The Advertising Apprentice

January 18, 2010

Filed under: Advertising — adamlauzon @ 3:19 PM

And we’re back! I apologize for getting this entry up so late in the New Year but I’ve had a few other pressing issues to attend to over the past couple weeks. But I’m back, recharged and ready for an amazing 2010 with the Advertising Apprentice.

Do I ever have a great topic for this first entry of the New Year!! Today I’m talking about the very-addictive, time-killer that is YouTube.

To introduce this week’s topic, have a look at the following YouTube clip:

In case you didn’t catch the information on the right side of that page, that 19-second clip was the very first video to be posted on YouTube on April 23rd, 2005.

If you’re a loyal reader of the Advertising Apprentice you know that practically all my posts include videos from YouTube. (One of my first posts even discussed the idea of news coming to YouTube.) But this week I think it’s time to examine the impact on the advertising world of YouTube since its inception nearly five years ago.

The top five most viewed videos of all-time show the diversity and appeal that YouTube offers viewers:

Let’s take a minute to consider these top five videos. Two of them feature cute babies laughing. One video is a very captivating clip of a guy dancing to various genres of music. Then you have a music video of a 16-year-old filled with teenage angst! Rounding out the top five, you have a very crude, yet equally humourous clip of a ventriloquist. Of these five, you could only argue that the latter two were posted to build buzz and in the hopes of turning a profit.

With over a hundred million views for each video I’m sure the placement Miley Cyrus’ music video and Jeff Dunham’s stand-up act on YouTube has resulted in some sort of action on the part of consumers. For instance, Miley Cyrus probably saw an increase in CD sales/iTunes downloads and maybe even increase in attendance at her shows from over a hundred million people seeing her music video on YouTube. While Jeff Dunham can probably attribute an increase in sales of his comedy specials and an increase in audience attendance at his shows to the exposure he got from YouTube.

I’ve italicized the word “exposure” in the last sentence of the previous paragraph for a reason. It’s because I think that YouTube offers people, whether they are unsigned recording artists or well-known comedians, the chance to be exposed to the hundreds of millions of people that visit YouTube on a daily basis. And as mentioned above, due to the sheer number of people that visit YouTube daily, it’s only natural to see advertisers flocking to the website as well.

Now in terms of YouTube’s appeal to marketers and to relate this discussion back to advertising, YouTube is just like any other social media website out there like Facebook or Twitter. It’s a site where the masses are spending tons of time. You know how much it cost Miley Cyrus’ record company to post her music video on YouTube or how much it cost Jeff Dunham to air a ten-minute clip of him with one of his characters? Not a single penny. This lack of impact on an advertising campaign’s budget is a real selling point for many.

To cater to the advertisers that now see YouTube as a viable vehicle to which it is advantageous to promote a product/service/brand, YouTube has created brand channels. (Now there’s a pretty persuasive video!) Through these brand channels, you can create your own site on YouTube. So the appeal to advertisers is that the content is customizable to their client’s brand.

Before YouTube came about, the term “viral video” didn’t exist in our lexicon. And now you can’t go an hour without hearing that phrase. High school students borrowing their parents’ camera equipment and Hollywood studios alike are all working hard to produce their own viral videos that will garner some attention on YouTube.

In the upcoming weeks you can look forward to an entry on the advertising efforts surrounding the 2010 Winter Olympics, which take place from February 12th to 28th. In an upcoming entry I’ll also be talking about another big sporting event that takes place in February; the Super Bowl. With this entry not only will I write about the different couples you can expect to see during stoppages in play, as a bonus I’ll even try to predict the outcome of the big game! So be sure to stay tuned for that!


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