This weekend sees the first ever YouTube Video Music Awards streamed online. In many ways, it’s like a lot of other music awards: there’s glitz, there’s glamour, and there’s Lady Gaga, One Direction and Rihanna (though Cher’s invite is presumably still in the post…).
However, the YouTube awards are different in one major way. Any videos shared across Facebook, Twitter or Google+ since September 2012 contribute to deciding the winner, alongside user votes.
Just over a year ago, in August 2012, Nielsen revealed some research that revealed YouTube as the number one music discovery source for under 18s – a figure that can only have grown in the past 12 months. Arguably, this makes these awards the most relevant of all.
While scouring the internet for ideas and information I often stumble across interesting and innovative social campaigns that deserve to be highlighted to the masses.
Until now we didn’t have a forum in which to share these examples, so this is my first attempt at rounding up some of the most interesting campaigns that have launched in the previous month or so.
Whether comments are made on a blog, or spread across the social web, every business wants customers to make a (positive) noise about them.
But while they are great for increasing engagement, comments come with problems of their own.
In a week which has seen YouTube finally take steps to clean out the well of eternal torment that it uses as a comment section, and Popular Science is doing away with the chatter altogether, I thought it would be a good opportunity to look at the various systems in place around the web designed to keep us talking...
Kia has produced one of the year's most memorable adverts, and with the use of Lady Gaga, Twitter, the VMAs and Shazam, the brand looks set for some great 'traction'.
The advert featuring Lady Gaga’s new single, Applause, and a handful of America’s Next Top Model cast members premiered during the MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs) show on 25th of August, racking up 10.1m live viewers.
The Kia Soul demographic fits well with that of the VMAs. With many first-time drivers tuning in, the moderately priced and trendy car was a hit, as seen by some of the many tweets.
Is there anybody on the planet who actually enjoys pre-roll video advertising? Research has shown that 94% of people skip pre-roll ads, though I can't believe the number is that low (presumably the other 6% are masochists).
Pre-roll ads are as loathed as pop-ups, which studies found to be damaging to both advertiser and publisher. I imagine that the same applies to pre-rolls. Have you ever watched one and wanted to buy the product or service that's being (badly) pitched to you?
You have to wonder why they're so popular. Certainly the YouTube experience has considerably worsened since it started putting pre-rolls on a far wider range of ads, and I for one would pay a small fee to have them permanently removed.
Why do pre-roll ads suck so badly? Partly it's the interruption, which is often a lot longer than five seconds, and partly it's because the creative tends to be beyond stupid, but there are plenty of other reasons.
The following quotes and videos reflect all that is wrong with the pre-roll format. If you're the kind of person who likes to snuggle up to Satan by commissioning pre-rolls then you might want to take some notes.
4G capabilities, Vine, Facebook’s video for Instagram; they've all put online video sharing firmly on the consumer agenda.
Launched in June 2013, Rockpack is an intuitive video curation platform for iOS. With partnerships ranging from Topshop to Jamie Oliver, thousands of channels, and an advisory board consisting of heavyweights such as Stephen Fry, Jamie Byng (Canongate Books) and Sean Knapp (Ooyala), Rockpack is a company to watch.
The globally-available Rockpack platform makes it easy for people to create personalized video channels to share content, as well as to subscribe to video content from friends, influencers and celebrities.
Compatible with Facebook and Twitter, Rockpack offers premium content from vloggers and a growing number of brand partners. The company believes users will share their favorite videos through their own networks, helping to drive the discovery of relevant content through peer-to-peer curation.
Rockpack aims to change the way people discover and share videos, just as Pinterest changed image discovery and sharing. Much like consumers curate photos on Instagram and Pinterest, Rockpack will allow people to browse videos, create personalized channels by category and subscribe to channels created by friends or influencers.
It’s always refreshing to see companies in old-school industries ploughing a load of money into content marketing.
When I say old-school, I’m talking about companies that have traditionally been fairly forward-thinking in terms of IT and tech, but not necessarily in backing marketing with anything other than straight ad spend on paid media.
City Index’s recent Trading Academy series and campaign was quite a departure, and serves as QED as far as ROI and content marketing is concerned.
Check out the campaign, which won an Econsultancy 2013 Digitals Award for best in financial services.
Like takeaway food, online video can be consumed pretty much anywhere.
Engaging video, with its heritage in television programming and advertising, is eminently sharable through social media, and can be staggeringly successful, or altogether lacking in umami.
So, which brands are using video, and YouTube in particular, to great success? How have these brands approached the creative in shareable content, and who has yet to nail it?
Budweiser proved to be the king of alcohol advertising in Q1 by achieving more than half of total social shares.
The beer company’s 'Brotherhood' ad was shared 2.4 million times compared to 970,000 for little-known vodka brand Neft’s ad, 'Bad Motherf***er'.
According to Unruly’s data, Bud’s advert accounted for 59% of total alcohol ad shares in Q1, despite the fact that it isn’t really the kind of creative one would normally associate with beer ads.
It’s a sickly sweet tale of one man’s relationship with his horse, which is a far cry from the usual light-hearted ads beer companies usually go for, including Bud’s previous “Wassup” efforts.
It's official: Yahoo has purchased popular blogging platform Tumblr for more than a billion dollars - $1.1bn to be exact.
The internet's latest nine-figure acquisition is probably one most industry observers wouldn't have predicted.
After all, despite that an ex-Googler, Marissa Mayer, is at Yahoo's helm, there were few prior indicators that she was looking to make a billion dollar purchase.
And if there had been, Tumblr, while incredibly popular, doesn't seem like the company that would have made it to the top of the list as Yahoo's track record with acquisitions of user generated content startups is not all that impressive.
From Geocities to Flickr, Yahoo has proven to be a master of reverse alchemy in the space, repeatedly finding ways to turn gold to lead.