Should a Brand Be a Publisher?

I advocate that brands participate in online-video, but by partnering with those already “in the house.” But I struggle when I see Zappos becoming a publisher. Or Bank of America developing a financial-advice channel (and surprisingly co-branding it with YouTube).

Whatya think?

Author: Nalts

Hi. I'm Nalts.

21 thoughts on “Should a Brand Be a Publisher?”

  1. Ah. What we have here is a post that I don’t understand the first time I read it, but I’m too lazy, and not interested enough to reread it again. Really, I don’t even know what to comment about here, so I should probably just use one of my default comments to get me out of this pickle.

    Haha, good comment Peter Coffin. You are so crazy!

  2. I think brands can be publishers, but it’s less effective than leveraging an existing content producer.

    As a case study, let’s look at readersdigest.com. Until recently, I was not a fan of Readers Digest. Sure, I’ve heard of them, and probably popped by their site at some point in the decade and change I’ve been online, but never as a regular visitor.

    That was, until they paid to have a slice of Nalts’ 700th video. I already liked (tolerated, I suppose) Nalts, and so when I saw that RD was sponsoring him, I checked out their site.

    Now, if RD were to go and create their own channel, there would have been no reason for me to go to their channel. Even if they spent the whopping quarter mil to get the top main spot on YouTube’s homepage I probably wouldn’t have gone, because I (and the viewers like me, who are responsible for 75% of views on online video) don’t respond to ads.

    And now, here I am, visiting RD.com regularly, because they had the brains to advertise with good ol’ Uncle nalts. And look at all the free advertising this post gave them as a result of that one video.

    So brands, advertise with existing talent

    …like me!

  3. I think it depends on the area and company. For heavily regulated industries (e.g. Thieves (I mean Bank) of America) they may need the total control. This plan certainly did not do so well for Bud; whose Bud.TV project might be the most expensive digital flop since iWon.

  4. There will be no Bank of America by next week. They’re going down like a zeppelin. Panic, worry, DOOM!

    This one post alone caused the Dow to drop 10 points. Isn’t that just amazing?

  5. dude, I am so happy, because if this doesn’t suck tremendously (meaning we don’t go into a worse depression than the great depression), then that means that the market will be doing EXTREMELY well by the time I get out of college, which means I will be able to get a job EXTREMELY easily.

  6. why? that’s what financial aid and scholarships, and the youtube partner program are for.

    that reminds me, subscribe to my channel, and view and like my videos so that I can pay for college. please. I need the education.

  7. @brindle16
    If the government just spent a trillion dollars to bail out the fatcats and is currently 11 trillion in debt with two expensive wars going on, what makes you think there will be any government money for financial aid and grants in 2 years? Or 3? Or 4?

  8. @12

    that’s why y’all should subscribe to my channel, view and like my videos so that I can get money from the partner program I’ll be in once I get popular, and then I can go to college.

    oh, I also have a hard cash fund.

    also, nalts.

    before you write a blog post about it, so that I can tell you about it. poptent.com. click for a link to my profile. it’s pretty much like the linkedin for filmmakers/videographers. or facebook, whichever you want to use. I win for telling y’all that.

  9. You’re counting on You Tube Partners to get you into college. You’re right you need education. Math.

    You’d make more an hour with a paper route then what you earn on You Tube in a year.

    Heck you could babysit for Nalts and make more

  10. By the way, I don’t know how old any of y’alls parents are, but my mom’s family was destitute during the Depression, and was even evicted from one apartment by the sheriff. with all their belongings in the street. Good news though – the neighbors protested and promptly moved the furniture back in after the sheriff left. This story was prominently displayed in the newspapers in Peoria, with a photograph of my mother and her two sisters, all under 3, standing in their crib on the street and crying.

    This is not a story I heard from my mother. I saw the newspaper clippings when another relative told me the story.The Depression has haunted my mom .her whole life, the result being that I too have great anxiety over the current goings-on.

    Ironically, my dad, an only child, never felt the effects of the Depression at all.

    The only bright spot for me – I’ve spent all my investments so I have nothing to lose in the stock market!! Yeay!! But i’m even more worried about whether I’ll ever be able to get a job. And, of course, scared shitless that i may have to go back to Indiana and live with my mom if I can’t. Now THAT would be a fate worse than death.

    Or . . . we could always go live with Kevin . . . .

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! Scared you with that one, didn’t I!.

  11. Hey Nalts!

    Thanks for linking back. I’ve been meaning to comment on this post for a while!

    I whole-heartedly agree with the anti-BofA financial planning. But then again, I don’t trust banks 🙂

    As for choosing Men’s Health over say Zappos–for me it would really depend on the content. Men’s Health has been around forever, and we’ve grown to trust them. Zappos is young, but they have a full editorial staff. As long as the content isn’t too product-focused, what makes it poorer quality than Men’s Health? Plus, more and more glossies are reviewing promotional samples from advertisers. Is that balanced?

    Picture this scenario: A year from now, Zappos has established a good audience. They are pumping out fresh, new content daily, making it shareable/portable/digestable for today’s reader. Men’s Health, on the other hand, lays a few people off and doesn’t expand its offerings to include media that consumers want. Which one has more readers?

    If a company can produce (transparent) compelling content that doesn’t just shill their products, how is it any different? It’s giving consumers what they want, connecting with them, and is more cost-effective and less intrusive than traditional advertising.

    Thoughts? 🙂

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