Posted By:
Craig Newman
May 17, 2012
Filed Under:
Business Video Tips

Online video; how has it changed and how to get the most from it?

In the old days of Television, as soon as an ad came on TV people were quick to change the channel. Why are we surprised that the same thing has happened with online video?

Here are several ways in which the landscape of online video has changed.

“Branded By” vs “Sponsored By”

Let’s take a vote; who actually watches traditional TV advertisements? Anyone? You there, the video ad producer put your hand down… any that’s what I thought. No one. We’ve all got PVR and fast-forward through the commercials .

When watching online videos, we can’t wait until the seconds tick to zero on the counter for when we’re allowed to skip the rest of an online ad in favor of our desired content destination. Often people will even click away from the page because they have decided that whilst they want to watch a kitten waking up… it’s not worth having to watch the ad.

However, viewers are increasingly tolerant of branded media. We know someone had to foot the bill for what we’re watching, more often than not. We’d just rather not be beaten over the head with it. Or, in some cases, the ridiculous frequency with which a brand is mentioned is the punch line, in which case we’re ok with that too… so long as it’s funny. Check out this example from K-Swiss (Warning: Course Language NSFW)

“Yo Dawg, I killed you.”

This has actually made advertising harder, but the rewards of creative content are much bigger than before.

Supply & Demand

There is a growing demand for online video productions. With me, as I write this post, I have four separate devices that can access online digital content.

With the increasing numbers of tablets, web enabled TV’s, Smart-phones, Tivos, etc, consumers are purchasing, the demand for dynamic, engaging online video has grown drastically. 35% of the global population is now online up from only 8% just 10 years ago and more than 470 Smart-phones have been sold online.


Video advertising is no longer a passive experience but an interactive, social activity. The possibilities are endless for those willing to embrace online video as a means to interact with the public. At the end of the day, what is your goal? To get your content into the eyes and ears of the masses? Then interaction is the key. 

“An ad might induce a person to purchase a product (once), but compelling content will start a conversation with a viewer that gets them to share your video with others and come back for more.”  (TMG, America)

This means the goal of the video isn’t the hard sell so much as the fostering of a relationship. Your audience will then become your ambassador, making your brand part of their greater cultural conversation that defines the community at large.

Case Study? Ok… Volkswagen - The Fun Theory

The video received 1.200.000+ views in 4 days. Plus various copies with over 500.000 views. Minor detail: The original Swedish version – Pianotrappan – – “only” got 680.000+ views in 20 days.

The platform bundles the videos and encourages people to submit their own ideas. The winner will be granted with a cash prize of 2500 euros. I sure do hope that Volkswagen promotes these actions and let people vote, share and encourage others with micro interactions. This way, the behavior change also comes from the people within.

Lets take a look at the conversation market. What did the campaign do to the conversations? To check this out, we’ll have a look at Twitter.

Trendistic statistics on the word “piano”

It’s incredible, when you look at the statistics, you can see a minor trend on the word piano, just shortly after the launch of the videos. This means that people started to talk more about pianos then before the campaign. Next to all the regular conversations about pianos, a lot of the ones including a link direct to the advertisement page.

Trendistic statistics on the word “fun”
Another nice detail is that Volkswagen is being associated with fun a lot on Twitter. Volkswagen is being mentioned several times per hour with the word fun and a link to the campaign. (ViralBlog, America)


And the limits that previously dictated the parameters of what we could and couldn’t do have all but evaporated.


The old 30/60 second commercial advertising constraints are gone! Now your video production campaigns can be as long or as short as you please.

That said, keep in mind the attention span of an online viewer. On one end, we’re seeing 5 second and even 2 second online film festivals cater to our supposedly shortening attention spans. At the other side of the spectrum, comedic webisode series and long-form, lightly branded documentaries are replacing the 30 and 60 minute lengthy viewing blocks that were once reserved only for television.



Hi, welcome to the internet, there is no tact.

The internet is here.

See if you can count all the memes.

For example honeymoon candy-consummation (NSFW). Of course, I say this because I want you to realise the lack of boundaries. Please remember to protect your brand and, if I may, do you bit to stop society going to hell in a wheelie bin.

Please comment…

Now that things have been shaken up, what do you plan to do about it?

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