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DIGITAS PERSPECTIVE

Investing in Online Video? Three Things You Need to Know


With both digital and TV upfronts just a few weeks away, a number of brands are re-assessing where theyll put their marketing dollars next. There are many compelling arguments for investing in online video (in fact, we just released research that shows how the medium engages viewers), but there are a lot of questions as well. Specifically: for brands that are just getting started, what do they really need to think about if theyre investing in digital video? 1) Dont be afraid of native online programming When diving into online video, many brands choose to invest in extensions of TV programming, versus series that originated online. Theres nothing wrong with that. But by sticking with just what youve already heard of, you may be missing out on huge opportunities. In fact, there are many native digital stars and series that have subscriber bases and audiences that, in terms of unique viewers, can equal small-mid cable TV audiences. Ray William Johnson, Nigahiga and Smosh all boast about 5 million subscribers and while they may not be household names, they reach big audiences on a consistent basis. Native digital content also has the advantage of being designed to live and breathe on the two-way communication devices (PCs, tablets, etc.) on which it is consumed. Its often built to focus on audience participation and engagement, enhancing the earned value in a way that repurposed offline content doesnt. 2) Look beneath the surface of the content Lets think about TV advertising for a second. The show Extreme Couponing isnt built just for an audience interested in CPG deals any more than Car Talk is just for people interested in automotive instruction. In reality, Extreme Couponing isnt about coupons its about extreme personality types just like Hoarders, Intervention or even The Real Housewives. Brands who advertise with this kind of show are reaching viewers who are interested in unique and sometimes disordered personalities. It works the same way for online video. When choosing your investments, dont confuse what the content is about for the audience whos watching it. In other words, dont just assess the contentfigure out exactly whos watching it, and where their interests lie. The genre of Science Fiction is another good example. Sci-fi storylines, if mapped against interests, are the same love stories, dramas and comedies that we see on Lifetime, TNT and Comedy Central. Think of it this way: Harry Potter and Avatar are much more than just science fiction, and Machinimas 3.2 billion video views on YouTube cant all be a bunch of geeky nerds. 3) Create a symbiotic relationship If your brand wants to sponsor or integrate itself into online content, make sure that the brand and the content support each other in a way that adds value for the consumerand aligns with your brands specific business goals. For instance, when Buick sponsors the online NCAA March Madness tournament, they provide digital content that focuses on the philanthropic achievements of former NCAA athletes. Their program takes the existing fan enthusiasm for individual athletes and universities, and builds on it by providing additional content that is rooted in that passion but also extends to Buicks brand goals around Human Achievement. In other words, the sponsored digital content both adds to the consumer experience and supports the brands goals.*

April 2012

DIGITAS PERSPECTIVE
*Disclosure: Digitas works with Buick on the NCAA program Contact For More Information Eric Korsh, VP/ Group Director, Brand Content, Digitas Erik This piece originally appeared in MediaPost

April 2012