Value Not Viral

A couple weeks ago I was at General Mills speaking to marketers along side the Pillsbury Doughboy. Come to think of it, it was a lady who marketed the little fella’s crescent rolls.┬áBut I prefer the first way I recalled it, so roll with me.

Somehow along the way I stopped using “entertaining” and “educational,” and started using the term “value.” It seemed to be a core tenant of good brand videos online, and a far cry from most advertising. When we have the option to watch (or not) valuable content will always trump advertising. There are a handful of Crescent videos that show how to cook home made meals using the rolls. Hey let’s teach people a skill they see as valuable (which favors our product), instead of beating forever the “reach, frequency, single minded proposition” drum.

The idea of value (for viewers and the brand) kinda stuck. Just this weekend I shot some video for MSNBC Small Business that asks businesses to think less about “going viral” and more about how to create value. While conventional wisdom says “value” is entertainment (cute, funny, twisted, surprising, bazaar, outrageous, dancing, babies, music), a lot of companies are going the simple “how to” route, and search-engine optimizing their video content to answer customer questions.

Go looking for a cake recipe and you’ll probably find a video that was produced for Betty Crocker. It’s content supported by ad dollars and it’s smart. Yesterday I went searching for a replacement for my digital SLR that died from a son-induced tripod spill, and I would have been thrilled to find an objective shopping guide. If it was produced by Canon, Olympus or Panasonic/Lumix I might have been skeptical. But if a manufacturer did produce it objectively it would have meant a lot to me.

In keeping with the “value” over “viral” theme, check out Revision3’s Jim Louderback identifying 7 opportunities you might have overlooked about online video. He talks about tapping YouTube stars (I was quite influenced in my camera purchase by the choices of my favorite YouTube personalities) and about the power of how-to. His seventh has an acronym “OTT,” which I believes he means as “over the top.”

Hey that reminds me. I have a digital camera blog I forgot about.

18 Replies to “Value Not Viral”

  1. Congratulations. This was actually coherent and didnt automatically throw me into a narcoleptic zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  2. When I was a little kid I met the guy who came up with the P diddly doe boy.

    …and just in case sukatra is wondering, no, he wasn’t anything like Ron Paul or Charlie Sheen.

  3. Nalts,
    Dude you rock sir. I for the longest time was trying to make a video that would go “viral” in hope of youtube stardom. Now my mind set is sot so much going “viral” but making good videos and 90% of the time a fall short but sometimes I make a gem and my friends and family let me know when. Over the past year I have enrolled in school for video and film and I always say it was you that where a big push for me to even go back into school. You do what you love to do and to me that makes you a role model for me. I love to make videos and most of all I love to make people laugh. So for now on I don’t want a “viral Video” but a good video that happens to make my followers laugh, cry and think.

    Love yea man,

  4. Remember the three important rules in real estate – location location location

    Advertising in this economy frugality is in in in

    Value is what I can get for what’s left of my dollar; now that the federal reserve has all, but destroyed it.

    Here’s what I am telling all my advertising and marketing friends; which includes the only one I actually like, Kevin Nalty. Learn Mandarin.

  5. Man, jan, I really pissed you off with my ron paul and charlie sheen disses, didnt i. Im sorry and promise not to do it anymore if it will make you zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. God I wish that would stop happening.

  6. @6 massive sexual harassmen suit. Plus it could be construed as child porn, which would probaby have a negative impact on the brand. Except with pedophiles.

  7. Why is there no way to comment on your crappy “Made on a Mac” SLaP blog?

    I upgraded my Canon Rebel T2i to the more awesome 7D recently, but I still use my Panasonic HDC-TM700 camcorder for video most of the time.

  8. @5 nah I don’t really care – I just don’t get why you think bedding me up in a gay relationship with an old men and a strung out actors is so amusing.

    can’t people have civil conversations that are bereft of sexually explicit content and the constant outpouring of on going bodily functions?

    it’s no wonder the elite think we’re all stupid and keep pushing us around.

    I blame Oprah!

  9. @jischinger have you MET me? Man, I am gonna have to lay off you big time for a while. This is gonna put a huge crimp in my persona.

  10. Dear jan, I was going to use this post to write you a torrid steamy love letter but hank is reading over my shoulder. Love and kisses, sukatra

  11. I wonder how that Jennifer Aniston water Video did for their sales. They hit ALL the Marks for Viral but did they actually get any increased sales or ROI?

    6,736,233 Views is not too bad for a week.

    Here is the bonus question. The Title, so you think it is is Misleading “… goes viral”. I know it DID go viral, but naming using that title upfront?

  12. I’ve been busy puking and pooping for the last few days, so I’ve missed commenting on this blog. Just thought I’d bring you all up to date on my intestinal issues.

  13. Maricrapsherpants, after reading that comment, ive never felt closer to you as a true soulmate. Feel better soon.

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