Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Viral Antidote?

It was bound to happen sooner or later. The Federal Trade Commission has issued a statement (or "staff opinion") that there should be disclosures on viral or word-of-mouth advertising and marketing. This means, essentially, that if you plan to use viral videos as a form of marketing, you might have to blow your cover - which seems to negate the whole idea of creating a covert campaign in the first place.

We have several clients interested in using web video to generate interest; the couple of ideas we've actually developed aren't disingenuous - it would be pretty clear that they were tied to an organization or event. But in some cases, I can see this being a bit of a buzzkill to the creative process. I've always thought it was an interesting form of promotion, and it goes back much further than people realize. I was totally taken in by OK Soda back in the day, and while I didn't exactly fall for the hype, I thoroughly enjoyed the buzz around The Blair Witch Project.

I'm interested to see how this plays out.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Happy Christmahanukwanzaakah!

When I was making television commercials full-time, this time of year was always brutal. We would crank out ads like crazy trying to keep up with our clients' holiday advertising demands. The advent (no pun intended) of online shopping and e-mail marketing has reduced that to some degree, but in some cases television advertising has been partially replaced, or at least augmented, by new methods of capturing the attention of consumers.

I saw this online and thought it was interesting. It's a list of the top ten retail trends of the holiday season. The author notes that, "Digital media, the in-store marketing technique of the year with an 120 percent increase over last year, is predicted to see continued growth through the season." In the past six months, we've worked on in-store or in-office marketing videos for three separate clients, and have had inquiries from others, so I fully expect this trend to continue growing well beyond the holiday shopping season.

Additionally, there's an interesting piece on the future of online video advertising available here. I agree with most of it, particularly the sentiment that online video advertising currently looks too much like television commercials - and that replicating TV online isn't necessarily the best strategy.