The marketing and tech press was understandably intrigued when an actual hard copy product launch invite from Facebook, complete with coffee ring, landed on their desks. What could this mean, the industry pondered, analysing the death of Google reader and even the fact that this memo had arrived via snail mail for vital clues.
Of course, the suspense is over and we all now know that Facebook has unveiled a video function for its image sharing app, Instagram.
Coming swiftly in the wake of the launch of Facebook hashtags, the latest offering continues the trend of Facebook rivalling Twitter functionality. And the public hungrily took to the bait, posting more than 5 million videos to Instagram in the first day after its new capability launched.
According to a report in the Guardian, more than 40 hours of video footage was being uploaded each minute when Instagram video fever peaked last Thursday night, with teenybop Justin Bieber becoming the first user to scoop 1 million likes for a single Instagram clip.
But Bieber fever aside, the issue on brands’ and agencies’ minds is the potential of this new feature for advertising purposes.
The Vine is right?
A natural, immediate reaction to Instagram video is to draw comparisons with Twitter’s Vine app – which enables users to upload 6 seconds of looping footage. Many, including us on this very blog, have been drawn to Vine’s brevity and ability to drive the message home with its somewhat hypnotic repeating format. More »
In a move that represents a new potential revenue stream for brands and content creators, YouTube has unveiled paid subscription channels.
The channels, which cost from $0.99 per month in subscription fees, promise to deliver a new, more flexible way for content partners to distribute and make money from videos beyond the traditional ad revenue stream.
Among the 30 partners announced at the launch of a pilot programme include the producers of Sesame Street, who will be offering full episodes on their paid channel when it launches, and the somewhat less child-friendly Ultimate Fighting Championship, offering full versions of classic fights.
All channels will offer a 14-day free trial, with many offering discounted annual rates to encourage sign-up, all of which will be available to pay by credit card. In the coming weeks, we can expect to see paid channels rolling out more broadly as a self-service feature for qualifying partners.
Paid channels represent a long-awaited addition to YouTube’s marketing offer and will no doubt be of interest to the site’s thousands of existing content partners.
Channel creators will get to keep upwards of half of subscription revenues, while YouTube keeps the rest (45%). In this respect, the financial rewards match existing arrangements for the sharing of the site’s ad revenues. More »
Ah April Fools’ Day…that time of year when the marketing world stops business as usual to prove it has a sense of humour, and the public in turn issues a collective groan/giggle at their efforts. A well-placed and innovative April Fools’ campaign has the potential to engage with an air of punch-you-on-the-shoulder chumminess, and where better for brands to indulge than in the social arena?
To set the record straight on some of the higher profile pranks of 2013, no, YouTube didn’t really shut down to entries to review its all time “winner”. And with its promise to harness a “15 million scento-byte database of smells from around the world…with an elegant integration”, Google was clearly pitching at the World’s Most Gullible with its Google Nose hoax.
Our personal favourite of the April Fool’s social media campaigns was JetBlue Airways’ playful and rewarding approach to the holiday. Announcing to its Facebook community that “April’s No Fool”, JetBlue offered all those flying with the airline on 1 April with the first name April, a JetBlue credit equal to the value of the flight.
What made this holiday campaign stand out was not only the way that JetBlue chose to communicate its offer – with an eyecatching, well-designed status update creative – but also its use of supporting communication activity. More »
Built on the same premise as tweets ie. that short is most definitely sweet, Vine launched in January to much hype and fanfare. Twitter’s launch announcement that the brevity of Vines inspired creativity was just too tempting for some brands, and marketers a-plenty have since scrambled to create the perfect six-second snapshot of their brand.
Our favourite Vine has to be Doritos’ simple yet effective looping clip of the Mariachi band from their current campaign. Inviting their community to guess the name of the song being played, it ticks all the boxes of good Vining. Firstly, it uses one continuous looping shot. It may be a personal thing, but I find this far easier on the eye than shot-heavy clips. What’s more, single looping shots are more memorable as they don’t ask too much of the already content-overloaded consumer. Secondly, by asking a question and offering an Easter prize incentive, this Vine invites interaction and engagement, which is crucial to social media activity irrespective of channel.
An emotional connection
It’s an odd phenomenon, but watching something on repeat tends to drive a deeper emotional connection with viewers. True, if this is isn’t something you wanted to see even once, like Tyra Banks throwing a faux hissy fit , this can serve to only compound your irritation. But with a superb creative execution, Vine’s looping format can be incredibly compelling. More »
At this time of year, we like to take some time to reflect. For marketers, this period is largely about taking stock and reviewing the activity of the past year. In terms of video campaigns, we tend to look to viewing figures, shares and resulting brand awareness levels as measures of relative success. This Christmas, we’d like to add a new metric to the list: ‘memorability’. Nope, we’re not sure if it’s a real word either, but we do know that online video that makes an indelible mark in the collective consciousness is hard to achieve, but extremely satisfying for both the consumers that enjoy them and the marketers that devised them. Here are five of the most memorable video efforts of 2012:
Celebrity tax-dodgers aside, Belgium isn’t generally associated with excitement and drama. Belgian television station Telenet played on this by setting up an action-packed sequence on a typically quiet Belgian square. Involving ambulances, gangsters and a bikini-clad motorcyclist, the scene certainly grabbed the attention of passers-by. And judging by the 39 million views of the video on YouTube, the footage was inventive enough to become a viral hit.
French company Christian Dior S.A. (usually referred to as Dior) owns the high-fashion apparels and accessories producer and retailer Christian Dior Couture.
The company, designs and makes some of the world’s most coveted haute couture, as well as luxury ready-to-wear fashion and accessories for men and women. Christian Dior operates more than 235 boutiques worldwide with plans to open more.
Dior wanted to:
· introduce new products from its autumn/winter 2012 collection
· create marketing materials which retain the label’s original brand lifestyle and image
· create content with viral potential that consumers can share without confusing the brand image
Dior’s marketing campaign centred on a video called ‘Secret Garden – Versailles’, supported by social media channels and the company’s magazine.
The film ‘Secret Garden – Versailles’ (the Palace of Versailles has been a signature part of the Dior brand) was directed by Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin, and stars top industry models including Daria Strokus, Melissa Stasiuk and Xiao Wen Ju in La Galeries Des Glaces.
The build up to the release of the video on 3 May 2012 included the release of a teaser video in April on the Dior YouTube channel and promotion across the company’s social media sites – Facebook page, Twitter profile and magazine DiorMag. There were follow up videos – the extended version released 2 days following the initial release and a ‘Making of’ video issued 10 days later.
With the grand unveiling of the redesigned YouTube last December, 2012 is the perfect time to ramp up your viral video strategy.
While the changes were met with uproar from a characteristically vocal hardcore YouTube user base, they actually offer ripe opportunities for brands.
According to Social Media Examiner, there are only three major changes to get to grips with, so here we go:
1. Redesigned home page
If you’ve logged in to YouTube since December, you’ll have noticed its slicker-looking home page. At its heart is a prominently positioned “Subscription Feed”, replacing the previous trending videos – and much better news for brands.
What this means for marketers: As viewers view, rate and comment on your latest viral video, their followers and subscribers will in turn be exposed to your content. No longer will brands have to compete with cute baby and hilarious kitten clips. We expect this move to create a more relevant, if smaller, viral effect.
How to maximise the change: Be consistently active, posting fresh content to YouTube weekly and use calls to action to drive rates, comments and shares of your videos.
2. New channel page
As well as looking different, YouTube channels are now more likely to feature on search results pages for related keywords. More »
In an attempt to show that B2B videos can be creative and fun, we’ve launched our own video series featuring interviews with online marketing specialists filmed in the back of a London Taxi Cab.
Called London PR Taxi, the video series covers a number of subject areas that make up what we call ‘new fashioned pr’ beginning with, in episode 1, an interview with Brian Storey – Creative Partner at Wand, discussing Viral Video techniques.
While the subject matter is serious, the context is far from it with coffee flying about as the cab, driven by a mad cabbie – nicknamed psycho Paul, swerves around London’s streets.
Episode 2, which discusses the place of media relations in 2011, ends with a cup of Starbucks coffee literally all over Gorakana’s Michael Davies (thanks Michael, you were a star).