Online Video: What Do Brands Really Want?

Just about every day, new press accounts reinforce the exploding demand for online video content by marketers. 

With this consensus seemingly in place, I asked myself the question:  What are brands really looking for in online video?  Well, I decided to do some serious investigation.  I contacted about two dozen marketers I know from Fortune 100 companies and asked them that question.  

The responses reinforced that yes, marketers want MORE online video, and they don't want to have to pay a lot. And here's what the Fortune 100 marketers told me they're looking for, in order of importance: 

Online video advertising - Brands want traditional commercial videos for use in pre-rolls or social media placements; expandable banner ads with videos embedded; etc.  These are typically 15 or 30 seconds in length, and can also find their way onto TV screens. 

Viral Videos - Yes, marketers are still asking for "viral" videos, although when queried, all knew that predicting "virality" is next to impossible, and for the most part they are looking for videos that have pass-along characteristics. A handful of marketers did say, however, that the C-Suite is continuing to chase after this "bright shiny object." 



Videos for social media pages - This is the fastest-growing area of demand from my own clients, and the marketers echoed this interest. One marketer said she is looking for "relevant, friendly, appropriate Facebook ads that fit into a social environment naturally. " The greatest level of interest focused on Facebook videos that can enable a persistent video presence on their corporate pages.

Online versions of national TV spots - There was a surprisingly high level of interest to obtain videos that are basically "clones" of currently running national TV campaigns.  One marketer commented that once the national TV spots have run for a long time, and are pretty "worn out," they'd like to switch spots with an online version using the same creative brief and approach as the original TV work - all for online airing 

Consumer Engagement Videos - Marketers are still interested in enabling their consumers to engage with their brands through the production of videos.  These contests, like recent ones by Doritos or Pepsi Max, are still very popular with marketers as part of total PR and marketing programs. In most instances, these produced videos don't end up getting a lot of TV air time, and are much more grounded in building awareness from running the contest itself, rather than from heavily playing the winning video on-air.

QR Code Videos - There is growing interest in QR Code Videos,   segments produced by manufacturers to match up to in-store displays that feature QR Codes.  Consumers snap a picture of the QR Code and it takes them to a short video that describes the product referenced in-store. The customer will then instantly learn everything they need to know about using the product.  This is a relatively new need, but at least a half dozen marketers mentioned interest in videos to link to for customer education purposes.<

My self-imposed study was non-scientific in nature but provided an interesting snapshot of current marketer wants.  Moving forward, I'll be monitoring changes in these "video needs" to share here with readers.

4 comments about "Online Video: What Do Brands Really Want?".
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  1. Elizabeth Palomino from interclick, April 14, 2011 at 1:57 p.m.

    Content is one thing, but what kinds of insights do these marketers want? What about being able to quantify the impact of online video on display, and vice versa, so they can build consistent cross-channel executions, and improve their overall marketing strategies?

  2. David Samuels from KoldCast TV, April 14, 2011 at 2:06 p.m.

    Nice work, Neil. However, brands need to know what consumers want and what they will accept, enjoy and share. For the past four years we have heard/read what advertisers are looking for. Unfortunately, there is a major disconnect between advertiser requirements and consumer requirements. Until they are matched up, we'll all be watching SSDD pre-roll. That's too bad, too. The opportunities for forward-thinking brands are enormous.

  3. Paula Lynn from Who Else Unlimited, April 14, 2011 at 2:59 p.m.

    Cost control, cost control and more cost control is what marketers want/need.

  4. Lyn Graft from LG Pictures, April 15, 2011 at 9:02 a.m.

    Interesting to see the QR codes as one of the things they are looking for - thanks for sharing. Lately, I've been creating video 'series' vs. one-off videos for 2 of my Fortune 500 clients as we have been brainstorming how to leverage amount of time, energy and footage that goes into creating a single production. A way to get a TV series affect.

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