Last month, Time.com named Hulu the #4 best invention of 2008. Hulu was bookended by The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter and The Large Hadron Collider. While this ranking seems to be a bit extreme, especially since Hulu was only the 31st best website of 2008 also according to Time, there is no doubt it has made a major impact in the distribution and monetization of digital content and online video.
Hulu was in-part created by NBC Universal and News Corp. as a response to the behemoth that is YouTube. The purpose of Hulu is to distribute their programs on their terms. While this was first met with some criticism, this is now for the most part non-existent. The behemoth that is still YouTube, still based in UGC, is now feeling pressure from Hulu, and as a response YouTube is scrambling to partner with traditional media companies like Metro-Goldwyn Mayer and CBS. YouTube is taking many steps to monetize its site (media partnerships to attract advertisers, sponsored videos in search results), but it seems like these steps are not enough. The Financial Times reported Hulu is set to surpass YouTube in revenues by 2010, the majority of this being advertising revenues.
So, what is the difference between the advertising opportunities on Hulu and those on YouTube?
Video of the T-Mobile G1 runnning Google Android running Wikitude. Using the phone camera, Wikitude takes the user’s geographical coordinates and tells the users what they are looking at through the display.
EXTRA: Google Android G1 phone selling better than expected…via TGDaily
We all know Apple uses the iPhone to sell applications at the App Store, but what about the notion Apple is using applications to sell the iPhone at the Apple Store? Last night, while watching episode 2 of Top Chef, the iPhone commercial promoting the UrbanSpoon app appeared twice.
Given the content of the show and the given audience, this ad is extremely relevant. The question is whether this ad is to push the Urban Spoon application, the iPhone or both. Based on the fact that Apple makes no money on this free application, it is safe to assume Apple is using the vast collection of applications to make a compelling case for why you should purchase an iPhone. The use of application as creative messaging gives great possibility to how targeted the ads can be.
Storytelling has long been a way to effectively communicate a message, while creating a strong relationship between the story and the audience. Advertising agencies like the newly launched Dandelion are focused solely on creating meaningful brand interactions through storytelling. The storytelling is executed through highly produced branded serial content. We know agencies can tell very engaging brand stories, but what about the consumer?
Storytlr is a company that aggregates tweets, FB status updates, flickr posts, etc. from a specific event and compiles them into a packaged story of your life. Mashable gives a detailed recap of its offerings in a post entitled How To: Turn Your Photos, Video and Tweets into Stories.
I think it is an interesting property any company can use to help their customers (who use the products) tell a story, instead of hiring an agency to tell it. Essentially, an advertiser can use Storytlr to have their customers create mini stories about how they interact with that specific brand. This can either be positioned as a contest or just a testament to the power of a brand in one’s life.
This also opens opportunity for Storytlr. While they state on their About page “Storytlr is not a startup, just a fun project that we are building during our free time,” I think they could begin to develop some sort of advertiser based business model by creating white label versions of Storytlr for a brand to skin and put on the advertiser’s own website. Another opportunity would be to create branded Story Channels within Storytlr.com. Finally, it would be interesting to see where brands appear within existing stories on the site.
Brands always have a story to tell from their perspective, but I think it is the story from the perspective of the consumer that brands benefit much more.
During my senior year at the University of Wisconsin, I wrote my honors thesis on the millennial generation and how marketers can reach this allusive group. In my thesis, I quoted from Gabrial Garcia Marquez’s One Hundred Years Of Solitude, “The search for lost things is hindered by routine habit and that is why it is so difficult to find them.” I referenced this quote to help illustrate the point that marketers have lost Millennials to a vast media environment and an unparalleled level of control, and cannot locate and reach them because those marketers are still holding on to routine marketing habits. They can no longer rely on traditional marketing to reach their target audience because neither the media nor the Millennial audience is traditional anymore.
I think this is a very interesting quote and can be interpreted and applied in a number of different ways. How I interpret this is in order to solve something you must begin to think in new and innovative ways, and cannnot necessarily rely on the way its always been done. This is especially true when dealing with media. With how fast media and technology change and how consumers interact with them, we must understand and embrace them in order to stay above the water.
The purpose of this blog is to provide the tools enabling you to break habit.