Column: Investment Tip for 2009: Branded Video

Jan 4, 2009  •  Post A Comment

It may not be as catchy as Year of the Rat or Year of the Dragon, but I’m declaring 2009 the year of branded Web video.
I’m not just talking about brand integration—i.e., product placement—in a Web series, though I think that category will continue to thrive as online video spending keeps rising next year.
(Remember, eMarketer predicts 45% growth in online video advertising dollars in 2009. Not too shabby, as Adam Sandler says in “The Chanukah Song.”)
I’m specifically talking about videos that are actually created by brands.
Already we’ve seen a number of brands experiment with brand-driven series, such as Crocs’ “Cities by Foot” and Holiday Inn Express’ “The Smart Show.” Those are shows started by brands, funded by brands.
There are other examples of marketers taking the lead on a show. Southern Comfort developed a music-related show in conjunction with MyDamnChannel called “Music Nights Presented by SoCo.”
We’ve also seen efforts from technology-centric companies such as Adobe and Embarq to create videos about their products. Telecom firm Embarq produces both how-to videos on its services and quirky videos. Adobe has even developed Adobe TV, a section of its Web site with videos on how to use Adobe’s products including Photoshop and Acrobat. The software maker also teamed with Web producer Big Fat Brain, creator of the mega-popular “You Suck at Photoshop,” to back the team’s latest creative effort, “Agency of Record.”
The show takes place at a creative agency and Adobe software is integrated directly into the storyline.
Even book publishers are getting into the act. Little, Brown & Co, for instance, posts short videos on its Web site from its authors, including Stephenie Meyer, who penned the “Twilight” series.
Smaller brands also are starting Web programs. This month, tea maker Adagio Teas plans to launch a weekly Web show about its different tea blends. The show will be hosted by Zack Luye, who’s already fronting the Revision3 Web show “Bottles, Blends and Brews.”
Look for more brands to lean on Web video in 2009, both the creative sort of “Agency of Record” and the more direct approach of the Adagio Teas show, the Adobe instructional videos and the Little, Brown author videos.
Here’s why:
“The production costs and ease of distribution for online video make it attractive for brand marketers looking to save precious marketing dollars while allowing them to engage their customers with sight, sound, motion and emotion—all the elements that make for compelling brand messages,” said eMarketer in a recent white paper detailing seven strategies to survive the downturn.
One of those strategies is to lean heavily on Web video, because bringing existing video assets like TV commercials, sales demos and customer testimonials to the Web is easy and cost-effective.
Video also makes a site sticky and improves the relationship between the company and the customer, said Alex Lindsay, chief architect at Pixel Corps, which produces online videos for a number of brands. “The more they know about you, the more likely they are to come back,” he said.
But don’t expect branded series to promote brand awareness, warned Jamison Tilsner, founder of Web video review site Tilzy.TV. There will be more branded series, he said, but their primary function will be to engage existing consumers.
If that’s all a video or a series does, it’s a good investment. And we are all looking for a good investment these days.

54 Comments

  1. Daisy…another on the money column. Our clients have found at HITVIEWS that the most potent formula is a combination of an established webstar delivering a brand’s message in an entertainment environment. Thank you for your always great columns. Happy New Year. Walter Sabo

  2. Daisy, great article. 2009 should indeed be a big growth year for branded Web video. The Web offers much larger opportunities for branded content than traditional linear TV, e.g. no programming gatekeepers at a cable or broadcast net, lower production costs, the ability to bypass ad agencies, etc.. I’d add that the biggest opportunity will be around utility-based content v. entertainment content. This will also create big opportunities for Web video “enablers” in this space like TurnHere and others.

  3. Hey Daisy,
    Great post. In fact, the results of our recent digital marketing survey confirms that Branded Content is the number one priority for online video initiatives in 2009. You can download the results here:
    http://www.permissiontv.com/about/blog/30/2008-12-17-the_results_are_in_digital_marketing_survey
    Matt Kaplan
    Chief Strategy Officer, PermissionTV

  4. Hey Daisy! Great content. I always look forward to reading and seeing what you are up to. In this case, the future is looking bright. Good start to my day. Keep up the good work.
    Daniel Cardenas
    executive producer
    nwlive.tv

  5. this is the third year of a 15 year transition for the web from a text based medium to a video based medium we are right in the middle of a major revolution – the question is is this the year (it was supposed to be last year)
    here are some incredible numbers on video and increases in conversions rates:
    http://www.innovateads.com/increase-conversions.php
    john cecil
    innovate media group

  6. Thanks again Daisy! My question is that with all this positive data regarding the Importance and Value of web video production, how can we get more business owners to read this article?
    Search Google for “Broadband Video Production” and my company should appear at the top of the list.. However, I haven’t received 1 inquiry regarding Web Video Production services.. Could anyone please shed light on how a business like mine should be thriving in a market like this? Thank you

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