Video Conference, Gay Cause Keeps Adrants Busy Thursday
Perhaps you wondered why there were no stories on Adrants Thursday. Likely, you could care less but I'm going to tell you anyway. I spent the day at the BDI Online video conference held at the Microsoft Center at 1290 Avenue of the Americas. The focus of the conference was, as the title indicates, video and how marketers can use it to extend their marketing efforts online.
The conference was packed with knowledgeable people like CBS Interactive's Larry Kramer and MSN's Todd Herman. Larry is very bullish on web video and said the network's March Madness online video "experiment" was a success, brought in revenue and taught the network a lot about online video as a partner channel to broadcast. As some feared, the online "broadcast" of March Madness did not detract at all from the network's ratings for the traditional broadcast of the tournament.
Todd took a humorous approach with the the "You might be a redneck if.." thing. He claimed marketers might be rednecks if they aren't currently involved in online video. He also shared several facts with the audience that indicated media buyers are missing a large portion of potential audiences by not placing video and/or buys attached to video content online. There are a tremendous amount of people in demographic groups eagerly desired by advertisers consuming online video who are not otherwise reached by traditional television and other media. In other words, it's an untapped opportunity for marketers to extend their brands.
The panel I moderated covered what brands are doing in the area of online video and online video marketing, metrics evolving to quantify online video efforts and non-advertising uses of video online such as b-roll news release activity and tools for franchisees. Linda Perry-Lube, eBusiness Director of Ford and the mind behind the webisodes Meet the Lucky Ones, Lovely by Surprise and the Neverything explained how the car company maximized online video to, the in the case of Meet the Lucky Ones, sell 500 cars directly attributable to the online video campaign.
Shoba Purushothaman, CEO of The News Market, a company that specializes in making available brand-created video for news organizations told the audience her company is now servicing more online news organizations than offline. The important point Shoba made to the audience is that online video need not consist solely of straight advertising and viral videos. For marketers, online video has a purpose far beyond simple advertising.
Coldwell Banker VP of Communications Helen Galaso supported Shoba's point by explaining how her company uses online video as training tools for it network of real estate franchisees who need selling tools and other instruction to help them set up a successful local real estate operation. She also mentioned the value of online video to the home buyer as well with the availability of video home tours making the process of selecting a new home much easier for buyers.
The research guys on the panel, Advertising Research Foundation Senior VP of Research Don Diforio and Goodmind Co-Founder and Senior VP John Greenberg urged those involved in online video campaigns to avail themselves of the various developing metrics methodologies currently available an in development. TV metrics giant Nielsen has recently entered the space as well saying they will now measure online video. When I suggested that, all things being equal, online video with the same metrics as offline was more valuable to the marketer, Greenberg agreed saying online video is far more actively requested than offline video. Sure people decide to sit down and watch a TV show, and the accompanying ads, either live or pre-recorded through a DVR, but the act of downloading an online video or seeking it out on the web certainly appears to be a more active activity as compared to semi-passive television watching. Just an opinion. We'll let the research guys prove it out.
In all, online video has opened up a valuable new communications channel for marketers and, as indicated by the exponential growth of YouTube, Google Video and others, people are very hungry for it. Granted, much of the content on YouTube an most other video community sites in idiotic and inane, it is still a positive sign of the channel's adoption.
The day didn't end with the conference. I had lunch downtown with DoubleClick Director of Research Rick Bruner, a long time friend and all around smart guy and spent some time talking to the company's communications director about the changing landscape companies are faced with when promoting themselves through new and growing social media channels. After lunch, I headed even further downtown to Catalano Lellos & Silverstein, Lellos and Silverstien to visit graphic designer extraordinaire Alice Anda and the rest of the CLS crew.
On my way downtown, I was accosted by...I mean ran into a guy from the Human Rights Campaign, a groups that "envisions an America where gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people are ensured of their equal rights. He was a nice guy and, of course, was looking for money. While I may donate, I told him I could do even better by giving the organization publicity instead which I will do in a separate article. After all, it's a good cause.
Finally, props to Limoliner. If you travel frequently between New York and Boston, Limoliner is the way to go. It's a bus retrofitted like the first class cabin of an airplane. The bus has WiFi, boosted cell service, satellite TV, movies, plush leather seats with plenty of space in between them, food service, drink service and a courteous attendant that gets you whatever you want. It's definitely the way to go. Yes, you can get from point A to point B faster if you fly but not by much as you have to deal with all that airport hassle on either end. The ride is about four hours and the bus arrives and departs from the Hilton in midtown. Extreme convenience in my opinion.