Embrace Makes an Impact While Promoting Seat Belts (Amazing Video!)

Here’s a very good example of putting viral techniques to good use…

Who? What? Why?

The SSRP (Sussex Safer Roads Partnership), in South East England, is currently promoting Embrace Life, a campaign designed to remind individuals of the importance of wearing their seat belts.  Started in February 2010, it has quickly become an internet phenomenon. Embrace Life broke 1 million views in less than two weeks, is being shown in front of James Cameron and BIll Gates at the Ted.com conference in Long Beach, California, and may also be screened on international TV stations from the Arabic Gulf to Canada, the USA to France. It currently sits at 5.8 Million views on YouTube and growing daily!

If you haven’t seen Embrace Life yet, log onto the dedicated website – www.embracethis.co.uk and don’t forget to join the Facebook group set up by one viewer to lobby for Embrace Life to appear on national TV!

Posted under Blogs, Online Marketing, Online Video, Viral Marketing

Sparking Social Media With Video

Brands and businesses are using video, but few are realizing video’s true value as the ignition point of a targeted social media marketing campaign or, the spark. Likewise, many brands and companies are embracing social media but not getting as much out of the experience as they could. With a “videocentric” approach, video serves as the center of conversation from which layers of additional conversation evolve across social networking channels, blogs and forums often extending into traditional publications and beyond. This conversation goes from being

  1. About the video
  2. To being about the brand or business behind the video
  3. To the products and services offered
  4. To the  fans of the brand
  5. To the people behind the brand and so on…

As with any successful marketing effort, this requires proper planning and execution. I’ll explain how we attack the process at Supercool Creative, from start to finish and offer some fresh ways for marketing executives, brand managers and entrepreneurs to look at video as a crucial piece in the social media puzzle..

Step one is not “go shoot a video.” Too many campaigns fall flat or flat out fail because they start with a video and end with a plan of what to do with the video. That’s retrofitting and as you know, retrofitting can be more costly than doing something the right way the first time. We start off by establishing objectives that can be measured against hard goals like “more site traffic” and “increased sales” as well as soft goals like “more blog mentions, retweets and interviews.” Next, we identify the target audience. Who is the ideal customer and where are they online, right now? Then, we establish what the video will be about, what will be the bigger conversation surrounding that video and where and how that conversation will happen. The time to figure all that out is not after you have posted the video.

Content is king, be creative! The video should be engaging and above all SHAREABLE. Make it funny, shocking, quirky, confounding or whatever but be sure that it’s something worth talking about. The video itself is not and should not be enough to tell or sell the entire story. This is where a lot of marketers go wrong, packing too much into one video or making it into a commercial.

Online videos do not always require insane production value but they do need to be valuable. Three questions we ask before writing and shooting any video are

  1. How will this video add value to peoples’ lives?
  2. Should the video be funny or entertaining, shocking, controversial? Which genre if any will best fly with our client’s audience?
  3. How likely will people be to share the video if given the opportunity? Basically, “why should somebody care about this video enough to watch it?”

After that, we outline and write the script then plan the shoot.

social-media-marketing-and-pr-20

Unlike other forms of media including TV, radio, print and billboard, social media is not a broadcast channel intended to reach the masses but rather an interactive channel intended to mingle with the masses. As such, time and attention need to be given to setting up the right channels and building and maintaining relationships. Is the client’s audience mostly on Facebook? LinkedIn? YouTube? Twitter? How much time does the client have to spend on social media marketing each week? These factors will help determine which and how many channels are selected and developed.

One last thing to consider before locking down a video shoot is integration. Will the video be part of a larger marketing strategy including TV, radio, banner, video pre-roll, website integration, PR? This is an important thing to consider, especially if we are working with multiple agencies including traditional, interactive and PR agencies. As with retrofitting, integration is much easier and more cost effective the first time around.

Shoot and edit the video, including pre-production, casting, crewing up and executing according to the script and objectives. After post production, the video is encoded for the places it will live online for a very long time. To establish the video as the originating medium, we upload to YouTube and several other selected video sharing sites. Video search optimization is very important at this point so research is always key.

Now, we have a video link or two to work with. Just a few of things we do to help that link see the light of day include sharing the video with the client’s new YouTube community, inviting new friends, emailing the link, posting the video story and a link on Twitter; embedding the video on Facebook sparking conversation whenever possible; posting the link on LinkedIn status updates and starting a few discussions based on the bigger story surrounding the video.

The final step is to start building a genuine conversation surrounding the video. Outreach is a very important part of this process and includes reaching out to relevant influencers, launching local, topical and/or industry related press releases and contacting relevant online and offline publications. Just be sure that the story is compelling, the video is engaging and the product or service is sincere.

David Murdico is the Executive Creative Director of Supercool Creative, a Los Angeles based agency specializing in online video creative & production, viral marketing and integrated social media campaigns.

Posted under Online Marketing

Hollywood Is Headed For The Meat Grinder: Mass Revenue Loss!

The End Of Hollywood?

File-sharing put a dent in the music industry, blogs/online publishers is shutting down print publishing and sooner or later, Hollywood will face the same scare. They are “headed for the same meat grinder that has chewed up the recorded music sector and print publishing.” ( Greg Sandoval, CNET.com).  Is this true? Can it be? It makes perfect sense….

I read this shockingly alarming article on CNET and felt it was 100% necessary to re-post and spread the word.


*For the original article, go to CNET.com.


End of the world as Hollywood knows it

To: Charlize Theron, Hugh Jackman, Seth Rogen, Tina Fey, Steven Spielberg, Michael Mann, every actor, actress, screenwriter, costumer, best boy, cameraman, set designer, makeup artist, and agent–plus anyone else who makes their living in the film industry.
From: Greg Sandoval, CNET media reporter and film fan.
Re: Your livelihood

October 20, 2009 4:15 AM PDT – Cut your spending. Save your money. Many of the revenue streams that have gushed into your industry for decades, some for nearly a century, are about to dry up. This will likely mean a period of belt tightening like you’ve never seen before.

The end is coming for DVDs, traditional movie rentals, and yes, much of your cable money will likely disappear.

The news isn’t entirely bad; you still have iTunes and Netflix–places where people spend money to buy or rent movies. You still have Hulu, Crackle.com, and YouTube, which are generating ad revenue by streaming full-length films and TV shows online. But the reality is that the amount of money that these legal operations generate is far less than the returns your industry is used to making. Unless some dramatic technological breakthrough occurs that can defeat file sharing, then you are staring at checkmate. Your business is headed for the same meat grinder that has chewed up the recorded music sector and print publishing. What will come out the other side is still uncertain but will likely be much smaller.

I’m sure many of you will write this off as the apocalyptic rantings of Silicon Valley propeller heads. But I urge you to pay attention to recent events.

Over the past five days I’ve been in Los Angeles talking to entertainment attorneys, studio executives, and some of the tech vendors who do business with the studios. I’ve been covering the sector three years now and I’ve never seen people in the film industry so dejected. DVD sales are falling, the number upcoming film releases is expected to drop. Some big shots have even acknowledged the bleak situation in public. The past weekend, at a conference on the USC campus, Disney CEO Bob Iger said the “business model that formed the motion picture business…is changing profoundly before our eyes.”

Iger warned that studios must make profound changes, “or you will no longer have a business.”

Earlier this month, Francis Ford Coppola, the director of “The Godfather” said at the Beirut Film Festival that “the cinema as we know it is falling apart.” He also predicted several of the studios would go out of business.

Of course, not all of your industry’s problems were caused by the Web. Hollywood has paid creators handsomely over the years and costs have skyrocketed. Then there’s the problem with Blu-ray. Iger noted that consumers aren’t upgrading their DVD collections with Blu-ray discs to the degree that the industry had hoped.

But if you’re really inclined to wag a finger, there is nothing disrupting your business more than the Internet. The MPAA has worked hard to force file-sharing sites out of business or push them to the Web’s fringes. At first, the studios tried to kill file sharing with lawsuits. Then they hired security firms, such as MediaDefender and MediaSentry, which promised to discourage file sharers by blocking or slowing the sharing process. None of that worked.

Maybe that’s one reason the MPAA overhauled its “antipiracy” operations three weeks ago. CNET reported on Friday that the studios’ trade group decided to change the name of the “antipiracy” unit to “content protection” and fired three leaders, including the MPAA’s general counsel.

And now, snatching a pirated film or TV show doesn’t require knowledge of torrents. There are scores of sites that stream movies and TV shows over the Web and a viewer doesn’t have to actually download the movie to their hard drive. I spoke to someone at the studios last week who said these sites are tougher to fight because they can crop up anywhere and many are based overseas. Often, said the source, “We don’t know where they are.”

“Hulu may be doing immediate harm to elements of your business, but waiting right behind Hulu in the shadows, are things that do so much more harm.”–Eric Garland, Big Champagne CEO

What is happening is that the consumption of unauthorized content appears to be moving out of dorm rooms and into the living rooms of average Americans. Here is what you’re up against:

A 28-year-old woman I’ll call Alexandra (she asked for anonymity) grew up in Missouri, graduated from college, attends church every Sunday, and told me that she watches episodes of the hit cable show “Mad Men” at least twice a week at Surfthechannel.com, a site that hosts links to many unauthorized clips. She gleefully said that visitors can find almost any TV show they want and not pay a dime.

Alexandra said a friend told her about Surfthechannel.com a year or two ago and she watches shows there because she doesn’t want to pay for a cable subscription, or a TV and because it’s so easy.

She explained that she is not a bad person and that “everybody is doing this.” She says one of her professors told her “he and his wife sit at home on the weekends and enjoyed movies they downloaded (illegally) off the Web.”

I ask her if she has tried Hulu, the popular video site created by News Corp. and NBC Universal. The site offers a few feature films and lots of TV shows free to viewers and pays for them by serving ads. She said she had visited Hulu but added that “there’s more of the stuff I want at Surfthechannel.com.”

Alexandra’s statements about Hulu come at a time when the site’s backers are mulling whether to build a pay wall around some of its content. Alexandra and people like her aren’t even accepting Hollywood’s offer of free content because unauthorized sites offer better selection.

What do you think will happen if Hulu begins charging?

Don’t get me wrong. I understand that the returns at Hulu are probably much smaller than what the studios are accustomed to getting. There’s also the problem of growing dissatisfaction among the cable operators. How long will they continue to pay big bucks if more of their customers dump their subscriptions in favor of sites such as Hulu? Leaving a business that generated billions for one that makes far less would be hard for anyone.

But the possibility that studio chiefs must consider is what if the money offered by iTunes, Hulu, and Netflix is all that a digitally ravaged media world offers.

Eric Garland, CEO of Big Champagne, a company that tracks file-sharing usage and sells the data to the studios and major record labels said: “Hulu may be doing immediate harm to elements of your business, but waiting right behind Hulu in the shadows, are things that do so much more harm.”

Posted under Blogs, Online Marketing, Online Video, Social Networks, Tech2.0

This post was written by Joshua Russak on October 20, 2009

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How is Michael Jackson slowing down the internet? (Top 10 List)

In yesterday’s article, How Will The Internet React?, I said it very clearly: “This is going to be HUGE!”And I was right! According to BBC News, “the internet suffered a number of slowdowns as people the world over rushed to verify accounts of Michael Jackson’s death.”

MJ Goes Viral: Top 10 List

Effecting almost every area of the net, here’s a detailed lists of how MJ’s Death has literally slowed down the internet…(*sources include BBC News, ABC News, and MTV)

  1. GOOGLE: It’s true that between approximately 2.40PM Pacific and 3.15PM Pacific, some Google News users experienced difficulty accessing search results for queries related to Michael Jackson and saw the error page,” said Google spokesman Gabriel Stricker. 
  2. GOOGLE: According to ABC News, Of the top 100 Google searches Thursday, more than 50 were related to Michael Jackson, the company said, adding that as people searched for lyrics to favorite songs, “Thriller,” “Man in the Mirror,” and “Billie Jean” were three most popular.
  3. TWITTER: According to initial data from Trendrr, a Web service that tracks activity on social media sites, the number of Twitter posts Thursday afternoon containing “Michael Jackson” totaled more than 100,000 per hour. That put news of Jackson’s death at least on par with the Iran protests, as Twitter posts about Iran topped 100,000 per hour on June 16 and eventually climbed to 220,000 per hour.
  4. NEWS-SITES: Keynote Systems reported that its monitoring showed performance problems for the web sites of AOL, CBS, CNN, MSNBC and Yahoo.
  5. BLOG SITES: Popular websites TMZ, Perez Hilton and other related blog sites reportedly blacked out continuosly
  6. YOUTUBE: In Jackson’s honor, YouTube spotlighted Jackson’s memorable videos on its homepage and linked to the artist’s YouTube channel. The channel has garnered more than 9 million views. The “Thriller” video alone has attracted two million and counting.
  7. iTUNES:In Apple’s iTunes store, Michael Jackson’s music quickly shot into the top 10 charts within a matter of hours.
  8. NEWS WEBSITES: Full-blown memorial sites, such as MemoriesofMichael.com and Michael Jackson Memorial, have already been launched and invite fans to post videos, news and messages commemorating his life.
  9. FACEBOOK: Less than an hour after Jackson’s death had been confirmed, more than 500 groups remembering Michael Jackson appeared on Facebook, some with more than 50,000 members. The fan page R.I.P. Michael Jackson (We Miss You) had attracted more than 220,000 fans by midday Friday.
  10. WIKIPEDIA: Contributors  arewarring over official confirmation of Jackson’s condition and engaging in back-and-forth edits of the star’s entry eventually forced administrators to lock down all information related to Jackson until there was agreement among mainstream media outlets.

So yea…i’d say he took the internet by STORM :) On a final note, here’s Thriller with 61,348,893 views and still climbing:

Posted under Blogs, Online Marketing, Online Video, SEO/SEM, Social Networks, Viral Marketing

YouTube Not Working: Down For Maintenance?

youtube_down

Yes, YouTube appears to be down currently. Looks like it’s down at least 15 minutes now (1:48pm PST). The last time it was down was on June 15th according to ClickForNick.com “Once in awhile
YouTube
does stop working, which of course with a site that gets as much traffic as it does is doing quite well for down tiime vs uptime.”

I Haven’t heard of YouTube being down since May 2008, February 2008, November 2007, and also according to a Digg post back in October 2006.

*UPDATE: Tuesday, June 23, 2009, 1:50 PM (PST)  – It seems to be up and running again, but why the heck were they down?

Posted under Blogs, Online Video

This post was written by Joshua Russak on June 23, 2009

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