YouTube has only been around five years, but it’s hard to image life without it. Just ask anyone that’s ever randomly shouted, “OUCH! Charlie bit me.” The site has been integrated into college curriculum, the corporate world and our everyday lives. Video is engaging, entertaining and just about everywhere.
Companies and public figures have long-recognized the power of video (think election season), but only those with enough to pay for airtime were given a voice. YouTube opened the door for everyday folks to provide consumer journalism, mindless entertainment and two-way conversation that hadn’t existed prior to the site’s launch.
Corporations are taking their commercials to a new, interactive level, while others are cutting out paid advertising and taking their creative campaigns to the web, hoping they’ll go viral.
Toyota’s latest – the Sienna Family’s “Swagger Waggon” rap – made soccer moms everywhere laugh and cheer at Toyota’s recognition of the long-ridiculed “minivan mom” stereotype and the company’s creative refusal to accept it. The family has appeared in Toyota’s television and web campaigns, and based on the uptick in Sienna sales and 5.9+ million YouTube views… they’re working.
One of the first examples of “YouTube advertising” was Smirnoff’s Tea Partay, a comedic hip hop video featuring the wasp-y trio Prep-Unit to market Smirnoff’s latest. The company spent less on production costs than for a typical commercial, and advertising via YouTube was free (excluding employees’ time).
Clearly, video isn’t going anywhere. We at Cookerly have incorporated it into social marketing campaigns from the Clean Air Campaign’s Carpool Rap to Coalition for the Right Road’s Stop the Road. Save the Mountain. Stay tuned to see what we’re up to next.