Who got better? Who got better at sucking? WatchMojo helps you out… if you were under a rock all year.
I usually don’t make a lot of noise about a contest I’m entering, and I’ve been entering fewer lately. The competition is high, and I rarely win (although often I’m a finalist). The Oreo contest intrigued me because certain YouTube creators were asked to enter, and I figured that would improve my odds. There’s going to be an open amateur contest too, but those will be judged separately. Here’s the clip because if I embed it, it kills the entire blog template.
In truth, the “behind the scenes” may be funnier than the video itself. What child says to his father, “are we going to get arrested again?” Let the record show we’ve never been arrested for making a video. We’ve been hollered at a few times maybe.
I thought the deadline was next week, and then received an e-mail last evening before leaving work. Thanks to a vigilant babysitter, we conceptualized, shot, edited and sent it all last night. My wife was teaching, and we had to an attend an animal-shelter event. So everything was quite rushed. The concept emerged when Jo suggested making “Oreo Man” out of one of the kids. Jen, our sitter, then said she had an Oreo costume from her childhood. She took all four kids to her parents’ house and found the costume in the 100-degree attic. When she returned, we did the kitchen shot, and decided to get some cow footage (Charlie was going to be our cookie, but he wasn’t in the mood). Jen asked if I wanted to take along the cow suit, which ended up inspiring a nice resolution to the 2-minute spot. If I may be so bold, here’s what I like about the video (which is posted on my “responseofnalts” YouTube account).
- The camera shots are amateurish, but the editing was a labor. It took about 3-4 hours to edit if you include the score. I finished it just in time for the midnight deadline.
- Grant (the orange shirt Oreo dude) was priceless. He’s 5 and reminds me of Charlie Brown sometimes, and I gave him the “good grief” line to pay homage to Charles Schulz. Can’t you just feel his pain when his brothers laugh at him? And when he whispers in my ear, I melt.
- The video — by sheer fortune, the sitter’s innovation, the kids patience, and careful editing — actually has a story arch (conflict, resolution, etc.). This, of course, was accomplished without a pesky script or storyboard. If I go there I almost always lose energy before I turn on the camera.
Typically consumers entering brand contests try to emulate what they believe should be a television ad. I think that’s where many miss the mark of consumer-generated ads, because they end up looking like lame cable-television advertisements instead of a crafty amateur spots. The only thing commercial about this video is the music, product shots and frequent messages of Oreo. I stayed faithful to the brief by telling a story about Oreos and milk. But I was careful not to sell Oreos… it’s more about creating an affinity moment than hocking some product attribute.
I think my chances are good, but I don’t know who else entered. And if all else fails, the good folks at Kraft did send me a giant box of Oreos. They’re really good frozen.
It’s time for the first annual WillVideoforFood.com’s Top 10 Stupidest Moments of Online Video in 2007. This list is my first draft, so I invite and encourage moments I’ve no doubt missed.
I haven’t kept a notepad besides my bed all year, and I try to suppress these moments. That said, I did review hundreds of blog entries and perform countless Google searches to compile this starter list. Feel free to use all or parts of this post on your blog or website- link appreciated.
- Chris Crocker becomes a viral sensation after this weeping video defending Britney Spears. It gets 13 million views, but Crocker fails to post another video in the three months since. Lesson: It’s not the one-hit wonder, it’s about consistency. To his credit, he’s another video amateur that is “working on a TV show,” he’s been spotted at Social, and he did make Time Magazine’s top 10 list of viral videos.
- YouAre.tv gives up, and embarrasses itself while trying to hype its own auction (with a paltry 2,000 visitors per day) on eBay. To add insult to injury, it sends an “exclusive” report to New Tee Vee, but accidentally sends it to The Silicon Valley Insider (who promptly publishes the entire desperate e-mail from You Are Media CEO David K. Dundas). Lesson: Don’t start another video site, and check e-mail when you leak exclusives.
- Sneeeer: Techcrunch publishes “The Secret Strategies Behind Many Viral Videos,” which leads to a dramatic backlash among online-video enthusiasts, bloggers and the video community. I parked “ViralVideoVillain.com” for TechCrunch contributing author Michael Ackerman Greenberg. TechCrunch does a “follow up.” Lesson: There are appropriate ways to market your videos, and cheats don’t need a soap box.
- Oprah makes her debut on YouTube by taking over the homepage with online-video clichés (dog on skateboard, cats doing tricks), then creating a YouTube channel that looks more like a network PR site. Lesson: Too many for this post. See previous post about what Oprah might have learned.
- JewTube launches in the summer, and Google later challenges the name (based on copyright infringement of YouTube). Lesson: Niche sites are smart. But build your own brand.
- The Daily Reel dies after morphing from “Entertainment Weekly for online video” to a video podcast series to a video-hosting site to a video-enthusiast community site to a site thats’ now frozen in time like some parts of New Orleans years after Katrina. Lesson: Pick a core competency and stick with it.
- ZeFrank killed his popular online-video show in March, just as his fame was developing. He quietly returned to blip.tv recently, but not on his ZeFrank “The Show” page. NewTeeVee writer Chris Albrecht called his return video “anemic” with a “spark missing.” There were rumors of a television deal, and blip.tv issued this press release when he closed The Show. We won’t comment, as we have a documented history of being jealous of ZeFrank (as “caught on tape” with this Dove Evolution parody). Lesson: Stick with what you do well. And I’m not saying there’s a “Famous Amos” thing happening here, but why else wouldn’t ZeFrank populate his show page in addition to blip.tv?
- The New York Times calls YouTube “celebrities” hot property. Umm… I’m kinda a big deal on YouTube, but someone show me how the YouTube thing has changed more than a couple lives. Lesson: The “overnight” success of online-video amateurs is a bit exaggerated.
- Experts project that television advertising budgets will pour online. Experts project 3/4 of a billion dollars in online video for 2007. Even so, that’s a small portion of the 3-8 billion expected to go into online advertising in total this year. No word yet as to how the year’s shaping up (but eMarketers upped its estimate in August). I didn’t get my share of 3/4 billion, though. Did you? Lesson: Take advertising projections and divide by 10.
- Viacom demands YouTube remove all of its content and tries to build an “old media consortium” to compete with YouTube (Viacom, News Corp and NBC ). Writers who are on strike find this move, in hindsight, quite ironic (see recent video by Daily Show writers). Naturally, media executives come to Viacom’s defense. Lesson: as I mentioned in March, that old “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” consortium thing never quite works out (see ComScore reports of online-video share). Still, you can’t blame someone from crying fowl about having their stuff stolen and monetized by someone else online. Unless they’re a writer, of course.