Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Exceptional Use of Video

We use a variety of sources for music. Some are royalty-free selections from a library that we own (i.e. we have physical possession of the CDs), some is custom, and some are from online companies, where we can audition and download music from the interweb. Today I tried a new online library, and while the music quality and price were about average - at least comparable to what I expect - the marketing and communication were just extraordinary.

One drawback to using online vendors is the immense amount of e-mail one purchase can generate. That's the part I hate: getting dozens of follow-up messages, daily sales pitches, and other spam. And most days I might even complain about being bombarded by a vendor such as this, except that it was so well done, I actually found myself a little bit in awe.

I found the site via Google. I auditioned music selections for free (which is the norm) and after I found one I could use, I paid via credit card and downloaded my .aiff file. Fast and simple - so far, so good. Then the e-mails arrived:
  1. Acknowledging my order and including a receipt.
  2. Thanking me for my business, and offering a limited 2-for-1 deal as a token of gratitude. This was was pretty good, because the message was actually a :19 video clip - well done - and not lots of text that I had to decipher. (I realize that every time someone makes a first order it's probably "2-for-1 Day", but that's okay. It is marketing, after all.)
  3. Thanking me for actually clicking the link on e-mail #2 and watching the video.
  4. A personalized video thanking me for my business. That one blew me away - it's an awesome use for video online: brief, personal, and well-produced, with perfectly timed delivery to my in-box. I have no idea how many of these they had to produce - probably hundreds with all different names - but I think it's a great idea.
We had two or three separate conversations this week about innovative uses for online or portable video, and this one is a terrific example. I'm not sure how long the links will be active, but hopefully you'll get a chance to see them before they expire.


Friday, February 16, 2007

Jacques Coust-who?

I know, I promised I'd update more frequently, but it's been nuts here (in a good way), and I just haven't had a chance. Today, though, I saw the neatest video ever. I think it's neat, anyway, and I wanted to post a link. It has nothing to do with anything except that I think it's great.

My father was an ocean junkie - he loved the sea, boats, fishing, undersea life, all that kind of stuff - and I inherited some of those sea genes. One of my favorite undersea creatures is Architeuthis: the Giant Squid. It was practically mythical until just a few years ago, but more recently a team of Japanese researchers have uncovered more physical evidence of its habits and primary locale, and they've even secured some video. The video snippets they get are typically released in small bits and pieces, and today's is just remarkable. They've discovered that before attacking its prey, the Giant Squid blinds you with a flash of light. It's like a superpower!

I told Rich, "Giant Squid are so cool, they make you wear the shades." It's awesome. The video can be seen at various sources, I've selected one from the BBC.