Thursday, October 8, 2009
I work in the advertising industry and one of our biggest segments over past few youtuberific facebooktastic years is social media. So, user or company generated content that will be passed virally around the blogosphere, email and of course social networking sites and micro-aggregators like Twitter. Ideally they are produced at a fraction of the cost of TV and are seen by more people than the series finally of Friends in like 5 minutes.
The problem is noone has perfected it yet. There is a delicate balance in this medium of people not wanting to be marketed to and wanting better and more interesting online content.
Plus there is an argument being made that, aside from a brand touch by seeing a logo, there is no payoff for companies. Are consumers converting from viral video to purchase or at least brand awareness at rates that make it worth it? Or does the normal Youtube user go from a branded video strait to a video of a cat bathing itself in the kitchen sink, and forget everything that came before it?
I say it is worth it. Indubitably. Unequivocally. If nothing else, it shows that a company understands their customers. Where they are, what they are doing. That says a lot in the minds of the general population. Second, a well done video or app will direct individuals to websites where purchasing, more information and further brand impact can ensue. And lastly, it's cheap. It should be anyway. And if something doesn't work, change it, evolve it, take it down, put it back up. We live in a world of immediate gratification, corporations need to get in on the chaos. Let consumers tell you what they want either through views or comments and be open to changing to oblige.
Here's a good example of a video, campaign, idea that is shareable, socially aware and delicately but seamlessly branded.
Volkswagen. like a whisper right there at the end. But the company's long established brand makes sense here. It doesn't feel forced as it would with even another car company like Ford or even BMW.
I don't know if it is tricky editing, but I love the old guy (see photo above, or 1:23 in the video) who is going for the stairs. That guy is awesome, he'll probably play Chopin all the way up.
I think this idea will work, and will be really interesting as it moves forward. And even if it doesn't, 7,000 people in one day are now aware that VW is trying to make the world a little more fun.
See more of the campaign here, in German. I guess the english site is not up yet.
Ogilvy tweeted this today, which is where I saw it.