Sponsored Online Content

Are you frustrated with the cost of producing a TV ad and the media buys to support it?
Tired of wondering if anyone is actually watching your ads?
Do you wish there were more creative ways to get your brand in front of prospective customers?

There is no doubt that traditional broadcast television still successfully distributes advertising to certain targets. However, the rise of video content delivered on the web cannot be ignored.

Sponsoring content or placing your brand into content delivered online is a powerful way to gain advertising “impressions” without the substantial ongoing expense of media buys to support it.

You could just shoot some video with your home video camera and post it to YouTube with your logo planted on it. However, real success in this strategy starts with a truly creative idea, professionally refined into a unique and effective piece. This will help to self-propel it across the web for a long time. And you will not pay a fortune to buy air time.

Viewing Habits
How do we get our video these days?

Well, folks still watch sitcoms, documentaries and series television, purchased with cable or dish delivery packages. Now the choices have reached into the hundreds of channels. All this network programming has traditionally been funded by advertising dollars. This doe not show signs of changing any time soon. Someone has to pay for the cost of producing all that content to fill the ever-expanding pipeline.

People have widely varying attitudes to commercials. Some sit through every advertisement, absorbing the content and considering the commercial as part of their viewing experience. They appreciate hearing about a mind-numbing array of new products and services. They help to keep the consumer discovering and purchasing these products. This of course is the intent.

There are many people, however, who have grown tired of the immense volume of commercial messages in 30, 60 second or infomercial form. However, the sponsor still must reach out to their market.

Video On Demand
The history of video on demand is relatively brief but gathering momentum in epic proportions.

Faced with ever-busier schedules, viewing content at the convenience of the viewer has become increasingly a priority. First people found they could buy movies on a VHS tape and watch them whenever they wanted. Quite a convenience. Then came automated VCRs that could be set to record a program broadcast while you were away. Many people never mastered getting the clock on the VCR to stop flashing 12:00 so this did not quite attain 100% acceptance. Then followed DVDs for purchase and finally different forms of the DVR or Digital Video Recorder. Currently, DVRs are common offerings built right into cable boxes from your cable provider.

What does all that mean?
1. Many people prefer to watch content when they choose, not on a network schedule
2. Many people like to bypass commercials when possible

Recently, widespread use of DVRs to bypass commercials is beginning to water down the penetration of traditional broadcast models for delivery of advertisements. Viewers accomplish this by placing the DVR in record at the start of the program and then as the program progresses, simply watching from the DVR. This allows them to fast-forward through groups of commercials as they appear. While advertisers have begun making logos large and prominently included so that they at least get their brand across as the DVR scrubs through the commercial break, that is a less than perfect solution.

Interactivity
Traditional television is a one-way street. They played it. We watched it. And perhaps we were sufficiently moved by an ad for a product or service that we will go out and make a purchase. That’s it. To be fair, we also got brand impressions along the way as well.

Online delivery can provide interactivity in a way that is craved by the next generation of viewers.

Constant connectivity is has become an integral part of life for those for whom texting is a significant form of communication with their peers. Interactivity with peers and technology, from web to laptop to mobile via video and text satisfies this urge to be connected.

Knowledge is not power. Applied knowledge is power.
Technology is not power. The intelligent application of technology is power.

Intelligent, creative application of technology can place your brand right in the middle of this mix.
If you create and structure a campaign correctly, when people are searching for content they already want, they will come upon your brand or product. It should be presented in such a way as to not encounter the same resistance to being “advertised to” that has developed in the traditional broadcast model.

No one likes to be sold. But everyone likes to buy.

So….we help people to deliver their product, service and brand in ways that delivers the impression with minimal resistance.

Data Tracking
Data is only valuable if you can track it. TV does not provide that ability. Trackable data may include number of views, time they viewed, how long they viewed, at what point the viewer left the page and what geographical area the viewer was from.
Traditional Model – Television spot and Media Buy
1. Produce a spot for television broadcast
2. Spend a great deal of money buying airtime (media buy)
3. Data available on exactly who watched and information about them: an estimate

Online Sponsored Content
1. Produce a spot for delivery online
2. Spend no money buying airtime
3. Data available on precisely who watched and information about them: a lot

You may pay per click or sponsor unique content that will amass hits for years, sending your brand much further than the distance from screen to couch. Of course, we still make TV spots if they are part of your strategy.

Product Placement

A time-honored and often abused form of impression delivery. Ever since movie stars raised a glass of Coke or lit a Camel, the public has listened, watched, emulated and purchased. Why not make it subtle and minimize any resistance to it or interference with the creative content?

Film maker Morgan Spurlock created a film called “The Greatest Movie Ever Sold” in a witty presentation reviling the abuse of this advertising device. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1743720/
Rest assured, you should go about product placement with style.

What about Viral?
The most misused and abused word around the web. It is the elusive dazzle of pop culture, flavored with emotion and topped with a dollop of the extraordinary.

Regardless of how you want to classify it, it involves content that does two things:

It must be content that will:
1. Strike an emotional chord with the viewer. It must make them shed a tear, get a huge laugh, an “Aww” or a “Wow! moment. And fast.
2. Make the viewer feel compelled to forward it to their circle of influence.

Some Examples
State Farm From the band OK GO Viewed countless times, you gotta love State Farm for sponsoring this one. Here is a note from Digital Music News noting that monitored views had exceeded 3.4 million in 2010. Also ponder that embedding was enabled; millions more views.

Honda The Cog Honda’s extraordinary video made from all Honda parts. 1.6 million views at just the Youtube site alone. It is linked all over the web.

Semper Media A video we shot for Mr. Duey, a talented rapping math teacher in support of his album, reached 2.2 million views on TeacherTube before being inadvertently pulled. We would be happy to show you a screen-shot from when it had reached 1.6 million views. Lots of people told other people about it and away it went.

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