Archive for the ‘Internet TV’ Category

WORK OF THE MONTH

March 20, 2008

· WORK OF THE MONTH:

1. Kit Kat Commercial:

Three minute video that encapsulates the life of a lowly cubicle worker, the mocking he receives from his coworkers and the relief he receives when he takes a break to grab a Kit Kat

2. My Dove Chocolate Website:

Now you can create your own mushy message and “speak from the heart” by personalizing a gift set of chocolates.

3. Schick Video Contest

4. TruckMatch.com:

Truck buyers and sellers can find happy harmony with low transaction rates. To generate some love, Kelly/Russell Advertising put together a few B2B spots that draw a parallel between finding mates online — a tricky business — and finding the perfect pickup.

5. Juice Salon Ad:

Neat take on escalator advertising, a model that’s been hurtin’ for creativity since its inception.

6. J&J Animated Shorts

An online video campaign for baby lotion with the goal of reaching young, web-savvy moms.

7. Avis Car Ads: Look Back, Three Days, Conference

It’s okay to cheat on your car, if only for a weekend. Avis is promoting car infidelity in a TV, print, online and outdoor campaign that uses a new tagline, “The Other Car.”

8. Del Monte’s New Online Game

Launched an online game for its Meaty Bone brand called “Mark Your Territory.”

9. Kenneth Cole Digital Campaigns
Kenneth Cole Productions puts itself out there with a new issues-based blog and video campaign.

10. Red Bull UG Surf Clips
360-degree camera technology lets Web users control a video’s perspective.

11. Toyota Scion Widget Campaign

New campaign for Scion line in which rich media banner ads doubled as uploadable widgets.

12. Discovery Channel: Live Earth

13. Swedish Armed Forces: Recruitment Test

14. Quamat: The Online How-to Guide

15. Jib Jab Valentine Video Grams

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Pacifico Beer Pours Video Ads Online

March 20, 2008

MEDIA WEEK

February 27, 2008

Decades ago, brewers determined that television commercials were just about the best way to sell beer, as anyone can attest who has listened to consumers still able to sing jingles like “This Bud’s for you,” “Tonight, let it be Löwenbräu” or “A beer is a beer is a beer is a beer until you’ve tasted Hamm’s.”

Now, the Internet makes it possible for beers whose sales volume or marketing budgets are not ready for TV to use the power of video — “sight, sound and motion,” as the advertising professors once intoned — to reach potential customers.

A Mexican import, Pacifico, is filling its Web site (mexicoviapacifico.com) with 30 brand-centric video clips that celebrate a life centered on sun, sand, surf, street food and a willingness to eat extremely hot peppers or play checkers with bottle caps.

The videos, and the Web site, were created by Creature, an agency in Seattle that also produces ads for Pacifico in traditional media like magazines and billboards and oversees promotions like the refitting of 1960s Volkswagen buses to serve as touring Pacifico peddlers.

The online initiative is part of plans to increase the marketing spending for Pacifico this year to about $15 million, almost 50 percent more than in 2007. The New York Times’ Stuart Elliot reports

An evening with the YouTube killers

March 19, 2008

Marketers may be ready for video ads, but are users ready to embrace the platform with open arms? We got the scoop from the people who matter most — users.

Internet video is exploding.

Internet video is here.

Internet video is around the corner. Internet video is a flop.

These are just a few of the wild claims that have been swirling around internet video for the past few months.

Buttressed by a protracted writers’ strike (now over), proponents of the medium have taken the opportunity to declare victory, calling web video a bona fide rival to TV. But detractors have been quick to point out that internet video — though popular — has yet to deliver the audiences advertisers crave.

So, who’s right?

For marketers looking to tap into internet video, the prospects can be daunting. Either they’re betting on the next big thing or the next big flop. Missing in this tug of war are the voices of the people who will ultimately decide the outcome of the debate. While there is ample data on the viewing habits of internet video users, there are few forums for those individuals to express their opinions on the shifting media landscape.

We decided to gather a small group of twenty- and thirty-somethings to tell us what they think about long-form internet video.

See how the other half watches
He doesn’t know it, but Todd is on the cutting edge of internet video. A thirty-something musician, Todd gave up on TV sometime in the late ’90s long before many of his peers envisioned a world without traditional media.

At the time that Todd opted out of TV, there wasn’t a true media alternative, but when he moved in with his girlfriend, Andrea, he setup a next-generation den in the second bedroom of their Los Angeles-area condominium.

While the couch remains the same, Todd and Andrea’s TV has morphed into a giant Mac with a DSL connection. Todd, who says he hates ads, prefers to download his favorite shows on iTunes at $2 a pop. Andrea, who says she doesn’t mind unobtrusive ads, seldom pays for content, preferring to visit network websites to watch her favorite shows.

Relying only on the web for video content, Andrea and Todd seem to be the perfect hosts for an evening of internet video, but when I query them about the medium, I get an unexpected answer.

Todd, who admits to spending countless hours watching some of the web’s more low-brow offerings on YouTube and Break.com, explains that it’s best not to expect too much from the web.

“This is what internet video is really about,” Todd says, pointing to a clip of Filipino prisoners dancing to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.”

I had expected Todd to tell me that the internet was giving him TV-style entertainment in a more palatable format, but instead he doesn’t seem to expect much from video that isn’t on iTunes, reasoning that if it’s free, it’s probably not worth very much.

The small crowd seems to agree.

“I get really bored with a lot of what’s out there on the internet,” Barrett, a video editor, explains. While he laughs at the Filipino prisoners and a hapless martial artist who injures himself with nunchucks, Barrett doesn’t consider what he sees on YouTube to be entertainment in the classical sense. “If I want to be entertained, I sit down on the couch,” he says, “this other stuff [short clips on YouTube] is just for killing time at work.”

That’s a sentiment shared by Adam, a twenty-something entertainment executive, who says picture quality and a deluge of amateurish offerings keep him faithful to his TV (and TiVo).

“For me to watch video online the way I watch TV, the content needs to go from ‘Lonelygirl’ to ‘Cloverfield,'” Adam says, adding that constant buffering and low-resolution images make the web a poor choice for relaxing entertainment.

When I ask Adam if he ever watches his favorite TV shows online, he groans.

“If I miss something, I’ll watch,” he says. “But the problem is the player. Most networks just have awful players.”

Andrea, who doesn’t have a TV, agrees, pointing out that ABC offers the only reliable internet video experience. As a result, she says she watches shows like “Grey’s Anatomy,” but has given up on programs on other networks because buffering and constant crashes have simply turned her away.

Michelle, a thirty-something educator, says she hasn’t even gone as for as Adam and Andrea, pointing out that she lacks a high-powered computer and therefore considers internet video out of her reach.

“It usually doesn’t work,” she says. “I might watch a clip on YouTube, but I don’t have a powerful enough computer to watch a whole show, so I just don’t bother.”

The room stares back at me wondering how anyone can really make a living writing about internet video. When I assure them major brands have spent — and are planning to spend — sizeable portions of their ad budgets on internet video, I get blank looks.

Microsoft IPTV Software Gets Boost

October 11, 2006

Microsoft’s Internet Protocol television (IPTV) efforts received a big boost from hardware vendors Tuesday, after Cisco, Motorola, Philips and Tatung all announced new set-top boxes that support Microsoft IPTV Edition software.

Microsoft IPTV Software Gets Boost

Network2.tv:The Vonage of TV?

October 10, 2006

Web-calling pioneer Jeff Pulver is working on a new venture, Network2.tv. His goal: To create an online network that will eventually compete with the likes of ABC and CNN.

Network2.tv:The Vonage of TV?

Let the Web Entertain You

October 2, 2006

People are using the Internet as much to be amused as to stay informed; why haven’t advertisers caught on?

Meet Andy Oglesby. He’s a 40-year-old graphic designer who lives in San
Francisco and spends most of his waking hours online. It begins at
work, where each morning he hits a tab on his browser that opens some
20 sites and blogs. He’ll read, browse, and sift through them, on and
off, pretty much all day–

if ly about one-quarter of the sites are
strictly work-related. And the non–work-related surfing continues well
into the evening, when he’s at home. There, he and his longtime,
live-in girlfriend spend many weeknights together on the couch, TiVo
on, notebooks on laps, surfing the Net. They’ve even been known to
instant-message each other things like, “What’s for dinner?”

Oglesby
is one of a growing number of people spending long stretches on the
Net, searching for amusement, often with no destination in mind. Indeed
the tendency to use the Web more for play than work—to find
entertainment and not just information—is surging. According to the Pew
Internet Life Survey, on any given day, 40 million Americans go to the
Web for no particular reason, just to pass the time. The total almost
doubled from 2004 and experienced “striking growth” in the last year,
Pew says.

NOT JUST FOR KIDS. Infact, Pew has found that more people are entertaining themselves via the Web than buying things, despite the successes of eBay (EBAY), Amazon (AMZN), and other e-commerce players. If the Internet was already a virtual
post office or library, it’s now a virtual “destination resort,” Pew says.

And as Oglesby demonstrates, the trend isn’t just for
youth. The quest for online amusement cuts across all races and income
and education levels. Make no mistake—the younger the user, the more
time they’re likely to spend entertaining themselves online. But 20% of
all Internet users over 65 go to the Web every day just to amuse
themselves, according to Pew.

Even sites typically associated with teens are playing to a wider audience. Who knew that 10% of MySpace (NWS) users are older than 55—and that the proportion of MySpace users in the 12 to 17 range has dropped to 17% from 22% in the year through May?
More than one-third of Facebook users are older than 35, and more than
half of YouTube’s faithful are between 35 and 64, according to a study
by eMarketer.

REVOLUTION NOW. That the Web has become a hub of entertainment is no shocker, of course. What’s been more of a surprise is just how quickly and extensively the
Internet is replacing traditional content over consumer electronics
devices like TVs and PCs outfitted with media-compatible software and
hardware. Computer makers like Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) and software giants like Microsoft (MSFT) long hoped they’d play a bigger role with so-called media center PCs.

But the Internet entertainment revolution has largely taken a different
path. More consumers are getting amused straight from the Web, right on
the PC. In part, that’s thanks to the proliferation of faster Internet
connections and technologies like wireless fidelity, or Wi-Fi, that
provide all-over access. With a robust, always-on connection,
downloading even the fattest files is less of a chore.

It doesn’t hurt that just about anyone can create their own content and
spread it around the Web like wildfire (see BusinessWeek, 9/26/05, “It’s A Whole New Web”).
YouTube is serving up 100 million videos a day, much of it original
skits, lip-synched numbers, and Web “soap operas” filmed by amateurs at
home. Even getting news and information online has taken on elements of
social networking and entertainment. Consider the success of blogs such
as Gawker, citizen journalism news sites like Digg, and digital
directories like Yelp, where thousands of everyday people write
frequently creative and funny reviews on everything from their
accountants to hot new clubs.

BIG MEDIA MOVES.
Now, big media is responding fast, whether it’s Warner Bros. striking
deals to deliver content via BitTorrent and YouTube or decisions by
Disney’s (DIS) ABC and other providers to post shows online, sell them via Apple’s (AAPL) iTunes, or even make them available early through Netflix (NFLX).
Everywhere you look, new entertainment options are swirling around Web
surfers. Getting online for fun is the most popular activity on the
Web, after sending and receiving e-mail and conducting searches through
engines, according to Pew.

As popular as online entertainment
has become, advertisers have yet to get with the program. eMarketer
will report the week of Sept. 25 that U.S. Internet advertising will
grow more than 33% in 2006 from a year earlier, the fastest pace this
decade. But even with more than $16 billion now spent advertising
online, companies will spend a mere $280 million on social networking
and user-generated content sites. Meanwhile, nearly half of the
spending goes to search-related advertising.

MARKETING LAG.
If advertisers seem too risk-adverse, remember it took nearly a decade
for them to get comfortable with easy, relatively cheap, and measurable
paid-search ads. And only in the last few years have more traditional
banner and display ads, which have more a fuzzy aim, like promoting a
brand, come back into vogue.

Advertising on sites that
specialize in social media and user-generated content is trickier. On
sites such as MySpace, where companies post profiles of fictional
characters or cars, they’re generally tricking or bribing kids to spend
some of their social time getting pitched (see BusinessWeek.com,
9/11/06, “Marketing to Kids Where They Live”).
And success isn’t just getting your name in front of them, it’s getting
the online community buzzing about your product or promotion, turning
them into marketers. Try too hard, and risk getting called out by these
sites’ vocal and sometimes cynical communities. Post a fake profile of
an attractive girl who loves, say, the new Ford (F) Taurus at your own risk, Corporate America.

That’s
a risk that many companies aren’t yet willing to take. Big advertisers
don’t fully appreciate the breadth and depth of the Internet-as-hangout
trend, says David Hallerman, senior analyst at eMarketer. “With all
kinds of Internet advertising, there’s a real lag between the reality
of who the audience is and who companies think it is,” he says. “More
often they lean toward thinking the audience is younger.” So far, the
biggest advertisers to experiment with social media and user-generated
content sites are Hollywood studios and carmakers.

HOW TO ADVERTISE.
Still, ad spending on sites that specialize in social networking and
related activity is set to grow, as such sites attract larger
audiences. eMarketer expects, in the next four years, nearly $2 billion
will be spent on these sites, in an effort to get all those people
hanging out online buzzing about new shows, products, or services.
Boutique agencies are even popping up to specialize in marketing via
the new social media. Ian Schafer was vice-president of new media at
Miramax Films a few years ago and was increasingly looking for ways to
promote new movies via the Web. None of the interactive agencies he
interviewed really got the social networking, user-generated content
phenomenon. So he started his own firm, Deep Focus, to specialize in
using these kinds of sites to build buzz.

He says the keys are
being transparent that a profile page for, say, a TV show is being put
up by that TV show with a vested interest. But, other than that, there
are few rules. One recent campaign for HBO’s series Entourage
had kids on MySpace creating profiles of their own “entourages” and
vying to see who could rack up the most friends. HBO gave the winning
team cars and flew them to Los Angeles to live the life of the show’s
stars for a week.

Another example was a MySpace campaign for the movie Clerks 2. The first 10,000 people to add Clerks 2
as a friend got their names in the film’s credits. Over six hours, more
than 180,000 people befriended the film, and many of them saw it in
theaters just to see their names on the big screen. “To influence them,
we need to understand their behavior online,” Schafer says. “This is
just an extension of social interaction that’s been going on; now it’s
nonstop; and as advertisers and marketers, we need to take advantage of
that.”

The sites themselves are leery of awaking a vocal
uprising if ads are too obnoxious or intrusive. It’s an issue sites
such as Facebook, Digg, and YouTube are still trying to figure out.
They have a potent model in Google (GOOG).
For a long time, the Web search giant had mass users, but lacked a
business model. Then the world caught on to the potential of ads
related to search. Just wait till it grasps what most folks are doing
online now

Current TV Planning Broadband Channels

August 18, 2006

Current TV, a pioneering effort in user-generated content initiated by
“internet inventor” and erstwhile presidential candidate (some claim
actually

elected) Al Gore, will be launching several broadband channels.

Current TV’s expansion with new broadband channels – believed to be
ad-supported – will focus on topics that appeal to its 18-to-34 target
demo, writes
MediaPost. Programming will consist of what Current calls
“viewer-created content” (VC2) dealing with cars, travel, action
sports, health and games. The network, now in some 30 million homes,
offers content one-third of which is user-generated.

Current will apparently not go on record, but details of the effort are being deduced from job postings on Current’s

website
and elsewhere online, describing “specific channels for aficionados of
original content, tailor made by and for those who watch it.”Current has since led the industry in the commercialization of that concept, writes
the San Francisco Chronicle, adding that half of Toyota and Sony
commercials on Current are made by the people who watch them. The
article says Current is trying to position itself as the thinking
person’s YouTube – “a premium offering” where the best of
user-generated content end up on TV.

Content creators submit pieces to Current’s site, where viewers
comment on them and vote on whether to “green-light” them to the
airwaves. Current then airs the best among them on TV.

top 20 video sites online

August 18, 2006

comScore Media Metrix reported that YouTube
broke into the top 50 Websites. That made me wonder, what are the top video
sites on the Web. I asked comScore, and they sent me back this
list (which is not a definitive ranking, but it gives you a good idea
of where the major players stand. Update:Since I first posted
this list, I went back to comScore for stats on more sites and have
added in AtomFilms, Ebaum’s World, Grouper, Revver, and VSocial):

Web Property Visitors, July 2006 (in millions)

1. Yahoo Video 21.1
2. MySpace Videos 20.1
3. YouTube 16.1
4. MSN Video 14.6
5. AOL Video 10.5
6.
Heavy

8.3
7. Google Video 6.8
8. Ebaum’s World 5.4
9.
iFilm

3.3
10. Metacafe 2.0

11. Atom Films 1.5
12. Grouper 0.9
13.
Veoh

0.7
14.
Revver 0.2
15.
Vsocial
0.09

My takeaways from this list are that
Yahoo is No. 1, but MySpace is close, and YouTube is coming on like a
rocket (it grew from 2.7 million visitors last January to 16.1 million
in July).

Also, note how low Google Video is on this list (No. 7, below
Heavy.com). Perhaps putting a link to videos on the main search
page will help Google move up the ranks.

Finally, don’t count out smaller upstarts like Metacafe (another Web 2.0 Around the World site) and

Veoh
squeeze their way into view, even if just barely. (Revver would have
been No. 11 at nearly 200,000 monthly visitors). The Year of Internet Video is coming along quite nicely.

business2blog: B2Day : The Web’s Top Video Sites