Monday, September 27, 2010

Traditional TV ad has it's place online


(image source: Techcrunch)

Accoring to a research conducted by Dynamic Logic, reported at, that TV spots perform just as well as video ads created specifically for the medium when it comes to several brand attributes.

"It was my thesis [that] made-for-Web [ads] will be more effective than [repurposed] TV ads," said Chris Bian, research analyst with Dynamic Logic's custom-solutions team. "In the end, I found it wasn't necessarily the case that repurposed was inferior. Each had their own place."

Dynamic Logic found that repurposed TV, often done as the cheapest way of running online video campaigns, works well when tactics mimic the wide-audience approach of TV. Original video works better, Bian said, when the Web's targeting capabilities are put to full use.

Dynamic Logic culled the findings from 59 campaigns and 75,000 respondents for repurposed efforts and 135 campaigns and 150,000 respondents for the made-for-Web content. It examined online video shown in streams and in banners.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Meaningless Online Video Can Kill Your Credibility


The majority of independent online video content being created is mostly unwatchable. I'm the first to admit that I am guilty of creating some of this unwatchable content as well, but as the Internet matures, grows and brings in new audiences something has got to give. Do I mind when someone I know and admire just riffs off of their built-in laptop video camera? Usually no, it depends on who that person is and how relevant the content is. Do I ever think that the content adds to their credibility? Hardly ever.

If you care about how much impact your video can have, remember Content is King, Context is King Kong

I quite often say this aloud. What I mean with it is that if you are looking for relevance, it is not the HD quality or how much your camera does not shake (or does for that matter). It is all about the fact, that you need to think before you shoot. Even the lousy phone cameras works well, if that has a meaning in the context you are working with. And please, learn the basics of editing. You do edit your texts while writing, so why not take all the unrelevant stuff off your videos as well.

- Think why are you shooting it?
- What is the context your viewer will see it?

Here are 5 ways to produce online video that will not kill your credibility (from someone who knows nothing about it):

1. Audio balance. Whenever there is more than one person speaking, please ensure that everyone's level is equal prior to publishing your final piece. All too often, I have to watch the video and work my volume control like I'm doing a final mix on Pink Floyd's The Dark Side Of The Moon.
2. Eye contact. It's hard and awkward to speak into a camera. That's why great broadcasters make the money that they do. Take some media training or do some pre-publishing practice runs. Letting your eyes wander, not looking into the camera or not being one hundred percent comfortable makes the viewer uncomfortable too.
3. Speak. Way too many "ummms" and "ahhhs." It takes practice not to stammer and stumble over words. Don't just read off of cue cards and don't try to improvise either. Find a healthy balance by writing out a script, but knowing how to speak it instead of just reading it.
4. Backgrounds. Do you really think that recording in your basement with a broken bookshelf in the background or cat pee stains on the couch is screaming, "hire me!"? Find a background that fits the feeling you are looking to tell. Well, if it is the basement, then go for. I would suggest outdoors whenever you can.
5. Edit. Think about how you can better edit your final product. Keep the information tight and be ferocious with what makes it to the final cut. The audience will thank you for not wasting their time or letting the content wander too far off of topic.

Finally, remember these 3 when filming. Background tells you where you are, middleground is where the subject is, and foreground tells the feeling you are looking at the subject.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

The value of curating online


Machine Head

A good friend of mine has launched a curated online news media Topiikki, which aims to give you the most relevant news items, whether in blogs or in a more traditional news sites.

This makes me think about the slow transition towards curation in online media, as opposite to rather than just aggregating content. It is nothing hugely new, but just as in arts, the importance of value and meaningfullness found within a huge mass of content rises to the top. This is in the heart of the move on from web 2.0, where people and content are more connected.

The Digitalisation is not about move from analog to digital, it is a move from scarcity to surfeit. The best curators are nodes and connectors, guiding you to a more insightful understanding of what you are seeing (or reading) around the world. Like art curators have for centuries, great online news curators have a knowledge to balancing content and value.

Edit: Mikko Järvenpää blogged about the same theme, going a bit more indepth with this issue.