Sunday, October 29, 2006

Most Excellent Ads

Before launching Tube full-time, I worked for nearly 15 years creating local television commercials, as did Rich for nearly a decade. I think that it's because of that career that I came to appreciate the art of advertising (and it can be an artform), and I absolutely love clever and well-conceived advertising.

I also think that, hands down, some of the world's best televison advertising comes from the U.K. For me, humor is absolutely key, and if an ad can't be especially unique or different in technology or technique, in order to grab me it must be funny.

I thought at first that this was a U.S. spot, because it has a very "American" look and feel, until I noticed that the car was right-hand drive.

This one is a little harsh, but it still makes me laugh. For anyone wondering, yes, I do have a rather sick sense of humor. Sometimes.

This spot isn't so much funny as... awe inspiring. When you hear anyone talk about "viral video" (fast becoming an over-used buzzword), this promotional piece gets it absolutely right. It's the sort of video that makes you wonder, "How did they do that?" From what I understand, this was done in real time and is totally mechanical, with no digital special effects. Cool.

Finally, this one is not British, nor is it a car commercial, but it's still pretty funny. I can't help thinking, though, that it somehow would've been funnier if it had been British... they just do this sort of thing better than the Yanks.


Tuesday, October 10, 2006


It's more or less a done deal. Now the speculation turns to whether or not this changes the web video landscape for other video sites... and yes, they do exist. Some financial experts are predicting that this will hurt, or even dry up, the market for internet Goliaths acquiring smaller, independent sites, but I'm guessing it's more likely that the small sites could be hurt by larger concerns simply launching their own, slicker, better-funded clones. We'll see.

I'm curious as to what subjects you would like to hear about. I'm not sure how many folks are reading our posts, but we're open to sharing information on pretty much any visual-communication topic... and can always use suggestions. Feel free to post a comment and we'll do our best to accommodate.

We have some cool web video projects on the horizon, some that have the potential to be really fun and interesting. Plus, we've been meeting with a terrific new partner organization, and we're excited about the potential to take video-based messaging to a new level. Good things are brewing!


Friday, October 06, 2006

That's "Billion" with a "B"

I've been pondering the content for this post for the past few days, and I thought I had it figured out. Then I saw this headline today, and it changed the whole nature of my post.

Originally, I was going to write about recent online articles foreshadowing the demise of YouTube. The speculation was based on a couple of points. First, YouTube has run afoul of copyright holders in recent weeks, specifically related to music-video content. Ordinarily, YouTube's video police remove material that they believe may infringe on a copyright, but with thousands of clips uploaded daily, they can't always catch them all. Second, YouTube has had problems with download speed and efficiency, because they host all the videos on the site themselves, and the demand can be immense. That frustrates users.

Personally, I didn't think YouTube would necessarily go down the drain, but I did think that they needed to re-work their model a bit. One of my favorite web sites is also (I think) the smartest in terms of its model. That's Fark is an online community that generates revenue from ad sales, as well as a small ($5/month) fee from premium users. Regular membership is free. Fark offer links to articles, video, audio, and other materials - but they don't host any of it. All of the media is hosted by external sources. In fact, all of the content is generated by the community itself - Fark doesn't create any new content on its own. The very best part is that even when user-submitted links are broken (or "farked"), a visit to the comments forum will usually bring a new link or a workaround submitted by another contributor. It's like a self-healing web ring. And if you doubt there's any money in it, Fark currently generates about $60,000 per month in revenue.

The moral? Well, I don't have a moral. I'm just astonished that the demand for user-generated, generally crappy home video is worth over a billion and a half dollars. I'm going to go home and sulk, then get to work on the Next Big Thing.