Information Week/TechWeek Writer Laurie Sullivan wrote a piece titled “YouTube Dives Into Advertising.”
YouTube has launched an advertising strategy with online video billboards to give marketers and businesses more than contests and banners to reach consumers. Branded content channels and “participatory video ads” will allow companies to advertise products and services on the YouTube site.
“They were smart,” said Debra Williamson, senior analyst at eMarketer. “They let their audience grow, so now they are in demand. You don’t see them looking for advertisers. The advertisers are calling them.”
By golly that IS smart. Build a giant consumer base (hoping they’ll stay) and then figure out ways to make money LATER. That’s 1998 smart! Napsterific! And here are some additional brilliant ideas:
- Invite the SVP of Marketing from P&G to YouTube. When his entourage arrives, turn off the lights and pretend you’re not home. When he leaves, toss water balloons at his limo from the loft window.
- Tell Verizon you’ll give them a great deal on a run-of-sight campaign if they give everyone from YouTube a free cell phone. Keep the cell phones and never run the ads. Tell them you ran the ads, but they must have missed them.
- Spend 6 more months coming up with a way to make even more money on ads. Do it offsite on the Camen Islands. Take the VC money with you and drink lots of Scotch. Tell the pizza folks downstairs in LA that if anyone from Sequoia stops by, say, “the YouTube people just left 10 minutes ago to a team building meeting in Colorado.”
- Forget ad revenue. Go for commerce. Sell videos online. Only don’t allow people to download them. Copy them to a VHS tape and ship them FedEx overnight. Don’t charge the customer for shipping. You’ll make it up in volume.
- Run Wacky-Packages-like ads that spoof large brands. Subaru could be Suba-poo. After you run them, send an invoice to the manufacturer you parody.
- Invite the hottest media reps from NYC to “pitch.” Put them in a room with the YouTube staff hiding behind a 2-day mirror. Via a PA system, tell them to dance. Videotape it and post it.
- Bring pop-unders back. Two per video. Be sure the pop-under ads have audio playing so loud you can’t hear the video.