NBC’s The Office Site Uses Video Ad & Flash (aka The One-Two Punch)

fedex.jpgHere’s an ad display model from NBC’s The Office’s site, and we’ll see more and more like it. It’s the video preroll and the flash ad… rolling simultaneously in different areas of the screen. My minor annoyance as a viewer is more than offset by my fascination as a marketer. Plus NBC is offering exclusive short content on The Office’s site. They’re funny clips, so the least we can do is endure a few ads. Hit refresh and you’ll see the entire site adopt branding by Yaris, FedeEx Kinkos or Little Miss Sunshine.

By the way, this Office site has some great clips. Here’s the first of a series (will open WMV).

YouTube Rival Has Killer App (Advertising Age)

nin.jpgAdvertising Age writer Beth Snyder Bulik called Revver.com a TouTube rival with an model that’s a “kill app.” She describes the $30K profit Steven Voltz and Fritz Grobe made through their infamous “Extreme Diet Coke and Mentos Experiment.”

Revver advertisers include Microsoft, Universal Pictures, Warner Bros., and American Apparel. Larger content creators are contributing to Revver including ZeFrank and Ask a Ninja. The site’s in beta and launches officially in September.

Side note: Mentos bought out the entire inventory of ad space on the popular video. The Coke folks? They sent Voltz and Grobe one t-shirt and a diet Coke cap. Common, Coke. No wonder people are spoofing your approach to online advertising! These guys give you arguably millions in viral advertising and the best you can do is a t-shirt and cap? You guys need a bright, young, energetic online advertising guru to come remind Coke it’s not 1995 anymore.

The 10 Immutable Laws of Viral Video

virus.gifSo my joking reference to the “second law of viral videos” at the close of this “YouTube Viral Video Broker” clip resulted in this question from Joe Chapuis:

What’s the first law of viral videos?

Fair question. I hadn’t really considered the rules yet… I was spoofing someone that would have the arrogance to cite “viral video laws.” But Joe’s question got me thinking about actually researching what makes a video viral. Then I realized it would be less work to suck down my fourth cup of coffee and make up my own.

So here they are, folks. The Immutable Laws of Viral Video.

  1. The definition of viral video is that the video prompts others to share it. It doesn’t mean it’s good by any definition.
  2. Stupid sells.
  3. Nobody can predict what becomes viral. My videos that achieve modest viral status (like the inane Google Earth one) are almost never the ones I expect.
  4. If you’re trying to market via viral, stay “unpackaged” and funny. And don’t get your hopes up. 2007 will be the “year of corporate viral video attempts” and most will fail.
  5. Topical is important. Viral is subject to “pile on,” whereby one viral explosion creates copycats. A clip is more likely to be discovered if it contains keywords from other viral videos that are being searched.
  6. There is no cure for the video virus, but it’s not life-threatening.
  7. Duration is “make or break.” Short will always outperform long. Stay under a minute for best results and never go beyond 3 minutes.
  8. The creator of the “Immutable Laws of Viral Video” (me) is allowed to break law number 7.
  9. There is no law number 9.
  10. If you try too hard to be viral, you probably won’t be.

In the early generation of viral videos, certain themes have emerged: dancing videos, music videos, impromptu moments, pranks, clever movie scenes, parodies, celebrity moments and, of course, AFV-like falls and stunts. … To get a glimpse into the “Viral Video Hall of Fame” see the About.com list of the top 10 viral videos of all times, and a more recent list.

90 Percent of Online Video Sites Will Disappear

In this San Francisco Chronicle article by Ellen Lee, Charles River Venture Capitalist George Zachary predicts that 90 percent of online video sites will disappear. Some will simply shut down; others will be gobbled up by larger companies. (Brief ad here- if anyone wants to gobble up CubeBreak, make an offer… I just got a new job and probably won’t have time for it).

Does this bring you back to 1999/2000?

The froth of activity surrounding online video is reminiscent of the dot-com boom and bust just a handful of years ago, when companies were created seemingly overnight to tackle Web site hosting, online retail and other new avenues made possibly by the Internet. In many of the most popular fields, a glut of companies would be formed, setting the stage for a shakeout. Most closed, unable to attract enough customers or sales, leaving customers and investors in the lurch.”

Here’s the Hitwise report on the Top 10 Video Sites. This is share data not unique views, and Hitwise has shown that YouTube’s share exceeds that of the next several players combined.

1. YouTube www.youtube.com

2. MySpace Videos www.vids.myspace.com

3. Yahoo Video Search www.video.search.yahoo.com

4. MSN Video Search www.video.msn.com

5. Google Video Search www.video.google.com

6. AOL Video http:us.video.aol.com

7. iFilm www.ifilm.com

8. MetaCafe www.metacafe.com

9. Grouper www.grouper.com

10. GoFish www.gofish.com

Source: Hitwise

The Most Wonderfully Nauseating Video Ever: Walmart MySpace

ashley-walmart.jpgWalmart is just one step away from making Mentos & Diet Coke explosions in its parking lot to win the hearts of the 20-something crowd (you know, the ones that will be shopping at Walmart around the year 2057).

Thanks to Adriana Cronin-Lukas’ “Furl” for identifying this AdAge story about Walmart’s MySpace account. AdAge refers to it as “a highly sanitized, controlled and rather unhip site.”

Au contrair! We proclaim this “Ashley clip” the most wonderfully nauseating video available on the Internet. Ashley, of course, is not a real girl, but a Walmart fabrication made from a 35-year-old transvestite actor, some polyester and a case of Red Bull. Just keep playing the hair flip over and over. It’s like driving by a car accident. You just can’t NOT look.

Wall Street Journal Covers New “Pay for Content” Video Sites

Highlights from a recent Wall Street Journal article on the pay-for-content online video sites…

New Web Sites Pay for Clips
July 12, 2006

In his spare time, Patrick Sell, a 31-year-old marketing analyst, enjoys shooting short videos of well-dressed women strolling along New York City streets, then posting them on the Web. He used to upload his productions — about 180 to date — on the video-sharing phenomenon YouTube, but now prefers a new service called Revver. The reason: Revver pays him.

Revver allows Mr. Sell to pocket a portion of the revenue the site takes in from ads it attaches to his clips — an amount that now earns him about $15 a day. “My issue with YouTube is that even as the producer of the video, I can’t get paid for it,” says the self-styled video auteur, who asks the women for permission to film them and also posts his clips on Idonothingallday.com.

The explosive growth of Internet video is allowing people not only to find an audience for their amateur productions. Now they can actually earn money from them.

  • San Diego-based Eefoof Inc., launched just over a week ago, shares 50% of its profits from text ads and banner ads with users who upload their own online video clips. Shares are distributed based on the number of hits a particular video receives.
  • Recently launched Panjea.com, operated by Aware Media Inc., shares 50% of revenue from the ads appearing on profile pages to which users can upload their own video and audio files. Users can also sell their content via download at a price they set, in which case they earn 85% of the sale.
  • In May, Blip Networks Inc.’s Blip.TV began giving members half of the ad revenue it earns from the still-photograph and video ads that users can have placed at the end of their videos. Revver affixes an ad frame to the end of a video clip and gives the users 50% of the revenue generated when the ad is clicked on, whether the video is accessed from a Web site, shared across instant-messaging services or emailed between friends.

What’s a Media Buyer, and Why Do I Care?

knife_fork.jpgIf you’re creating online video, and hoping to make money… there’s someone holding your fate in her hands. She’s the media buyer. She decides what online sites (and possibly what online videos) a marketer uses to advertise.

The media buyer role, reports B to B, used to be reserved for “newcomers or hangers-on.” Now it’s becoming more complicated with the web. “The proliferation of Internet options has helped broaden the definition of what exactly qualifies as media.”

Favorite quote of the article (by Sean Callahan and titled “Media Strategists Plan on a Complicated Future”)

“Once upon a time… the job of the media buyer required two key tools — the knife and the fork — because going out to lunch with trade publication sales reps was a critical part of the job.”

Hey ad reps for online video sites… get a big expense budget.