une grosse machine se met en place ! Plus d’infos prochainement…

Subscription Services to Push Online Video to $4.5B by 2012

September 6, 2008 by

Global online video revenue is expected to surpass $4.5 billion by 2012 – up from $1.2 billion in 2008 – as it continues grow rapidly, according to the World Report on Online Video from In-Stat (via MarketingCharts).

Purchased and rented videos are expected to provide the most robust growth for online video in the near term, in large part because of an increase in subscription services such as Netflix, which charges a flat monthly fee to deliver a combination of packaged goods and online content that can be viewed on home TV sets, In-Stat said.

Ad-supported professional video from major TV networks also will become a strong revenue contributor by 2012.

Other findings:

  • By 2012, 39 percent of adults in the U.S. are expected to have purchased or rented online video.
  • 54 percent of respondents to an In-Stat survey of U.S. consumers still favor physical discs when purchasing movies or TV shows.
  • By 2012, 90 percent of U.S. households will have access to broadband, with 94 percent of these individuals in these households watching online video.

“What is now seen as a predominantly younger pastime will spread to encompass a wider group of people, in part due to the aging of current online video viewers, but also as a result of word of mouth, spread of services, growth of in-home networks, and new network-connected consumer electronic devices,” said Gerry Kaufhold, In-Stat analyst.

The research examined the market for online video, including video rental/purchase, ad-supported TV programs, and ad-supported, user-generated video.

Insight into YouTube videos

March 28, 2008 by

I remember the first time a video I posted to YouTube cracked 100 views. I wasn’t so much surprised as curious: Who were these people? How did they find this video? Where did they come from?

Today we’re taking our first step towards answering these questions with YouTube Insight, a free tool that enables anyone with a YouTube account — users, partners, and advertisers — to view detailed statistics about the videos that they upload. For example, uploaders can see how often their videos are viewed in different geographic regions, as well as how popular they are relative to all videos in that market over a given period of time. You can also delve deeper into the lifecycle of your videos, like how long it takes for a video to become popular, and what happens to video views as popularity peaks. For now, you can find currently available metrics by clicking under the “About this Video” button under My account > Videos, Favorites, Playlists > Manage my Videos.

Insight gives the creators an inside look into the viewing trends of their videos on YouTube, and helps them to increase views and become more popular. Partners can evaluate metrics to better serve and understand their audiences, as well as increase ad revenue. And advertisers can study their metrics and successes to tailor their marketing — both on and off the site — and reach the right viewers. As a result, Insight turns YouTube into one of the world’s largest focus groups.