Category Archives: Video

SocialTV and Emerging Platforms Overview

SocialTV-the return of the family room?I was invited to speak to Hollywood marketing executives on June 26, 2012 at the iMedia Entertainment Summit by Brad Berens and Nancy Galanty of DMG Events. The initial request was for an overview of up and coming along with more established companies in the SocialTV space. I’m far more interested in emerging platforms than the individual companies, although I admire and enjoy the entrepreneurship, vision and camaraderie of their leaders. As an angel investor or strategic partner I might invest capital or resources in the individual company, but in my agency role I’m infinitely more interested in the convergence of technologies and consumer trends that launch new behaviors and platforms into popular culture. As a result, I framed the presentation this way:

  • Overview/Intro/Definition
  • Underlying influences and market dynamics that make SocialTV compelling
  • Proposed a spectrum of engagement models for nascent, volatile and emerging platforms like SocialTV
Some key take aways:
  • SocialTV may become the new normal for consuming video versus a discrete space–the term “SocialTV” may go away
  • Almost 90% Tablet & Smartphone Owners Use Devices While Watching TVAccording to Nielsen’s Q1 2012 report almost 90% of Smartphone and Tablet owners use their devices while watching TV; about 40% do so daily and over 60% do so several times a week. Conclusion: you can’t talk about SocialTV without the context of mobile which is where the greatest innovation will happen outside of the box
  • SocialTV is currently comprised of content discovery and companion apps–think a better remote control or check-in and chatter–as well as analytics applied around TV content
  • There are dozens if not hundreds of companies chipping away at pieces of this space but only a few are top-of-mind brands–Miso, Get Glue, IntoNow, Viggle, TrendRR, Bluefin and a few network offerings were like USA Chatter and HBOGo–mentioned at the conference of Hollywood insiders and Execs
  • There’s a lot of interest in this space as it represents massive potential shifts in consumer and advertising revenues for Hollywood, marketers, SocialMedia companies along with emerging players able to capitalize on the expanding ecosystem
  • For consumers, the opportunity to engage with families, friends and networks may unlock the social aspects of SocialTV and usher in the return from our Entertainment or TV room to the Family Room
Below is the slideware prepared for the presentation, followed by the video which has much more nuance and information with some reference links to close this post:

Slides with voiceover:

Curated links in preparation for the presentation:

Special thanks to Nielsen along with Adam Broitman, Adam Burg, Mark Ghuneim, Jeff Minsky and Lori Schwartz for their input and advice informing the presentation.

State of Mobile Video-Research Round-Up

I’m speaking on the state of Mobile Video for marketers today on a panel at AppNation in San Francisco. I hope to have a video of the panel to share later this week and in the meantime, wanted to share some of the public sources–in addition to  custom data from syndicated research services–of information on this subject. When the only barrier to a market is speed we can have every confidence that Moore’s law will cure that issue.

Already Akamai reports Korea has the fastest Mobile internet connectivity averaging 17+mps speeds. As we heard from Jimmy Kim, CEO of Nexon in Korea, (19:19 timecode in video) “I have 70mbs dedicated to my home. When I come to the United States I go crazy looking for WiFi, dropped calls.” At these kind of speeds people know you’re lying when you say you got a dropped call. Imagine what that means to the richness of content available at that speed and higher. It means you can download an iPhone/Android screen optimized full-length movie in under 45 seconds. It means you can experience mid-core gaming with intense graphics and concurrent connectivity with others. It means a more satisfying, rich experience. And much, much more profitable as a result, btw.

Here are some the publicly available sources and if you haven’t done so already, I encourage you to invest an hour watching/listening to Mary Meeker’s overview presentation below:

Embedable reports:
  • Cisco Global Mobile Video Report:
  • KPMG’s Mary Meeker’s report:

Watch Jason Spero, Mary Meeker and Matt Murphy share their insights and data on Mobile Video–well worth the hour to watch:

  • Rhythm Newmedia’s Q2 2010 report
  • Kevin Shatzkamer of Cisco’s Q&A on Mobile Video
  • Chris Barraclough’s Telco2.0 Mobile Video Overview for Operators

Seen anything else that should be included? Please add your sources to the comments below.

Weekly Round-Up 12/13/10

In the News

  • Find your keywords for monitoring social media. Like the best conversations Listening is one part brain, two parts heart
  • After 77 years, P&G pulls the plug on day-time soap ad spend, invests instead in social media. Two observations: 1) took 77 years to decline where Social’s taken 5-years to build; 2) Social Gaming is the new Soap pwning daytime viewership with a larger audience than same daypart TV shows
  • Rumor – Apple iPad 2 will ship by February with back & front camera, USB slot and anything else you need to jump in
  • To Trend or Not to Trend – how Trends—as in Trending Terms—are measured on Twitter


  • WikiLeaks war continued throughout week with anonymous hacktivists attacking Visa and Mastercard
  • Former WikiLeaks members form spin-off site “Openleaks,” with more structure around who can obtain the goods


Hallelujah-Top 10 Covers

Just finished watching KD Lang sing Leonard Cohen’s ‘Hallelujah’ for the fifth time on tivo. Like everyone else, I naturally went to search for it to share. In doing so, I discovered something pretty amazing: this one song covered by so many A-list and pop-culture acts routinely earns 2-million views when covered (hint to emerging acts wanting to show their reverential side).

Here are my top 10 examples:

The man himself, Leonard Cohen, about 1mm views

Rufus Wainwright with Joan Wasser and Martha Wainwright from the brilliant biographical Cohen film, “I’m Your Man,” nearly 20mm views via 6+ other ‘related videos’ versions)

Jeff Buckley’s version, almost 14mm views

kd lang. 2mm views

Allison Crowe, almost 5mm views

Sheryl Crow, 2mm views

Amanda Jenssen, Swedish American Idol, almost 5mm views (there’s another post with nearly 800k views as well)

Four Norwegian singers including Kurt Nilson, almost 20mm views

Jason Castro, 2mm+ views

Bon Jovi @ MSG in 2008

What’s amazing about this song–also frequently referred to as “The Shrek Song” by the YouTube generation–is that other versions earn 10s of millons additional views. For example: Alexandra Burke, about 8mm views and John Cale, over 2.5mm views.  If you’ve been doing the math within this post, you’re at over 80mm views of this one song and this is just from YouTube, not inclusive of other video sharing sites. We’re also counting just the head, not the tail versions of these videos. In aggregate I wouldn’t be surprised if viewership on this one song is over 200mm when you add all the long-tail occurrences. As with any longtail, I also expect that KD Lang’s performance tonight for the Olympics Opening Ceremonies will earn a lot more views per video.

I believe these number dimensionalize what Carl Jung meant when he quoted ‘the Chinese Master’ in Miguel Serrano’s “Jung & Hesse, a record of two friendships“: “a man thinking rightly in a room can be heard 3000 miles away.” Leonard Cohen, the master of word and song-craft, will be heard in every corner of the earth for ages to come.

Radiohead Recognition for Art, Innovation

Radiohead has received a lot of attention and press as a result of their forward-thinking approach to consumer engagement, marketing and sales in the digital channel and age. Last year, the band gave away their music for a limited time with mixed results based on who you heard it from. Clearly these guys aren’t one-hit-wonders in music or in marketing innovation. In a “make tech cool in a popular culture sense” move, Radiohead and Google are partnering on data visualizationas you can see in the House of Cards video below. Data geeks can download the inputs, create their own versions and post to the Radiohead YouTube site. The partnership also includes an iGoogle homepage themeand embeddable gadget for the video. Pretty simple, but effective stuff, especially when backed by the distribution of Google. This video has already earned over 2mm views as of this posting.

How can this approach work for digital marketers in other product categories? Consider the ways innovation can create a halo effect for your brand and seek out those innovations that tie closest to your brand values. Many brands require repositioning or reappraisal, and your marketing message and approach can be as talkable as any singular message crafted. In this case, the marketing is the message.

Share your thoughts or ways you’ve used marketing innovation to earn reconsideration below.

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“Your YouTube Connected to Your SumbledUpon”

Here’s your Friday snack. A great video mash-up with retro talent–The Delta Rythm Boys–and a soundtrack about Web 2.0 connectivity brought to life on dem iPhones. Cheers!

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Good Use of Video to Reposition Brand

before the redesignBaby Einstein hired Real Branding to re-position their line through the digital channel. As you can see from the “before” shot to the left, we repositioned from a product towards a brand, from functional benefits to emotional in a few simple videos. These videos also serve to demo the product versus the static image you see on most ecommerce sites.  Our challenge was to take highly functional transactional requirements and marry them with equally demanding emotional expectations. This isn’t a TV spot or a print ad, but consider for a moment how much information is conveyed within your first three clicks.

There are also great tools for selecting the right products based on age, stages, fancy or fascination through simple exploration. And we’ve invited parents to share their experiences at every touch.

Without opening up the strategy completely, we’re moving the brand to a “smarter” place which parents intuitively understand: that the most powerful learning happens within their arms and intimacy, where Baby Einstein has always advocated and delivered.

Mad props to the team that delivered business-changing engagements in a transactional website for a Real Brand.

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Could The Best Spot Be One You Can’t Find?

The Fox promotions machine was brilliant wrenching every ounce of value out of a declining medium during a writer’s strike. My sources tell me the most dvr-proof content includes live events–like the Super Bowl–and news (when it’s old you don’t need to record it). Still, let’s assume many people are using dvrs for replays, bio breaks and other conveniences. Before breaks and in those premium info-graphic areas Fox was promoting their directory which was largely anemic during the game–you could find a lot more of these ads on youtube and other places as a result. Lost opportunity, but the promotional thinking was great.

 But some of the best ads, IMHO, were the promotional bumpers for the Terminator, The Sarah Connor Chronicles, airing tonight on Fox. Consistent with the original debut of the campaign, the spots enter through the element of surprise. Gigantic info-graphic CGI footballbots provided blingy bumpers between the game and commercials. On the way out to commercial, recaps were accompanied by a “metallic” collosus that victory danced. During a couple of the breaks a classic Terminator leapt from behind the graphics to tackle and battle the footballbot. Surprising, entertaining and a little scary. And TiVo-proof. In the world of interruptive messages, this one did its job well: if you have to demand my attention with interruption, at least add some value.

I’m guessing that these “spots” cost about as much as the cheapo Dorritos efforts but got 10x the attention. And, none of the TV spot analysis seem to track these. Why? The future of mankind, if not the medium, is at stake here people. 🙂

I haven’t been able to find these bumpers in my searching. If you do, please post in the comments area below. In the meantime, here’s a promo spot that has equally good interruption and integration. Perhaps the revolution will be televised…

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Preliminary Superbowl Ad Recaps

A couple of links, and an embed…

Added: Neal Stewart recaps at the Denver Post
And a little ad that might appear if the player works–the secret spot from –if you can’t view it here, click the link, get through the age-gate and enter “1982” into the right hand sidebar to view a scatalogical wonder. Thanks DG for forwarding.

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Uplifting Bra Vids

playtexfits.jpgPlaytexbacks their tagline “who knows you like we do” with a simple, insightful campaign that’s also a YouTube hit. Doesn’t hurt that they’re promoting the video everywhere the 18 Hour Comfort Lace videos appear–smart planning and execution–but more importantly the ads are honest. Women of many shapes, sizes and ethnicities take the objectifying power out of the fetish by talking openly, bras bared, about their “friends.” Meet Lacy and Casey and other favorite names, see women dance in bras and experience the celebration of marketing that knows women better than the male lurkers that are bound to flock as well. Take a peek:

Props to Emily for passing along. To quote the campaign, “ta tas” for now.