Friday, June 15, 2007

Make The Complicated Simple

"Making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that's creativity."
~ Charles Mingus, American jazz bassist and composer, 1922–1979
So you want to test a video ad?

Cool, let us know the results - I’ll post them.

What did you say... you don’t want to spend a fist full of hundreds on it?

Not to worry. You don’t have to.

I've seen a lot of slick video pre-rolls on the web that are in most cases actually just edited version of TV commercials. You don’t need that. More and more industry people are saying the edited down commercial is too slick for a pre-rolling web video. I see it as a case-by-case thing, but nonetheless, it's not the only option.

Do it yourself.

Don’t be afraid... you don't need high technology, just some creativity, good content and/or copy. Do it "low-fi.

What I mean is... you don't need a fancy studio. The available off the shelve technology is amazing. From digital video and cellular camcorders to laptop editing systems, and royalty-free music. You can do it all... desktop video production.

Too much for you? Ok...

There are “make your own commercial” online video services available like Spot Runner which claims to be the first Internet-based ad agency that makes it easy and affordable for local businesses to advertise on TV.

Spot Runner offers commercial production, media planning and media buying in a single turnkey, self-service system at a fraction of the traditional cost. This opportunity is in the middle, eh?

If this is the right fit for you - go for it. I just want you to understand that it's not necessary to rent a studio or use a media company to be successful with online video. Why?

Simply put, the idea of low-fi video is hot. Its time has come. Low-fi is not seen as amateurish, it’s “Indie”. AND that, in today’s media culture is way cool.

Keep in mind, really low-fi used on equipment from the 80's is crap. The concept of low-fi doesn’t give you license to go make a crappy hand held video ad, nor does it mean you should produce a daily news service on your site. But it does mean you can be successful on the web without a big hundred thousand dollar investment.

Success on the web will always come down to landing page copy for web sites and creative copy for video. Regardless of the medium it’s a quality content and copywriting world.

We apply all the CVoD rules with video the same as with anything else on the web. You must produce something of value and your ads must be providing a benefit to the video watcher. I'll say it again... the marketing has not changed only the medium has.

But with video... you need to look at one more thing. Context.

A 30 second slick edited TV pre-roll may not work placed before a low-fi music video. But it might work in front of a commentary on the currency markets. You want to match the slickness quotient of the pre-roll with that of the video content.

Better yet, you just need to test it.

Nothing has changed regarding testing either... do it early and often.

We live in the viral video age… in the world of youtube and myspace. Low-fi is found much more, (and accepted), than the highly produced, and as such, everybody can now join the party with online video.

So don’t pass up a video test because of the perceived lack of funds. Use your best copy and/or content and do it yourself.

Go cut your own cloth...


PS - And now for something completly different...

For no other reason than it made me laugh out loud, the final scene from The Meaning of Life (1983):
Lady Presenter: Well, that's the end of the film. Now, here's the meaning of life.

[Receives an envelope]

Lady Presenter: Thank you, Brigitte.

[Opens envelope, reads what's inside]

Lady Presenter: M-hmm. Well, it's nothing very special. Uh, try and be nice to people, avoid eating fat, read a good book every now and then, get some walking in, and try and live together in peace and harmony with people of all creeds and nations. And, finally, here are some completely gratuitous pictures of penises to annoy the censors and to hopefully spark some sort of controversy, which, it seems, is the only way, these days, to get the jaded, video-sated public off their fucking arses and back in the sodding cinema. Family entertainment? Bollocks. What they want is filth: people doing things to each other with chainsaws during tupperware parties, babysitters being stabbed with knitting needles by gay presidential candidates, vigilante groups strangling chickens, armed bands of theatre critics exterminating mutant goats. Where's the fun in pictures? Oh, well, there we are. Here's the theme music. Goodnight.