Online Video Advertising

Apr 10, 2007 - 3:20 pm 0 by

Note this is coverage provided by Lisa Barone of Bruce Clay, Inc. Thanks Lisa!

Zachary Rodgers (ClickZ Network) is moderating this morning’s Online Video

Advertising panel with speakers Ian Schafer (Deep Focus), Chad Stoller (Organic), Lars Bastholm (AKQA), and Steve Rosenblat (Dennis Digital)

You probably don’t need me to tell you this, but today’s ad campaigns have evolved past your traditional static online banner ad. I know, I miss them too, but they’re gone. With video penetration almost saturating the market, advertisers are looking to interactive video to grab a hold of customers and make the most impact. Utilizing video has become a cost-effective tool for marketers, but only when they’re up-to-speed on all the various formats, strategies, creatives and other considerations.

Zachary comments that two years ago online video was nothing more than a two minute clip with a 30 second ad attached to it. That was all consumers could get and all advertisers could buy. Boring.

Today we have Hillary Clinton videoblogging on MySpace, paid ads on YouTube with comments, online video being embedded on blogs, and magazine Web sites also using video advertising. The choices provide a lot of opportunities for marketers to do new things, but it can also create confusion. Media buyers don’t know if they are better off sticking to the traditional video spots on sites like MSNBC that have been tested or if they’re better off experimenting with the new types of online ad formats.

With all the confusion, the easiest thing for marketers to do is to roll their own content and build their own experiences.

First up is Chad Stoller. (Side note: Chad must be from the East Cost. He talks faster than my mother and almost as fast as Michael Gray. I can’t help but stare.)

Chad’s presentation focuses on an ad campaign Organic ran for Jeep. Jeep has been an early adopter of Internet technology since 1995. Much like the Jeep brand, continues to innovate with interactive technologies. On March 15, 2007, they launched the Way Beyond Trail in conjunction with the launch of the new Jeep Patriot. (Warning: If you go to that site, you’re going to be humming the theme song all day, but I guess that’s the point.)

The Way Beyond Trail is a complete interactive experience for users with over an hour of video. Users are part of a 360 degree holistic, integrated and seamless marketing program. There are 44 different scenes incorporating personalized elements with only one correct ending. While navigating through the game (Is it a game? I guess it’s a game), users will find surprise, delight, zany character, and will see the Jeep vehicle presented in a non-traditional way. Chad has found in order to be effective the consumer’s experience must be completely transparent. Don’t preach about your product, demonstrate the “why buys” through the video. Have a lot of cargo room? Don’t say it; show how many sheep will fit inside that jeep.

Once your video is out, advertisers must study everything – time spent, bailouts, social and sharing, forums and conversation, pass along, personalization counts, hand raisers, exit surveys, etc.

A great presentation by Chad.

Next up is Ian Schafer focusing on the importance of creative and placement. Ian uses a few of his company’s past projects to show that the purpose of video is to reach people wherever they may be, not just at a brand-specific Web site. Sage words by Ian right there.

Ian’s first example focuses on the launch of the new season of Best of Show. It was decided that video would be used to fill a plot hole for the TV show.

In the video, the character played by Jeremy Piven is interviewing new staff members. [Ed. note: Jeremy Piven is actually in Entourage.] Once users enter the site, they are able to fill out a job application (also a great way for the company to get leads, user’s email addresses, demographic info, etc) and sit in for an interview with Piven’s character. The entire process is interactive and Piven will respond based on what users’ type into the answer box. The whole thing lasts about 10 minutes and at the end of the interview users will find out if they “got the job” or not. (Wait, you mean they don’t have to wait and stress for two weeks like I did? Unfair!)

Ian reports that the average user spent more than 8 minutes interacting with Jeremy. He also notes that if you want your video to be effective, keep your video on the short side. You never know how long a user will interact with your video and you want to make sure you’re able to get your message across.

To have the most impact, marketers should look to create advertising opportunities on the most popular sites on the Web before they become well known for their advertising opportunities.

Ian then wins my heart by bringing up Ze Frank (Huzzah! I hope every session has a Ze mention.) aka the most popular videoblogger on the Web (his words!). He brings up Ze to make that point that using video doesn’t always mean you have to create content; it’s also about establishing your brand through existing content. In the case with Ze, Ian’s company sponsored the last week of the show and the archives and in return got a verbal plug from everyone’s favorite videoblogger. Totally cool.

Ian’s company Deep Focus is currently developing a hybrid online/on-air interactive video production, as well as dynamically, contextually targeted Flash overlay video advertising. The latter may be the thing that ends the pre-roll.

Lessons learned from Ian:

  • Don’t be intrusive with online ads
  • Keep it short
  • Keep it portable
  • Make it good
  • Make it relevant

And work with the content creators, dammit.

Up next is Steve Rosenblat.

Your first step in utilizing video is to know what the user is expecting to see, how they’re currently interacting with video and who you’re trying to reach.

4 Ways to use video:

  • Original content
  • Product placement
  • Video integration
  • Custom video

From here, Steve outlines a few of the campaign his company has been working on:

Icehouse Miller campaign: Steve’s company created an original video about a new robot Brewtron. And it must have worked. I, a female and not part of Icehouse’s demographic was not amused. However, panelist Chad, who is a young (hunky) male, was giggling through the entire video.

Mission accomplished for Icehouse.

To distribute the video Steve used viral sharing sites, community and social networking. You want to create a brand content piece and put it in the right place where users will pick it up and pass it on.

Old Spice: Create an association between Old Spice and the theme “experience”. To do this they created Lessons to Live By and took slips from movies like Talladega Nights (Steve shows a clip. Once again I am left looking around wondering if I missed the joke while Chad is giggling). At the end of the videos, a Maxim model went out and interviewed a bunch of men and asked them about their favorite badass. (Mine is Mikkel.) The video concluded with a “brought to you by Old Spice” message.


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