Visual Communication Solutions

(631) 477-0277

Friday, January 29, 2010

Online Video, Should We?

Enough clients ask about this to make it worth a post so, here is some info from Jason Glickman from a recent article in Video Insider Media Post:

If you believe the forecasters, 2010 will be the year of the long-awaited inflection point when TV budgets begin to shift to online video in a meaningful way.  In 2009, advertisers were projected to spend $699 million on online video ads, an increase of 32% from the previous year, "outpacing growth rates for most other emerging media platforms," according to a forecast from Brian Wieser, Global Director of Forecasting for Magna. Jack Myers went further saying that online video advertising would increase by 115% to $968 million in 2009 and is forecasting it to be the fastest growing segment of the media industry through 2012, when it is expected to hit nearly $5 billion.
Some might call these forecasts bullish, but given the trends we are seeing at our company, such as significantly larger average campaign sizes, increases in video consumption, and creative/delivery standards becoming more widely adopted, we share this view.
With the right standards, processes, and tools in place, online video advertising can be highly efficient and effective, while providing more accountability than any other media platform.

However, we caution clients that the process is not as simple as "build it and they will come"
We hear over and over again, "we put a video on You Tube and it doesn't seem to have done anything."   Well there are so many considerations these people seem unaware of. You wouldn't sink your promotional dollars into a broadcast campaign without clearly identifying your objectives and target market would you? Then there is the technical aspect, codecs etc. that all greatly affect the quality of the viewers experience. It's kind of like building a new brick and mortar store and then not putting a sign outside. Is it any wonder no one knows you are there?
If you’re looking to craft a viral video, consider meeting at least one of these characteristics: identifiability, spontaneity, genuineness, humor, information, creativity, and inspiration. Ideally, if you cover ground on at least two of these traits, your video might have a good chance of success. To be sure, though, solicit help from a creative company that understands your marketing objectives before going ahead and blindly publishing a video. Remember, the content and quality is the public face of your company. You don't want to look like an amateur!
The bottom line is that the numbers don't Lie, You Tube has over 1 billion views a day. You are overlooking a huge cost effective opportunity by not utilizing online video. But, remember, do it right or it could hurt your public perception more than help!
Also, stay aware of cross promotion and campaign integration, these are some of the other critical components of online marketing success.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

My Cable Co. Offered to make my commercial for free, Shouldn't I let them?

Well, this comes up from time to time and we just got asked this question again in a first client meeting.
Here is our take:

Maybe, but probably not!

It really comes down to the old cliché "You get what you pay for." After all, ask yourself if you really believe that you can get a Lexus with a Khia budget?

Everyone has seen a local commercial where the client spent thousands and thousands of dollars in airtime, but only a hundred bucks on the production for the commercial he's airing. And it shows. You have to decide if that is the kind of image you want to portray for your company. We suggest you also give some thought to your ROI potential utilizing that approach.

Television stations have two priorities: to sell advertising airtime and to broadcast programming that will make you want to spend your airtime dollars with them. Commercial production is simply not a number one priority, and it’s certainly not a specialty. The networks don’t have the luxury of enough time to give each advertiser creative undivided attention as their programming and scheduling priorities mount up. That’s where Webster Productions comes in.
OK, I know, sounds like shameless pitch time...but consider ....

If your needs are as simple as a store-front picture and a few uncomplicated graphics, then by all means try and utilize whatever resource you can. But if you want to stand out from the clutter you need to take a step up — both in production values and creativity. At WPI we specialize in creating top notch production value without a budget-breaking price tag. We also know that your success is the key to ours!

We sincerely feel it is smarter to divert a small portion of your advertising budget into producing a good spot rather than spending all of your money on airtime for a bad one. It’s a decision you have to make for yourself, and your business.  A good place to start is to ask yourself: Who am I and how do I want to be perceived. If you are honest with yourself, you already know the answer!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

What's up with Late Night?

A little tidbit from Associated Press.  posted on (may have to cut and paste this one in your browser)
Well, who doesn't watch Late Night at some point or another?
So here comes the next (expected wave).
We have worked with Conan in our studio.
Nice guy, Ham & Swiss on Rye and a Sam Adams...You could say he's our kinda guy. Low maintenance, get the job done, completely attitude.... (yeah, that works etc...)   ...No problem.
We haven't worked with Jay but hey, any guy with that many cars has gotta be fun ...Right!
Since we have placed media time in both slots, we thought we'd do a little "Mom & Pop" research here...
What's you thoughts?
What do you watch & why?
Please comment freely

Should We Go Mobile?

Since we deal with a lot of retail clients, we get asked this a lot.
Here are some thoughts and statistics to boot!
The market is in the early stages of an inexorable redistribution of tasks from personal computers and laptops to mobile devices. As mobile devices get smarter and connectivity becomes more reliable, people will be able to accomplish more and more things on these new smart devices. This will accelerate during the next three to five years; this shift is inevitable.
Of those retailers planning to build an m-commerce site, 6.6% plan to do so within six months, 15.3% within six months to a year, 14.2% within one to two years, and 5.5% within two years.
As the transition to mobile accelerates, all retailers will begin to see traffic levels from mobile devices increase dramatically; for some retailers this has already begun, Likely during the next two to three years, all retailers will be forced to address this trend. Those who embrace mobility as an opportunity—early adopters that have done trial and error projects and wind up with a depth and breadth of mobile offerings—will outperform those who embrace it defensively—retailers late to the game with minimalist sites or apps.
So, the answer is yes, Maybe.
It might be too early for some. But whatever you decide, don't even consider ignoring the power of mobile marketing...Just keep your eyes and ears open. You will have to do this if you expect to survive!

Low Cost Client teleconferencing

If you're smart, you know to never release anything without client review and ultimate approval!
In the old days this involved burning a DVD (or god forbid a vhs tape), calling the client to arrange a meeting, sitting down with them and taking copious notes as they watched the DVD (you prayed you'd understand these notes later back in the edit room) and then, once the revisions were made, starting the process all over again. More recently we have been using Adobe Clip Notes which allows us to send a compressed video pdf file to the client and allows for them to make notations at specific time code locations within the video, and e-mail it back to us with their comments. All fine and dandy right? ...Well, sometimes yes and sometimes no. Not everybody is always on the same page at the same time.
So, take a look at this new skype plugin: 
Skype Gets Multi-User Video Plug-In
ViVu has released VuRoom, a video plug-in for Skype. VuRoom is built on the Skype platform to provide customers with instant multi-user video conferencing.

To enable the video conferencing, the meeting host downloads and installs the plug-in via a few clicks. The host then selects the contacts he wants to conference with from his Skype contact list.

Call participants, other than the host, need not have the ViVu plug-in installed to participate in the video conference. Participants can join by clicking the URL provided in their text chat window.

So, here's what we're thinking:
Given that we now have everyone in the same place at the same time, we can simply patch in the video from a laptop or server and everybody see's the same thing at once. Or, maybe we just shoot the screen with an inexpensive Flip Vimeo camera, that would allow us to pan back to a live talking head to personalize the whole experience! Gotta love technology!
We have not tried this yet since the plugin is so new but, we will post results as soon as we have the opportunity to try it. If some of you beat us to it, then please post your results and comments to share.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Speaking Of Super Bowl, Check this out

Doritos have been doing this for a few years now at the Superbowl. It’s their Crash The Superbowl Social Campaign that sees thousands of normal people, along with ad creatives & film makers create and submit their funniest Doritos ads in an online competition in the lead up to the Superbowl, with the winner, to be played at the main event and the finalists sharing in over $5million in prizes! Here is a montage of the 6 finalists!

Doritos Social Media Campaign

Friday, January 15, 2010

Of Interest to Super Bowl Advertisers

According to TNS Media Intelligence, :30 second commercials on next months Super Bowl on CBS are going for between $2.5 million and $2.8 million...That's down from last years Super Bowl on NBC where a  :30 spot went for $3 million on average!
Hey, save some opportunistic dollars out of your advertising budget (always a good idea) and if someone pulls out at the last minute, you might be able to pick up a :30 slot for a mere $1.8 -$2 million!
Hmmm! Kinda makes you wander what that kind of money might do to help relieve the situation in Haiti!
Imagine a campaign built around a company bold enough to pass on the superbowl to actually make a difference in the global condition! Put a price tag on that.....
Well, we would call that PRICELESS!!!
Just food for thought.

Of Interest to Marketers

Online social networks like Facebook and MySpace accounted for 21.1% of U.S. online display advertising in July, says comScore Ad Metrix, an online ad-tracking service of comScore Inc. MySpace and Facebook account for more than 80% of advertising on social networks.
Of the 326.9 billion ads U.S. online users saw in July, 68.9 billion appeared on social networks, where they were seen by 188.6 million unique individuals, comScore says. MySpace led the way with 30.0 billion impressions and a unique audience of 64.4 million; Facebook accounted for 26.8 billion impressions and 67.4 million unique individuals. was a distant third, with 1.9 billion impressions and a unique audience of 7.4 million.
"Over the past few years, social networking has become one of the most popular online activities, accounting for a significant portion of the time Internet users spend online and the pages they consume," says Jeff Hackett, comScore senior vice president. "Social networking sites now account for one out of every five ads people view online. Because the top social media sites can deliver high reach and frequency against target segments at a low cost, it appears that some advertisers are eager to use social networking sites as a new advertising delivery vehicle."

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Coming Soon!

Well, we finally made the commitment to get this thing going again.
Those of you who know us know it's been a while! The trick is to find the time .
Here we will attempt to document and share our experiences with various advertising, marketing and other video and photographic assignments and clients as we develop and implement new and effective communication strategies.  Feel free to share your thoughts. No doubt, we will all learn something along the way!
Cheers to all!