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While foraging around the internet I noticed a wonderful thing. The Blair Witch Project website is still live.
I assumed that much like all movie marketing websites that are more than two years old, it would have been shut down or repurposed as a DVD product page.
Then again, The Blair Witch Project website is far more important and era-defining than any other traditional movie homepage with simple links to trailers and cast & crew biographies.
In 1999 I was beginning to use the internet for the first time and I was part of the gullible first-wave of audience members who truly believed that The Blair Witch Project was a genuine documentary. Thanks to its website fleshed out with fake news reports, interviews, a history of the Blair witch and stills from the evidence room.
Brands invest a lot into creating TV ads so it's not surprising that marketers want to get as much value as possible out of the content they've created by using them in digital advertising campaigns.
However, marketers are often repurposing and using TV ads online in pre-roll or mid-roll spots. The ads launch automatically without the device user having any choice in the matter and the TV ads are generally out of context with the content around the ads.
Anyone watching on-demand TV content knows that this is a frustrating ad experience, and it’s even more of an intrusion on the smaller screens of tablets and smartphones.
A study from our R&D department shows that eight out of ten people are annoyed by ads which self-initiate on their handheld devices.
Consumers’ acceptance for interruptions on their digital devices is far lower than on TV, and the ad is considered a significant intrusion to their content consumption.
Video content is an increasingly important part of any brands marketing mix. TubeRank aims to help agencies and brands make viral videos, with the ambition to make YouTube a better place full of better content.
I've been asking TubeRank founder Chris Quigley about the app and the company's business model...
The nude body scanners placed at American airports may or may not be completely useless, but the way the Transport Security Administration (TSA) has responded to one critic's YouTube video (which has gone viral) is a case study in how not to deal with a social media crisis.
The TSA had little choice but to respond to the claims made by Jonathan Corbett, a vocal critic of the TSA and its nude body scanners.
In his video, which has racked up over 750,000 views in just a matter of days, Corbett explains how a simple technique can be used to defeat the scanners, and he successfully demonstrates the technique at an airport.
Building a well-recognized brand isn't easy, and it isn't cheap either. But is the internet changing that, even if just slightly?
A recent study entitled conducted by YouGov on behalf of social media marketing agency The 7th Chamber hints that the answer might be 'yes'.
Weezer is no stranger to YouTube. In 2008, the group put many viral video stars in the video for its single Pork and Beans. This week, the Snuggie loving band took its internet fanboy status to a new level, announcing the launch of its new album by appearing in 15 new videos created by popular YouTube users.
Weezer is just the latest big brand to hitch its cart to smaller, more nimble digital success stories hoping to win new fans (hello Gap ads featuring the Foursquare founders). Can internet goodwill sell albums?
Online marketers are forever looking to perfect the recipe for foolproof viral videos. But those chasing that dream should take note of a new study from Harvard Business School.
After analyzing popular film and game videos online for a year, HBS marketing Professor Anita Elberse found one pretty dependable predictor of viral success: big traditional advertising buys.
If you can think of a relevant way to utilise video as part of your marketing then there's every reason you should.
Research shows that audiences are extremely comfortable with the medium (YouTube alone makes up almost a quarter of Google search queries), it's cheap to distribute, needn't be expensive to produce and ranks highly in the SEO stakes.
If you run things properly, then video can drive a huge volume of traffic to your site.
Here are a few key practices to get you started...
Is the age of expensive brand sponsorship coming to an end? The World Cup starts today and the brands getting the most brandlift from the events are not the ones who signed expensive sponsorship contracts.
It's Pepsi and Nike who have achieved the most World Cup buzz so far. But Adidas and Coke are the ones forking over for sponsorships. In today's world of the digital brand ambush, it's getting harder to make the case for official sponsorships.
You may never have heard of Microbilt, a company that offers risk management solutions to small businesses. But chances are, you've seen one of the spots from their super-viral I Love Local Commercials campaign.
Collectively, these send-ups of local TV channel, late-night spots for tattoo parlors, mobile home and furniture dealerships, and a Cuban-gynecologist-cum-auto-dealer have garnered not only views in the millions, but social media mentions from celebrities such as Errol Morris who called out one spot as his all-time favorite commerical on Twitter (re-tweeted by Roger Ebert, no less).
Microbilt hatched the campaign in conjunction with Rockefeller Consulting Group/Insight Capitalists, and the comedy duo of Rhett and Link. We caught up with Microbilt's EVP Strategy & Emerging Markets Brian Bradley (left) to talk about the campaign's genesis, and if all those views of spots that don't even try to sell anything have translated into business for the company.
Chasing viral video success can be a thankless task. The rewards are abundant, but chances of success are pretty low. In fact, according to a new study from Millward Brown, the success rate for viral campaigns is about 15%.
The good news for those falling short of viral success: popular campaigns do not always achieve message retention.
The idea that consumers would be excited about — let alone throw a party for — the launch of a new Microsoft operating system may be laughable to some (Engadget, Gizmodo, CNBC, AllThingsD, etc), but a day after Windows 7 launched, it looks like the campaign beat Microsoft's expectations.
Microsoft says that double the number of sponsored parties they expected were thrown. The question remains: Was the party idea and video embarrassing or genius?