Commercials have been a part of every major form of media, and their next frontier is the Internet. Online video is the new big media, so it’s only natural that commercials find a way to become a part of what everyone is watching. The Culture-ist reports there are more than two billion Internet users worldwide, and 70 percent of them use the Internet every day. If you’re on the fence about advertising through streaming video services such as YouTube or Break.com, or breaking into non-traditional commercial formats, here are some things to consider:
Steaming Video Services are Agile
The Break Media network is one of the largest streaming video services online today, hosting a number of successful sites and regularly reaching millions of users. Break Media in particular caters to male-targeting content, and their remarkably successful humor site Break.com is the largest humor site online and reaches millions of users with their phone app for funny videos across multiple platforms.
In 2010, Southern Comfort wanted to shift their advertising campaign away from simple branding and become more engaged in customer brand participation. In addition to creating short video ads to play before popular streaming videos on Break and other streaming video sites, Southern Comfort engaged Break Media to create an original web series. The series, entitled “Social Sportz Net,” is about roommates dueling over who could host a better party. Conceptualized as a parody of the popular sports news program, the joke-heavy and lighthearted tone of each webisode catered to Break’s already established viewership. It also felt like a natural expansion of the humorous streaming video content the site already produced.
According to Break Media’s own reports, the Southern Comfort channel received traffic to the tune of one million visitors through their use of sponsored webisodes.
YouTube launched in May of 2005, and according to the official YouTube Blog, more than 100 hours of video are uploaded on YouTube every single minute. With millions of users creating content of every stripe imaginable, services such as YouTube have created an audience that 10 years ago was unimaginable. No matter who you are trying to reach with video ads, chances are good they watch videos online as every interest imaginable is represented in the vast world of user-generated content. Trying to advertise beauty products? There are entire channels of nothing but beauty advice. Want to reach avid video gamers? There are thousands of channels dedicated to not only video games in general, but philosophical dissection of specific titles.
Break Media’s success in reaching 18-to-35-year-old males can also be attributed to their savvy use of guerilla marketing. Their campaign for Jack Links Beef Jerky involved not only an web series produced in-house (starring baseball player Brian Wilson and a Sasquatch), but a media disruptive campaign that utilized social media, media stunts, earned media, and paid media. While admittedly unorthodox, online video advertising has the tremendous potential to go viral and reach millions of unexpected users outside of the intended demographic, essentially maximizing a brand’s exposure. However, an intelligently designed online video campaign doesn’t have to rely on the gamble a video or web series will go viral. Quality content that is entertaining will always have an audience ready to watch.