Videos are an integral part of our communication. The impact of Audio Visual content is far more effective than Print or Radio or Outdoor as a medium. The problem lied in the cost of making videos and importantly airing them on TV channels.
All that underwent a change thanks to YouTube that first introduced a platform for user generated videos to get uploaded online. Users found a channel for themselves to express their thoughts, opinions or just their most memorable moments. Working on the basic human premise of ‘15 minutes of fame’, the concept caught fancy and soon there were millions uploading their videos for people to watch. As on Mar 2008, there were close to 200,000 videos being uploaded every day!!!
Like every concept, the users and the medium matured with time. The videos moved away from purely being ‘fun stuff’ to ‘educational’ in nature. People explained concepts, technologies and processes with the help of videos. YouTube provided people the medium to express themselves, teach others and use individual expertise for benefit of all. Google spotted the opportunity and bought youtube for a price that every entrepreneur turns an entrepreneur for.
As users increased (as on Mar 2008, there were 78.3 million users on youtube alone and by then there were several video sharing sites up), brands started realizing the opportunity the medium provided. Many cult brands like Nike, Dove, Coke nature of videos that got high consumer engagement and leveraged the medium to their advantage. Unfortunately in India, most marketers have restricted the use of this medium to uploading their TVCs on it (a rather traditional approach). No problem with that too as whatever hits that came that way can be treated as bonus!! But there are so many more benefits this medium can provide:
- Duration: There is no more 30 sec bondage that the Brand Manager or creative guy needs to live with. The average youtube videos are 2.46 minutes long.
- Odd video secondage: With the way media channels operate, most TVCs have to be made in jumps of 5 seconds. So the TVCs are either 15 sec or 20 sec or 30 sec or 45 sec or 60 secs film and never 28 sec or 37 sec. There have been innumerable times when the marketer is struggling to cut those extra secondage to put his TVC in the required time slot. In online videos, your brand video could be 1.07 sec and it wouldn’t matter.
- Educational in nature: Online videos can be good medium to educate the consumer about ‘New to the World’ kind of product or any new product or service introduced by the company where there is a ‘process to be explained’.
- Free to air: There is absolutely no airing costs online. The ads can be uploaded on all the active video sharing sites which screen that ad when the user clicks the play button any number of times. Obama’s videos got close to 20 million hits on his Youtube channel.
- Costs: The production costs are far lower for shooting online videos. Small brands can optimize on this and produce several ads in a year to communicate fresh message to its viewers
- Real views: The no of views captured by all the video uploading sites are calculated only if the viewer watches the video. Unlike television, where you can never be sure whether the viewer has changed the channel during the break or walked away to get chips from the kitchen.
- The presence is forever: Unlike a TVC, the brand video once uploaded on Internet stays forever. It operates on the 24 X 7 X 365 X ‘Until that site shuts down’ formula.
- Customization: As the production costs are low and airing costs practically zilch, brand managers can make several ads catering to wide section of audience. In the traditional media, the marketer has the play the same ad on a niche channel like Discovery as well as mass general entertainment channel like Star Plus
Indian Case Study: