There's a wealth of information available contrasting online video advertising and broadcast advertising, traditional marketing to online marketing, whether or not social media will kill PR, push advertising vs pull marketing, lean-back versus lean-forward and on and on. Maybe the time has come to stop pointing out the disparities or trying to figure out which is better -- and to start capitalizing on the similarities, identifying the places where the mediums intersect and, more importantly, where they can be benefit each other in the bigger picture.
Television. TV and radio are great at reaching mass audiences but not as good at engagement and interactivity. TV can raise brand and product awareness and tell lots of people to go do things, but viewers can't communicate directly with the commercial, leave a comment or directly send the ad to their friends. Also, as soon as the media buy is over, the TV ad stops running.
Online Video. Online video is great at targeting and engaging specific audiences, is easily shared, and thrives on interaction. The video lives on regardless of additional media buys. However, reaching a critical mass audience -- an audience that will take enough action to offset the budget spend and deliver a return on the marketer's investment -- requires a viral marketing strategy that includes ad placement, outreach, social media marketing, video optimization and cross-integration wherever possible.
Social Media. Social media describes multiple channels of distribution and engagement and is ideal for sharing online video messages. Basically, social media is to online video and brand messages as TV is to shows and commercials, but with far more interactivity.
So imagine if a simultaneously launched TV and radio campaign, along with press releases and blog and publication outreach, were to direct interested viewers to social media initiatives on Facebook, Youtube and other social platforms with additional online video content that would:
a. live there forever
b. encourage interactivity and sharing
c. reinforce, supplement and spread the brand message through the videos and surrounding conversation
d. allow for sustained reactive engagement
e. build audiences for future engagement
Wouldn't that be nice?
Start thinking in terms of integrating bits of TV, radio, PR, outdoor advertising, print, guerrilla marketing and social media wherever and whenever you can. Get more than one department involved and share the success of the campaign. I like to equate viral marketing with trying to break boards with your hand. If you don't hit with everything you've got, you'll break your hand -- which, in the words of Charlie, "really hurts."