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Vimby News

Vimby News

Ratings: (0)|Views: 4,603 |Likes:
Published by Daniel Aharonoff

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Published by: Daniel Aharonoff on Nov 03, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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11/3/11 Reinventing online ads - latimes.com1/4www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-ct-vimb-20111019,0,5378340.stor
Mark Burnett, flanked by Vimby CEO Dean Waters and Chief Creative Officer David Goffin, says hesees an advantage in Vimbys digital documentarians who seek out interesting subcultures. (RobertGauthier, Los Angeles Times / October 28, 2011)
Guided by reality TV producer Mark Burnett, Vimby works with brands to make videos they hope people want to see.
By Dawn C. Chmielewski, Los Angeles Times
October 31, 2011
8:27 p.m.
Subscribe/Manage AccountPlace AdLAT StoreJobsCarsReal EstateRentalsClassifiedsCustom Publishing
Reinventing online ads
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| single pageBritish television producerMark Burnettturned programfinancing on its head a decade ago when he brought brandslike Doritos and Mountain Dew as sponsors into theexpensive, prime-time reality series "Survivor," helping todefray costs."Survivor"is considered a watershed in paid productplacements, opening the floodgates to a projected $2.75 billion in spending this year on such shows as "The TonightShow WithJay Leno," WWE's "Monday Night Raw,"
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"American Idol"and"Celebrity Apprentice."Before "Survivor," brands got promotional placements in exchangefor use of a prop, such as a car, or as a bonus for buyingcommercial time.Burnett is now trying to bring that formula to the Webthrough his investment in the Vimby digital productionstudio. The Van Nuys venture launched in 2005 with anetwork of filmmakers around the country who createoriginal, short-form videos for Vimby's website that now alsomay find a home on other sites including YouTubeandMyspace. As part of Burnett's investment in 2010, Vimby  began rubbing elbows with such major advertisers as Aflac,General Mills,Macy's,McDonald's, Pepsi and Puma  helping these brands create their own content for distribution on YouTube or on a company'sFacebook page."Mark Burnett said, 'Guys, we need to build an arsenal, a bigger toolbox, working with General Mills, with Pepsi, doingstuff in a way that's consistent, authentic and involves greatstory-telling,'" Vimby founder and Chief Executive Dean Waters said of the digital studio's expanded focus.Under Burnett's influence, Vimby's filmmakers have widenedthe lens, creating stories not only for the Web but also for TV,as was the case with an MTV special that followed five young women to New York, where they competed to become aSeventeen Magazine cover model. On other occasions, brandspay Vimby to create content that the advertiser can use to build an online community or cultivate greater affinity withits consumers. Macy's Million Dollar Makeover promotiondrew 20,000 applicants from around the country, eight of  whom were selected as finalists to participate in a reality-TV-styled competition that attracted 1 million new fans to theretailer's Facebook page.Burnett isn't the first television producer whom brands havesought out to create high-quality, low-cost entertainment forthe Web and beyond. Several other veterans from the traditional media world, including former topnetwork executives such as ABC'sLloyd Braun,NBC's Ben Silverman and the WB's Jordan Levin and independent producers like Jak Severson, also are looking to capture audiences as they move tothese digital platforms. Big brands are tagging along, in hopes that such proven players can find theirfooting online. A significant portion of the U.S. population goes online to check out YouTube videos, update theirFacebook status or watch music videos and TV shows through services including Vevo andHulu.Some 182 million Internet users spent an average of five hours a week on the Web in September and watched nearly 40 billion videos, according to ComScore Inc. Advertisers predictably are following the viewers online, with spending projected to reach $31.3 billion this year in the U.S.  an increase of 20% over 2010, researcher EMarketer predicts. As new gadgets and services deliver entertainment to young, digitally savvy viewers, advertisers arescrambling to respond. Initially, brands took a direct marketing approach, focusing on buying searchterms to spur sales of particular products. Although search advertising remains the single largestsegment of spending on the Web, its growth has slowed as brands look for new ways to connect withconsumers."Brands are starting to think more about, 'How do we become the destination?'" said Jason Deal,digital director at the Initiative ad agency. "How do we create advertising that draws consumers to us,instead of solely interrupting people" through banners and search ads?The breadth of online experimentation is wide, from traditional sponsorships and productplacements to "branded content"  in which advertisers use entertainment to communicate withaudiences in an original way.
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« Previous StoryMore Business - Business, consumer, markets,technology, entertainment, real estate -latimes.comNext Story »
Tribune hopes bankruptcy exitplan can be alteredto win approval A hard road for thepoor in need of cars Hyundai, for example, attracted attention to its sporty Veloster subcompact car by sponsoring amash-up, in which five prominent DJs reinterpreted the traditional musical genres of classical,country, R&B, jazz and rock. The resultingdocumentary is promoted on Hyundai's YouTube channelas well as a series of live events."The marketing leadership at Hyundai had the mind-set that we have to become the content thatconsumers are looking for, not just a disruption," Deal said.Severson, CEO of Thoughtful Media Group Inc., a digital studio, is seeking to emulate a formula thathas succeeded for YouTube celebrities such as stand-up comedian Shay Carl, who has attracted morethan 1 million regular followers (self-described ShayTards) and logged more than 14 million viewssince he began posting videos."Their level of effectiveness in driving continual, sustained, religiously devoted audiences  there isnothing in the world like it," Severson said.Severson is using actors and professional writers to construct his own YouTube personalities, inhopes of building a sizable enough audience to interest advertisers. One character, Monty, a middle-aged man who lives in his grandmother's basement, delivers product reviews that comically veer intounrelated topics  such as his infatuation with actressChristina Ricci. So far Monty's YouTube show,"What's What," doesn't rank among YouTube's most popular: It has about 7,900 subscribers."It doesn't happen on Day 1," Severson said.One of the most enduring forms of advertising  paid product placements  already has taken rooton digital platforms. The practice dates back toCharles Dickens, whose novel "The Pickwick Papers"draws its title from the carriage line from the author's time, according to Patrick Quinn, president of PQ Media, a research firm.Now a film and television staple, paid product placements are expected to reach $55 million onlinethis year, Quinn said.
Copyright © 2011,Los Angeles Times
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