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Posts Tagged "video"

  • 02.25.14

YouTube: The Next Big Thing Is Already Here

Originally presented at the social media conference SoCon14, this deck from IQ’s Assoc. Director of Strategy Noah Echols and Assoc. Director of UX Rachel Peters will show you how to prioritize YouTube in an effective way to leverage active communities to get serious results — something your competition probably isn’t doing.

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  • 07.09.13

How to Utilize the YouTube Partner Program

YouTube Partner Program

If you’ve been following my series on YouTube, you’ve already heard me harp on the importance of creating content specifically for the YouTube community rather than just re-purposing ads created for TV. With Google’s announcement at Cannes Lions that it’s expanding its partner program to include advertisers, it is reinforcing that imperative.

The YouTube Partner Program has been for quite some time a way for content creators to improve production value, reach more people, and monetize their content on a huge platform. So, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to allow advertisers in unless Google is trying to encourage the production of higher quality, YouTube-centric content.

Anthony Ha at TechCrunch writes:

“…Google seems to be encouraging businesses to create advertising that’s designed specifically for the video site, rather than just repackaging existing TV ads and video content. Those kinds of custom campaigns could potentially be more lucrative for YouTube and its content partners.”

So, what exactly does this YouTube-centric content look like? Let’s take a look at a few great examples:

Display Ads Can Be Entertaining

First (and probably one of my favorites despite its age), is the Desperados Experience: Breakthrough. Although it isn’t live anymore, you can see how deeply interactive the ad was, inviting the user to participate directly in the ad.

What is interesting about this ad is that it is really just a flash ad like any other banner ad you find around the Web. But it is more interesting because it was made for a specific channel and gave users an entertaining way to interact with the brand instead of simply pushing its message on users.

Invest in Useful Content

Another great use of YouTube is BBQGuys.com, a company that sells grills and other outdoor products. On its YouTube channel, the company provides quick tips for grilling success, content that apparently thousands of people find useful. Here’s just one example:

This is an example of a company that is investing in content as its primary marketing strategy. It provides useful information for its target audience and puts that content where it knows they will be searching.

Understand Consumer Culture

We all know that when ads resonate with consumers, they do well. Typically that means understanding what is going on with them culturally. Last summer, AARP created a response video to the season’s number 1 hit, “Call Me Maybe.”

Not only was this a smart play for AARP for gaining awareness because of the popularity of the song, it was also smart because music is a major driver of a large percentage of YouTube views. The video hit both popular culture and YouTube culture right where they meet.

Leverage Influencers

YouTube is full of regular people who have risen to stardom by creating entertaining videos. In fact, it has been reported that some of the top YouTube stars are making six-figure salaries just by posting videos each week.

As they amass huge followings, it makes sense that brands would partner with them to promote their products. Not only does this ensure that your product gets in front of their fans, it is received well by consumers because the brand is borrowing the influencer’s legitimacy to earn their trust.

Whew! You made it through that video. I’ll admit, it isn’t something I find entertaining (I stopped watching at 2 minutes), but it has been viewed over 7 million times. That’s great news for Kraft who recognized the enormous popularity of the SMOSH Brothers.

This is the third and final part of our series on YouTube advertising.

Check out the rest of the series here:

Why YouTube Should Matter to Brands in 2013

Before You Start: YouTube for Brands

  • 06.25.13

Why YouTube Should Matter to Brands in 2013

YouTube Marketing Tips

Remember when Facebook hit 500 million active users and we all placed bets on whether or not a single website could ever reach 1 billion? And then last September when Facebook did it everyone in marketing called the game?

Facebook won. There are no more milestones to reach (except for maybe ALL the people, but that won’t happen – will it?).

Meanwhile, YouTube quietly (and I say quietly because for some reason marketers and Internet trend spotters alike failed to even classify it as a social networking site) reached the same unreachable milestone. And still marketers are allocating their social budgets mostly to Facebook and Twitter while ignoring YouTube.

So, why are marketers wrong about YouTube? There are 5 reasons that for many brands, YouTube is arguably the most strategic channel on the Web:

  1. It has 1 billion active users every month. 1 billion…with a “b.”
  2. The second largest search engine in the world to Google isn’t Bing or Yahoo; it’s YouTube.
  3. In the past year, video has become the content of choice for Internet users.
  4. The communities on YouTube are large and passionate. While on other social sites like Facebook, people’s networks are made up of other users that they know IRL, on YouTube communities of strangers are built that blossom into IRL relationships. And instead of organizing around common connections, they organize around passions like religion, gadgets, entertainers, political affiliation, etc.
  5. While the biggest brands are just starting to get on board, most of your competitors are probably not using YouTube effectively. This is a big one.

Alright, so now that you’re convinced that your brand should start thinking about how to play on YouTube, you want pointers on getting started. Bad news, you’re going to have to wait for my next blog post…or you could check YouTube.

This is part of an on-going series on YouTube advertising.

Check back next week for “Before You Start: YouTube for Brands”

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  • 06.05.13

How to Make Great Brand Videos

Consistently making great content is a tall order for many brands.  Get some insight and tips from the presentation below:

How to Make Great Brand Videos from IQ Agency

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  • 04.30.13

IQ Wins 3 Gold Horizon Interactive Awards

IQ Wins Horizon Award

3 entries, 3 gold awards.

The Horizon Interactive Awards is a prestigious international competition recognizing outstanding achievement among interactive media producers from all over the world.


We created a simple narrative in which tiny gifts come to life, in order to help CIT employees connect with their contacts. Production was as follows: First, the team created concept boards, depicting different ideas of how to approach the card. Next, the team got to work with simple storyboards, depicting the basic story and messaging. Then, they created a mock desk set in the studio, shooting 24 still images for each 1 second of video.

The result was an endearing, simple, and concise 30-second stop-motion video. The messaging was then translated into 9 different languages, so that the video could be shared across the world.

Click to see the project: CIT Holiday Card 2012 – Motion Graphics / Effects – Video

Neenah Paper’s Astrobrights

Starting with no fans, we built to over 26,500 Facebook fans and 55 million impressions using social, sweepstakes contests and paid media. A crucial part of this growth came through our bi-weekly crafting contests, which were supported by origami style display ads featuring Neenah Paper’s Astrobrights products. We followed our crafting contest series with a school-based sweepstakes, driven by display ads, UGC and original content created for Astrobrights. The ensuing sweepstakes lead to more brilliant user-generated content—we gained survey response data and over 2,500 email opt-ins for Astrobrights!

The overall cost per click of all media tactics went from an average of $5.90 in week 1 to $2.81 by the end of the campaign, lowering the CPC by 53%. Facebook was our most successful paid tactic in terms of Cost-Per-Click (CPC) and Cost Per “Like” (CPL). The average Facebook CPC was $1.50 and the average CPL was $2.06. Through ads, we generated 20,000 total fans and the CPC and CPL continually lowered as the campaign progressed.

neenah paper IQ

Click to see the project: Neenah Paper – Online Advertising, Integrated Campaign

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You’ve Got a Video Problem

How to Make Great Brand Videos

In the pre-digital days there really wasn’t a need for brands to produce more than the ads that went on traditional media. Now they need to produce an almost constant stream of fresh content to keep up with digital channels and social media. For most companies it’s a pretty tall order because making content is a completely different business from what they know. And it gets even harder when so much of the content that they now need is video.

Since cheap bandwidth has made high-quality video so easy to get, people want more and more of it. Projections have video representing over 85% of all Internet traffic in a couple of years. So brands need to make lots of videos. The problem, of course, is not just the quantity, but how does a brand make videos that are good enough to stand out? While cameras and equipment are cheap and easy to get, creativity and know-how are still in short supply. Of course, what makes a video good is in the eye of the beholder, but most of us know bad video when we see it, and the last thing any brand needs is to be spreading bad videos.

So the challenge is for companies to put in place the capability to produce lots of “good” videos, consistently over time. The problem is that because the budgets are much smaller, it’s not like producing TV commercials, which brands have a lot of experience with. According to the 4A’s, the average cost to make a TV spot is over $300,000 — but for video content, that may be your entire budget for the year.

The big question is — do you try and do it in-house or hire pros? While you may need a lot of videos, you may not need enough to justify the large expense of hiring a full-time team. So another approach is to hire an in-house video producer whose job it is to put together freelance teams for each production. This is not a creative person, but a video project manager, and you still need to be doing enough work to justify a full-time person.

For most brands the answer is to hire pros. The advantage, of course, is the wide range of talent and capabilities you can access. The problem is how to keep the costs down. Most agencies focus on developing the creative, and then hire a production company for the execution. As a result, the costs mount quickly. Some TV production companies do creative, but their focus is really on the production and they are rarely able to develop the creative or the strategy for the video, which is critical. So that leaves companies and agencies that specialize in video content for digital channels.

The ideal is to have digital content strategy, plus creative, plus production under one roof. A company that can do all of that — and that is set up to produce a lot of video content over time, cost-effectively — has found the perfect solution. Of course, the videos still have to be good in the eye of the beholder, which to start with would be you.

  • 03.18.13

Mechanical Bull Bests IQ CEO

As captured on video, IQ’s CEO & founder Tony Quin braved the mechanical bull at the annual SXSW SoDA (Society of Digital Agencies) party. Tony, who chairs the board of SoDA, said nothing but his dignity was bruised and he is ready for a rematch as soon as he finds the same bartender who prepared him for this outing.

  • 02.07.13


Making complex things like financial services easy to understand and engaging is no easy matter. That’s why VALIC, a major financial services company, turned to IQ. With deep experience in the category, IQ created this new website with an entirely new approach, design and new content, including this series of videos, also produced and created by IQ.  VALIC’s retirement offerings can often be confusing and difficult to grasp for consumers, which is why IQ and VALIC set out to change that by designing an engaging web experience complemented by two series of videos, one about consumers’ goals and the other about understanding financial concepts. Continue Reading


Popcorn Video Tastes Good

Popcorn for videos

A new type of video content creation.


This post is about a brand new digital technology for video called Popcorn. It’s one of a number of technology led efforts to broaden what video is capable of, and in a world where soon 90% of data on the internet will be video, that’s good news for marketers, but first a little context.

My career and IQ, my digital agency started out in the video business. Over the years I’ve seen big changes as we moved from film to HD video, and from expensive post-production to a million dollar edit bay on a laptop. But despite these changes the basics of video creation haven’t changed that much. It’s still a linear experience made out of the combination of visuals and sound. It still a demanding art that takes quality writing, acting, lighting, sound design, animation, and post production, to say nothing of great ideas, to make quality videos.

Now, with the Content Age in full swing and a general mad scramble for video content creation, companies are finding that while they might be able to produce a talking head video of the chairman or an interview with a customer, it still takes experts to make the quality of video that captures the imagination or moves us emotionally. Today companies can go out and spend a couple of thousand dollars on a camera that would’ve cost a fortune a few years ago, they can buy microphones, lights and editing software and be fully equipped for chump change. But in the end it’s still the experience and expertise of the people using the equipment that’s the difference between wonderful and OMG.

Many forces are driving this demand for video, not the least of which is that it’s become incredibly easy and cheap to put high quality video in digital channels. So much so that video has replaced many of the interactive experiences we used to make. This is good and bad. The bad, at least for brands, is that we have moved away from interactive experiences which required the participation of the viewer. Instead of two way experiences we’ve gone back to a one way traditional video experience. Until now……

With the introduction of a new technologies like Popcorn that may have changed. Popcorn is open source technology that allows us to put links, images and even dynamic content into a video stream. That can be as simple as a link to where to buy that sweater you’re looking at, or a photo and email address for an insurance agent in your area. Popcorn essentially turns videos into mini-websites so that when your video travels around the web from person to person and site to site, it has the same capabilities you could have on your home page.  The possibilities are as many and varied as the technology is flexible. It can adopt the dynamics of “choose-your-own-adventure” and allow brands to follow viewer preferences and interests, or it can enable the functionality of shopper video without the big platform cost. On first blush it looks like Popcorn is moving video into the digital age with functionality capabilities that could reshape what we think of as video. It’s early days for Popcorn, but it appears we’ve been given a new paint box for video and I can’t wait to see what’s possible.

  • 06.06.12

Why Content is the New Coin of the Realm

Good morning class, time for a pop quiz. These news items recently caught our attention: P&G shifting money from marketing to social media. And GM walking away from advertising on Facebook.

Question: Are these events contradictory or complimentary? Discuss.

Ok, pencils down. The answer, class, is that they are complimentary. If you answered otherwise please go back and review the last 15 years of digital evolution. If you got the answer correct, then what are you doing about it? Continue Reading