Commentary

Brand Story-Planning: The Power of Media Meeting Creative

Which comes first, media or creative?

That’s the question posed by Alyssa Kramer, video production manager, Marketing & Communications, UPMC Health Plan, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, at Wednesday’s MediaPost TV & Video Insider Summit in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Take photography, for example. Kramer recalled the advice of a university professor to “shoot with a purpose.” Effective video content strategy isn’t about volume -- it’s about precision, she said. Yet at the end of the day, she admitted, “it’s difficult to implement this into a business. Sometimes, you have no choice but to go with the strategy” of shooting thousands of photos or hours of video and hope you have a couple of usable shots. “It has saved us in a pinch.”

Kramer presented two case studies -- the first of which was “B2B Lead Generation” for client eBenefits. The challenge was to build brand awareness and exposure, and to position the product as exciting, high tech, user friendly and practical. Her team created a video that targeted decision makers, people in HR, etc. Among the results: 660K+ completed video views, VTR was 44%, CTR was 0.18%. Audio on was 2.08% and there were 25 leads generated.

The second, an educational campaign for short-term insurance plans offered by UPMC Health Plan, targeted 18- to-35-year-olds by behavior and demographic area and used retargeting. It was placed on pre-roll, programmatic and social media.

he challenge was to educate and raise awareness about the brand, and the strategy was to appeal to younger members in a fun, lighthearted way. Among the results: 8,000 completed video views, VTR was 47%, CTR was 0.22%. Audio on was 0.18% and there were three leads generated.

Among the takeaways were that the demo approach worked better than the funny one. Sometimes, she said, you need to be more strategic. Consider the concept and cater that to what the audience wants.

One thing that caused jaws to drop at her company was that the audio performance was so low. “Video was on, sound was off,” as she said, making her wonder whether they were behind the times. “Audio is going away with social media,” she said, advising media and creative to use captions or concepts that don’t need audio. “If your team is spending money on writing motivational scripts, licensing music, etc., it is a giant waste of time and money.”

Kramer left her audience with several key takeaways:

  • Media planning can help you build a better business case for video.
  • Align with the user journey.
  • Video CAN be a cost-effective lead generator.
  • Track results. 
  • Goodbye, audio.
  • Loop in your creative team. We want to know what you guys are doing.
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