Tag Archives: viral

Train Wrecks and Singing Cows…

Over in Washington, D.C. at the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, they TOTALLY see the value in using a little online video marketing to drive home their point about the overreaching regulations the Federal Government is trying to impose on the U.S.’s Agricultural and Ranching  industries.

And in their ultimate wisdom, they even saw fit to hire Slater’s Garage to produce these two pieces.  The first is called “The Over-Regulation All Across the Nation Blues,” and features the work of some of my favorite collaborative partners, John Hill, Bill DaButler, and Thom Osborne, who lent their animation, facial, and vocal skills, respectively, for this video:

And the second is called “The Regulatory Train Wreck,” which features many of the Federal regulations “coming down the track” for farmers and ranchers, reaching the inevitable conclusion when the track runs out:

Thanks to the NCBA for pulling us in on this project. We were pleased to be a part of it.



Does “Great Creative” Mean “Great Advertising”?

Kevin Nalty of Nalts Consulting posted this spot for Intel over at his blog, and beneath that is my comment, taken verbatim from there:

“Wow… What a fun spot!

Viral or not, I’d happily watch that as an interruption to my regularly scheduled TV programming choices (which are becoming fewer and fewer these days anyway), even at 2 minutes, as posted…

All the little “surprises” as they switched apps along the way — Google Earth to Quicktime, to gaming, to YouTube — kept me engaged throughout, and they framed it out nicely with Intel branding at the start and finish…

The only thing I didn’t *quite* get was what viewers (customers looking for a computer upgrade, i presume?) are supposed to DO after seeing this… Call me old fashioned, but even advertising with dazzling creative like this needs a call to action…”

So, assuming we agree that it’s a pretty cool piece of creative, is it great advertising?  Does it compel the viewer to buy?  Does it need a clear missive to viewers to go DO something?  Call, click, stop by, etc.?  Is that even important?

Love to hear your thoughts…

The 7 Commandments of Video Contesting

I was recently fortunate enough to win the Grand Prize in the Maine Association of Realtors“My Piece of Maine” video contest which ran April to June of this year. And over the past year or so, I’ve had a pretty good batting average with many of the “consumer-generated advertising” contests that brands have held online, be they on their own, or through creator/company matchmaker sites like XLNTAds.com and GeniusRocket.com.

Many people ask, “How do you find out about these contests?” or “How do you come up with that stuff?” So, this post is an attempt to answer some of these questions, and share a little about what I’ve learned at this stage of the game.

1) Thou shalt be brief. This is one for Advertisers to bear in mind as well as Creators, and to me, it’s the most important. With the internet cultivating such short attention spans in its users, you gotta make your point, then wrap it up, especially when you’re making an ad. 60 seconds is plenty. 30 is better.

2) Thou shalt play by the rules. This one’s simple. Read the creative brief, contest rules, instructions, etc., and follow ‘em to the letter. If they ask for an .mpg, don’t send an .avi. If they say “no more than 3 minutes,” don’t submit a video that’s 3:45. Don’t give contest administrators any reason to disqualify your entry before it even gets viewed.

3) Honor thy target demo. Is the advertiser trying to reach women 35-54? Men 40+? Pet owners? Gamers? Make your video a mirror of that target viewer, so when they watch, they see themselves.

4) Remember thy deadline, and keep it holy. Don’t be late with your submission, and don’t ask for an extension. It’s not fair to the people who were on time.

5) Thou shalt not be a poor sport. Be humble when you win, and gracious when you don’t. Congratulate the winner(s) sincerely and affably, or don’t say anything. You may not agree with the judges’ decisions, but they were made for a reason. Besides, if you hit the target every time, it’s either too close or too big, right? Get ‘em next time.

6) Thou shalt get involved in the community. As creators, we all strive to be original and unique, but we do have at least one thing in common: each other. Interact. Read and subscribe to related blogs. Comment and ask questions of other creators. Learn as much as you can, and offer help to those who ask it of you. We’re at the forefront of this burgeoning advertising medium, and in a few years’ time, we’re going to be the seasoned experts, so we’re gonna have to know what the hell we’re talkin’ about.

And finally,

7) Thou shalt not enter a contest in which I am also competing. Because face it: I don’t need the competition, and neither do you.

Obviously, I’m kidding about the last one. I actually welcome the competition, and quite enjoy it. There are a TON of outstanding video creators online, and when I see a good video, it always makes me want to step up my game a little more.

If you have any other tips you think would make good “Commandments” for your fellow contesters, by all means, please post ’em!

Good luck!

Not That Different

I think that when it comes to garnering results from advertising, online video is not that different a medium as TV or radio or even print.  It’s the old postulate about sending “the Right Message to the Right People at the Right Time and Place.”  The difference in online video is the specificity of choices when it comes to what The Public wants to view.  How The Public responds to advertising isn’t really that different.

If you want to produce a “traditional” video ad, and run it online, you gotta run it OFTEN (frequency is STILL the best way to get results if you ask me) — WAY more often than an ad may be broadcast on TV, because of the vast fragmentation of the online video audience. And you have to run it on the sites where your prospective consumers congregate. A spot that runs on YouTube for an auto repair joint in Bangor Maine won’t get nearly as much ROI as if you post the video on maineautosearch.com, a local used auto dealer site. The old adage is “all advertising is local.” So, localize your online marketing! You may not get millions of views, but you’ll get a higher percentage of quality inquiries…

… That is, of course, if your message is salient and entertaining enough to be remembered, and then acted upon.