Web Video Thunderdome: Branded vs Unbranded, You Decide

Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Mike Arauz – Undercurrent
Bud Caddell – Undercurrents

Does your branded web video pass the "I’d rather be watching porn/kittens" test? Looking at the most viewed branded and unbranded web videos of the past 6 months, and the key metrics behind them, our audience will vote to decide which web videos reign supreme. Trophies included!

Deathmatch! (voting on the best in categories below)

  • Brands love super bowl-sized audiences.
  • Brands have come a long way this past year – many of the most popular videos on the web are actual brand videos.
  • There have been a lot of lessons learned (by brands) in making web videos.
  • 141 Millions watched web videos in Feb, 2010 – a huge audience watching web videos!
  • 427 million hours of videos watched on the web in Feb, 2010.
  • Just because you put a video on the ‘net, it doesn’t mean a lot of people will watch it.
  • "Ah-ha we need to make viral videos!"
  • Pizza Hut Fail (they looked bad)
  • Brands failed to understand that this is OUR internet.
  • The web wasn’t built with commercial breaks. In fact, it wasn’t built for advertisers at all.
  • This is your internet, and everyone gets a vote.
  • Does this ideas pass the "I’d rather be looking at pictures of kittens" test?
  • Does this idea pass the "I’d rather be watching porn" test?
  • Everything on the internet is just a click away – videos need to hold you because it’s so easy to go to something else (better).

Best Spokesman

  • Gingers do Have Souls (Unbranded)
    This is what people use YouTube for – a guy talking to the camera saying what he thinks. HUGE number of comments. Other videos were made, he called on the YouTube community (with red hair) to respond.
  • The Man Your Man Could Smel Like (Branded) Winner!
    Just a commercial, really really well done.
  • LESSON: Be Remarkable. If you’re going to do something, do it really well.

Cute Kid Tricks

  • I’m Yours (Ukulele Kid) (Unbranded) Winner!
    Many tweets with organanic natural attention.
  • Evian Roller Babies (Branded)
  • LESSON: Play on past successes – based on the first internet meme, the dancy baby. They looked at what they could remix. Internet fame is a social phenomenon, not a magic trick. Stop using "VIRAL video!" Viral implies there is something in the video itself that will spread on its own. You can’t Make it viral.
    Why do we share? 1. Strengthen my bond. 2. Define our collective identy. 3. Give me status.

Instant Smiles

  • Surprised Little Kitten (Unbranded)
    Very re-watchable (only 17 sec long). Design your content to be rewatchable.
  • Volkswagen Piano Staircase (Branded) Winner!
  • Use the web to tell more complex stories. Volkswagen couldn’t use this content in a typical TV spot. Tricks+Stories=Magic cross-over. When combined it creates a good video. Fun can be used to make the world a better place.

Best Song Parody

  • I Gotta Feeling (Unbranded)
  • The Muppets: Bohemian Rhapsody (Branded) Winner!
    Many tweets/comments – loved video.
  • Muppets video collect your fans. Many brands forget that YouTube is a social space, and social network. Improve Everywhere does this very well. They’ve built up hundreds of thousands of subscribers in their base.
    Ricky Van Veen’s (College Humor) golden Rules of Web Video:
    2-3 Min Max,
    Get to the hook fast.
    Make it Topical
    Candy Corn (oh yah I remember that!)

Lifetime Achievement Award

  • The Hitler Parody Videos
    The Tom Jones of YouTube. Hitler has reacted to a lot of topics!
    These use both humor and outrage.
    Invite participation – the number of people who have the ability and have started to create their own videos is very high. It’s not just video people who can build these and put them up… many many people now have the ability to do this.
    Participation can be: Performing, copying, sharing, commenting, rating, viewing.
  • 10.5 million hours of video uploaded to YouTube in the last year
    20 hours of video uploaded every minute!
    130,000 full-length movies released every week.

Video of the Year

  • Epic Beard Man (Unbranded) Winner!
    Two guys get into fight on bus. 4Chan discovered this video, and was brought to popularity. It is sometimes a bit of a meme factory. This is a rich video for conversation – there are many topics in this for controversy. There was a lot of community remixing of the characters in this video.
  • Pants on the Ground (Branded)
    Many parodies created about this video. American Idol gave this video the potential to spread on the internet. A mass audience saw this and latched onto it and ran with it.
  • Start small riots in the niche communities.
    Court communities like constituencies. To do that: recognize them, play to their interests, give them social credence.


gravatar Matt F

Want to see a unique ad. It’s not super funny, or memorable, but the way it is done, it pulls you in and you don’t realize it until it’s over. (well you’ll probably realize it because you know it’s coming)
Mmmm Salsa

gravatar Scott

@Matt F
Great video… I think youtube has done a few of these with advertisers as well (taking over the whole page vs. just a small video window).

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