Video Advertising is Not TV Advertising on the Web

Just read an article by Rory J. Thompson on advertising during online video content in BrandWeek discussing how video content is “expected to grow the fastest in 2008, according to eMarketer, New York.”

Makes sense, but this quote by Kris Oser, direcotr of strategic communications at eMarketer, doesn’t:

Mainstream advertisers are more comfortable with traditional ads, but they know eyeballs are moving online. Creating commercials is something they understand. Now they can just do them online.”

What we marketers often misunderstand is that a new medium (in this case, the web, and specifically social media/web video) doesn’t just give you a new joint to post your product, but it also requires a whole new approach, and maybe a whole new product.

FDR’s fireside chats were revolutionary because it was a new thing optimized for the medium (the radio).

JFK’s TV debate with Nixon was revolutionary because it was a new approach to campaigning that fit the medium (TV).

The only Ron Paul is still involved in the current presidential race is because of how his revolutionist message fits his revolutionist audience who can easily find him on the new medium (the web).

Seth Godin is appropriately calling this misunderstanding a Meatball Sundae these days, which feels about right (it’s a pretty good book – give it a read/listen).

You can’t just throw traditional commercials online and wait for them to work. There’s a reason we fast-forward through them on TV now – we don’t want to watch them.

You need a new approach to how you make commercials specifically for the web.

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