a r t i m e d i a

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Brands and You: Good Old Friends

Imagine a life without YouTube. Hard, right? Well, 7 years ago it did not exist and we all could live with it very well. The ads were seen on TV, video clips were on MTV and we could not search the programation and nobody died because of it. But slowly internet evolved, and made a revolution in our lives and in the way we see the world. Yes, I know I am repeating myself, but this is so true that we cannot run from the clich├ęs sometimes… And the way we consume information also has changed.

Online advertising in the early days used to be strictly direct response, with those amazing static display banners with insanely CTR high rates. And the few online video ads we saw were duplicated from the television, since no one knew how to adjust the content to the web. Then, brands found out the wonders of the digital world, not only creating their own private wonderlands but also e-stores and building a virtual persona that they were not able to create offline. The whole identity that could be created only in a store was maximized inside a screen, this time with sounds, movements and… video

Not every brand needed necessarily to give the consumer the option to sell online, but to establish a bond, a connection to the consumer’s heart.  And the old days of direct response were left behind, also when the consumers became more demanding with the huge amount of content available and the invasion of social networks that replaced the old and good “word of mouth”. People now can recommend a product even before buying it, and they do that for pure emotional reasons: the bond with the brand itself.

Having all these awesome tools (consider we didn’t even mention a third part of them here), what happened? Brands became online independent entities. Can you recall the first days of Facebook, when the companies' pages did not differentiate people from products? YouTube still does that, actually: the procedures to set up a personal channel and a company channel are basically the same. Been there, done that. In the online world, Brands are people, dear people that sweetly whisper to you that they are there for, understanding you, knowing your deepest desires, that they have a story the same way you do and that above all you can trust them.

But placing the online branding reality inside the online video scenario, where we can see so many changes? A lot has changed since the early days of Internet video. Today's professionally produced content is not only leaps and bounds from early amateur video, it's competing with broadcast television for viewers and ad dollars: heavyweights like Hulu, Yahoo, YouTube and Vevo put on presentations for ad executives that rivaled anything the networks have delivered in the past.

The last stats of online branding are so exciting that makes us, industry professionals, clap our hands like kids: brand advertising will see a big increase in spending, with 63% planning to up investments in the next year.  When it comes to specific tactics that will see growth, in particular, will double down on social media, mobile and video this year, with 70%, 69% and 64%, respectively. EMarketer estimates that branding will grow its share of digital ad spending during the next few years. This year, only US advertisers will spend $17.46 billion on branding, or 41.6% of the total digital spend. By 2017, branding will grow to $29.33 billion, or a 48.5% share. And again, we did not even mention the rest of the world

To conclude this post, please find a selection of the best brand videos of the first half of 2013. If you click on the link on "sources, there are more, I chose the ones I liked more (privileges of being the author of the blog). The criteria here, above anything, is virality. Because they became viral, have millions of views on YouTube, and more than anything, because you are going to stop and watch them, makes me wonder that maybe the secret is not hidden in any complex algorithm but in the pleasure or the emotion that the video gives the viewer. Would love to hear your impressions of them. May I confess I seriously thought out getting back to Internet Explorer?

- Baby&me: Evian

- Child of the 90s: Internet Explorer

 Skittles Figurines: Skittles (pay attention - it’s interactive and REALLY fun!)

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