Late last week, Visible Measures released its quarterly Branded Video Report for Q2 '14, finding that branded videos were watched 2.8 billion times, an increase of over 50% vs. Q2 '13. The big driver of the record quarterly views was the World Cup, with videos related to it accounting for 19%, or almost 555 million of the views.
Nike was by far the biggest winner of World Cup related branded videos, with nearly 259 million True Reach views during the quarter, 84% of which were from its eight World Cup videos. Nike wasn't even an official World Cup sponsor, but its videos received 2.5x the 103.7 million views of adidas, which was the official sponsor and landed the brand in 3rd place for the quarter.
Categories: Branded Entertainment
Baby Ruth hit a home run at Tuesday night's All-Star Game with its "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" user generated video contest. The contest was heavily promoted during the All-Star Game and ran in association with Major League Baseball.
In case you missed it, the challenge was to creatively sing the classic ballpark tune in 2 minutes or less. The contest received dozens of submissions, which were then narrowed to a list of finalists, judged by a committee of three. The judging criteria was weighted heavily toward originality, but also included creative use and/or incorporation of the Baby Ruth brand, ensuring that the candy maker got strong visibility in the videos. The winner got to perform during the 7th inning of the game. (I didn't see this part of the game, so I don't know if it happened. Note a peeve is that MLB/Baby Ruth should be offering video of the winner singing at Yankee Stadium, which would be an instant classic, but doesn't seem to be.)
Still, I'm a big fan of UGV contests like this especially when the brand, contest and tie-in event all harmonize, as was the case with this Baby Ruth contest. Though these contests require significant upfront coordination, the payoff is that they are a unique branding opportunity that can inexpensively break through today's ad clutter. Not to mention these contests are a real crowd-pleaser, playing on the same voyeuristic viewer impulses that programs like American Idol have tapped into brilliantly.
I've said repeatedly that the abundant volume of UGV available at YouTube and elsewhere provides evidence that there's a ton of amateur talent out there. Brands and others that figure out how to leverage it can generate excitement and deepen customer engagement. In addition - and with a little luck - these videos can also turn into viral sensations, driving a near infinite ROI for the underlying brand.
Other recent examples that combine UGV with high profile events include Dove's "Supreme Cream Oil Body Wash Ad Contest" (in conjunction with the Academy Awards) and MySpace/NBC's "Decision '08 Convention Contest" (in conjunction with this summer's political conventions). I expect more to come. If you see examples, please let me know!
What do you think? Post a comment now!
Obviously there is no Oscar category for "Most Effective Advertisement at Oscar.com," but if there were, the hands-down winner last night would have been Unilever's "Dove Supreme Cream Oil Body Wash Ad Contest" display ads.
As many of you know, I'm a big believer that brand advertisers need to evolve their mindsets, which have traditionally called for making the cutest or the funniest or the quirkiest ad and then spending big money on placing it on popular programs, in the hopes of driving audience awareness and recall.
Instead, advertisers need to be focusing on user engagement, reinforcing brand authenticity, leveraging multiple platforms and extending the campaign's life. Dove did all of these and more with its "Cream Oil" campaign, and the resulting lessons for other brand marketers and their agencies are abundant.
Dove kicked the "Cream Oil" campaign off late last year, with a user-generated video contest asking women "how does showering yourself in everyday luxury with Dove Supreme Cream Oil Body Wash make you feel?" There were 3,500 entries received for the 30 second spot between Dec. 5th and Jan. 9th, which were winnowed to 5 semi-finalists on Jan 30th who were invited to LA for a private Oscars party. The 2 finalists were presented for viewing on Oscar.com. Dove's display ads on the site prompted visitors to click and vote for the best spot, which would become Dove's new ad. This voting process created an even larger user engagement opportunity than the original UGC contest. Capping it all off was actress Amy Brenneman, announcing the winning ad during a spot Dove bought during the Oscar telecast.
In my post last week, "An Intersection of UGC and Brand Marketing?" I proposed that brand marketers should create opportunities for passionate customers interested in expressing themselves to submit user-generated video supporting or explaining products. Dove's marketing people were clearly in synch with this thinking. The campaign shows their belief that the authenticity of the Cream Oil product could best be conveyed by real women using video to creatively express themselves. That sense of authenticity in turn resonates really well with other prospective customers. The YouTube age has conditioned many of us to appreciate each other's video more than the professionally produced, because its rough edges make it feel far more real.
Lastly, by having Ms. Brenneman announcing the winner in the on-air spot, Dove recognized that if it is going to spend $1.7 million + for a 30 second ad (last year's price), it better do more than just offer another cute, funny, or quirky spot. Instead it created anticipation, and capped off 3 months of contest excitement. I've argued in the past that these expensive on-air spots should reinforce or continue campaigns begun before and/or extended after in the broadband medium. Doing so increases their ROI, and will only raise the value of this on-air time in the future.
In the past I've been critical of brand marketers and their agencies for being abysmally slow in recognizing new opportunities broadband video presents. Yet there have been exceptions, and Dove's "Cream Oil" campaign is certainly one. Hopefully we'll see more like it in the future.
What do you think? Post a comment and let us all know!