In more Twitter news, the company’s interactive Amplify program welcomes a new client, television giant Viacom. Viacom will soon have the ability to deliver ad-supported video content from networks like MTV, VH1, CMT and Nickelodeon directly into the feeds of its followers.
Taking another step towards brand-friendliness, Twitter launched Amplify to integrate traditional TV into the Twitter platform, allowing partners to embed real-time programs—highlights, trailers, promotional clips—into their tweets. These so-called “second screens” have the added feature of a frame that can host additional advertising content.
Viacom’s first use of Amplify will occur during the MTV Video Music Awards on August 25, when the network will tweet real-time clips of the program to the Twitterverse…probably something along the lines of “Here’s a clip of Beyonce’s performance: what did you think?” “Check out Bruno Mars walking down the red carpet: how about that hair?” The conversation should be interesting, to say the least, and we’ll be watching.
What’s more, this kind of video integration may eventually open doors for smaller brands to directly embed their own video content into Twitter, interacting with followers in a new, meaningful way.
A new platform called TubeRank claims that it has found the formula for viral videos! After a year-long study of videos on YouTube, they have categorized and compartmentalized the seemingly elusive viral video into what they call "audience triggers" and "communities of interest." The site’s purpose is to generate videos based on these variables to give you viral inspiration. This is very helpful tool and their analysis is spot-on. A video goes viral because it evokes certain emotions (triggers) in a particular “community of interest,” who, in turn, shares it with others outside the community. If the video relates to people outside that community, it could even reach farther and go “super viral." Take a look at TubeRank’s platform and you’ll see they’ve neatly organized these "triggers" and "interests," as well as the additional categories of User-Generated Content (UGC) and branded content, into the platform interface. With this platform, you can set the intensity of three triggers, such as "EPIC", "WTF" or "Educational," select up to three communities of interests, and choose UGC or branded content or both. BOOM! They pump out the top viral videos for those criteria. With a splash of "EPIC” and loads of “Moving,” we found the viral video of Isaac’s Bruno Mars marriage proposal:
But there is still a BIG PROBLEM with this equation— TubeRank successfully identifies which community of interests and what kind of triggers caused videos to go viral, but it does not identify how these communities discovered the video in the first place. In other words, it’s missing the tipping point of virality. The "make it and they will come" method just doesn’t work! Many great videos lie dormant on YouTube for years until someone of influence happens upon them. Even videos that have great potential and do get noticed sometimes fizzle out quickly. Until the formula can also answer, "How do I get people to notice my videos?" the viral video will stay elusive.
YouTube announced Monday that they are making what we believe to be EPIC changes to the channel options. Other than an overall layout change, there are two new features that we at Renegade are excited about.
1) Channel Trailer
On the new channel, you can put up a special trailer video that appears only to users who are not subscribed to your channel. This is a great opportunity to engage browsing visitors and capture them! Plus it is a chance to set the expectations for what your channel is all about!
2) Channel Art
Finally! The coveted header banner will be available to all users. Channel art is branding that goes beyond just the background image and it is seen on mobile phones, tablets, and in the hovercard anywhere on the site! Here is a template and guidelines on how to start creating channel art.
While we’re really excited about this, not everyone seems to be. The comments on the announcement are littered with foul-mouthed trolls. As an agency we’ve been trying for a year to figure out how to give our clients sexier YouTube channels without having to pay the big advertising sums. Interesting how the users themselves seem to be against this change.
Is this just a case of fear of the unknown and social network change backlash? How do you feel about the changes?
Though the big game is days away, major corporations like Coke, Mercedes, Audi, and Carl’s Jr. have already begun playing the field for the hearts of the 111 million viewers. Aside from the earned media potential of blogs and publications picking up the story, what advantages does pre-releasing your ad have?
In the case of Audi, probably nothing! Their pre-released YouTube tab “Big Game” seemingly gives away their entire spot, which costs around $2.5 million per 30 seconds. There is additional content around the same theme available for viewing, but unless Audi has a surprise up its sleeve for the big day, it has already run out of gas.
Mercedes and Carl’s Jr. haven’t quite shown it all. @CarlsJr has posted a few tweets with images from the ad shoot with swimsuit model @NinaAgdal as an appetizer. The full TV ad surely won’t be short of saucy. Mercedes, too, pre-released their ad spot with Kate Upton getting her shiny car washed, which alludes that there is more to bare.
Coke seems to be the most inventive, taking full advantage of social media for its big ad. Visit CokeChase.com and you can watch a pre-release video that sets the stage for the big day with cowboys, showgirls and badlanders racing to the land of sweet, bubble nirvana. Coke asks you, the user, to choose who will win the race and the final spot on the air—all you have to do is tweet your vote. The fun doesn’t stop there! Immediately in return, Coke sends you a tweet with the option to delay the contenders. This is a prime example of perfectly executed brand engagement that builds to the finale. When Coke’s ad finally rolls out on the big day, you can expect to see a hoard of tweets from enthusiasts rooting for their team.
Stay tuned to @Renegade_LLC for the Big Game Ads reviews, live as they happen on Feb 3rd.
Without a doubt, one of the biggest social media stories of the year has been Facebook’s cool $1 billion dollar purchase of Instagram, a free photo-sharing mobile app that allows users to edit, stylize, and upload photos to several social media platforms. Instagram’s popularity and success can be attributed to a variety of things they recognized about the social media world and its users. First and foremost they appreciated the growing importance of social media on the go, and made their app fast and efficient for mobile use. They also saw the potential in enhancing a mobile photo into a work of art with digital filters: people have the tendency to be more enthused about a personalized pretty picture they created than a regular ol’ snap shot on the iPhone or Android. Since the new Facebook with Timeline has become increasingly oriented around photos and aesthetics, it is not surprising that Mark Zuckerberg would decide to purchase the best app best suited to enhance this aspect of Facebook users’ experience (and perhaps even knock out future competition). Although Instagram is still immensely popular, social media stops for no app, and the company’s success has only energized other start-up tech companies to come up with the next big media-sharing app. And this future big app on campus will undoubtedly be a video-sharing equivalent of Instagram.
Leading the way for video-sharing apps at the moment is Socialcam, which is second only to Instagram in the Apple Store’s most downloaded free Photo & Video applications. Boasting over 10 million downloads, Socialcam allows users to upload their videos to social platforms and edit videos right after taking them on their mobile device. While the formula seems to follow that of Instagram to a ‘t’, Socialcam also allows users to further personalize their mobile movies with soundtracks and custom titles, as well as with Instagram-esque digital filters.
Socialcam is one of many hopefuls in the race to be the next Instagram, and the competition is sure to heat up with apps like Viddy, Klip, and others gaining momentum. Because these apps are all free, users are able to discriminate by personal preference, aesthetic, and desired capabilities.
Viddy allows users to upload 15-second videos to Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Tumblr. Like Socialcam, Viddy allows you to edit your mobile movies on the go with music, digital filters, transitions and more. The Viddy celebrity community is spearheaded by Britney Spears, who has 28.3K followers. While Viddy is the 9th most downloaded free Photo & Video app, it might be able to amass more of a following if the app was available for Android phone, as only iPhone users can enjoy Viddy now.
Klip, another iPhone-only app, offers users 20 real-time video effects. On klip.com, users can upload directly and share their movies with the klip community publicly or more privately. Klip also encourages social media platform integration not only by sharing movies on a variety of platforms, but also by enabling searchable hashtags on the klip site. Users can use hashtags in the title of their videos, track trends or find like-minded movie makers.
Video might not kill the Instagram star, but these apps are certainly the ones to keep an eye on in the upcoming months.
Have you downloaded a video-sharing app? What do you think the next Instagram will be? Let us know what you think.
- Emma Neisser
Apple announced Wednesday that its co-founder, two-time CEO and face of the company, Steve Jobs, had passed away after a seven-year struggle with pancreatic cancer.
To detail each of Jobs’ game-changing creations would prove too lengthy for a single blog post. Suffice it to say that a number of articles, books and even a movie have already delved into the life of the college dropout who went on to become one of the most successful and recognizable tech whizzes of our time. The first authorized Jobs biography will hit shelves later this month, giving both the fanatics and the Mac-curious more to digest.
While a great deal of attention has been paid to the awesome (and I mean “awesome” in the truest sense of the word) gadgets conceived and created by Jobs, little has been said about his adeptness on the commercial side. Business 2.0 once called Jobs “easily the greatest marketer since P.T. Barnum.” Indeed his charisma, stage presence and signature style (black turtleneck and jeans) secured him the status as Apple’s most popular MC. Although his role as marketer and showman was secondary to the innovator mantle, it still supersedes other CEOs and digital gurus.
To honor Jobs, here’s a look back at some of his most memorable marketing moments:
1. “1984” Macintosh Ad, 1984: Directed by Ridley Scott, aired once during the Super bowl and named best commercial of the decade by Advertising Age. ‘Nuff said.
2. “Knick Knack,” 1989: The first animated feature created by Pixar, which Jobs purchased from LucasFilm and took to new heights. While not a reflection of his marketing prowess, the streamlined cinematography seemed to channel the crisp iMac ads that would run nearly a decade later.
3. “Think Different,” 1997: While Jobs might not have created the iconic slogan, family, friends and followers consider him the embodiment of the phrase.
4. Silhouette iPod ads, 2001: Watching those dark figures rock out against candy-colored backgrounds gave you the irresistible urge to buy an iPod and join their legions.
5. “Get a Mac” campaign, 2006 to 2009: Probably the funniest Apple ad series of all time. Laidback Mac (Justin Long) always outshined his hopelessly flawed counterpart, PC (John Hodgman).
6. “New Soul” MacBook Air commercial, 2008: Yael Naim’s feathery voice provided a nice backdrop to the introduction of the first laptop to fit in a manila folder. Everyone was humming the tune throughout the year.
7. iPad ads, 2010: Like its iPhone predecessor, the iPad commercials highlight a user-friendly interface and diverse functionality. A neutral voiceover and soft piano keys add a simplified touch.
Farewell, Steve Jobs. Thanks for the gizmos, the tech revoultion and the vision.
— Nicole Duncan
For the space lovers, history buffs and event junkies who do not have tickets to Cape Canaveral for the final shuttle launch, rest assured. NASA will stream live footage on its website while the popular media site Spacevidcast will up the ante with an interactive component that allows users to ask the astronauts and engineers questions via Skype and Facebook. Viewers without access to the live footage can utilize Twitter by following the Atlantis crew or one of the 150 Twitterers chosen by NASA to watch from the VIP box.
Although U.S. officials maintain that space-faring expeditions will continue, for many the retirement of the four remaining shuttles marks the end of the Space Age. Thirty years ago when the first shuttle launched, the communications channels were a vastly different landscape. Telephones were restricted to businesses and residences; people sent messages through snail mail; and encyclopedias were the best vehicles on the information superhighway. Now the products of the one revolution will shepherd out its predecessor— a simple reminder of the dynamic (and often unexpected) nature of progress.
As you watch this historic event from a live stream on your 3G smartphone, consider how much has changed since 1981, and think of the possibilities that have yet to come.
— Nicole Duncan
||Well, we’ve done it. Chatroulette was officially banned by Apple today from the app store for “too much user generated content that is pornographic.” Or so says Business Insider. I can’t actually read the newly released App Store Review Guidelines, or anything else for developers because you need a special password, which is only provided after Apple approves your developer status. Transparency fail.
UPDATE: “Apps that contain user generated content that is frequently pornographic (ex “Chat Roulette” apps) will be rejected” (Section 18.1 Pornography in App Store Review Guidelines) Thank you Mobile Crunch.
|Chatroulette has just undergone an overhaul from their previous format, one that supposedly is a more PG version of their once X rated experience. Compared this winter to Twitter and Facebook as the next big social media property, Chatroulette is facing some serious questions after today’s announcement, can it come back from this recent overhaul and banning? The number of users has been steadily decreasing, the percentage of X-rated content increasing. I guess it will depend on how much users mind being mooned by strangers, or how much that is part of the thrill of the unknown- either way I’m guessing we’ll be seeing a lot more of Chatroulette, and each other, very soon.
Just found a great live feed of Union Square, 3 blocks north of Renegade’s office. Today we watch it fill up with snow, in July with sun bathers. Thanks for the feed goes to Blue Fountain Media!
Volkswagen is, as usual, doing things differently and getting some some positive attention for it.
||This morning a composer friend of mine posted a video on Facebook of "piano key" stairs. His post had nothing to do with VW advertising and less to do with marketing in general. He just found the video interesting because of his relationship with music (I'm sure of this because he posted the Swedish version of the video and he definitely doens't speak their language).
|After finishing watching the video, I clicked on the link, expecting to be directed to some sort of music school related experiment site, and was (momentarily) suprised to be directed to a lightly branded VW website proclaiming (once I ticked the UK flag for English):
"This site is dedicated to the thought that something as simple as fun
is the easiest way to change people’s behaviour for the better. Be it
for yourself, for the environment, or something entirely different, the
only thing that matters is that it’s change for the better."
This mini guerrilla campaign/behavioral experiment is doing exactly that:
The piano installation was created to encourage people to make the healthier choice to take the stairs instead of using an escalator. The before and after shots of the staircase vs. the escalator prove the trick works.
The next video depicting "The World's Deepest [Trash] Bin," an outdoor public garbage can that makes a cartoonish sound of something falling very very far, had the effect of getting park-goers to not only throw away their own trash, but also to clean up the rest of the park just to hear the falling sound again.
Next, they promise to come up with a fun way to recycle.
I say, GO TEAM VOLKSWAGEN (BDB Stockholm)! This bare bones project of theirs sure is a great example of a lot of good things advertising: marketing as service, combining online and offline, and making a good idea viral by keeping it open-ended and by not shoving a ton of branding down the throats of those who couldn't care less about cars (i.e. my buddy the composer).