Peek of the Week – Christmas edition [updated]

Yes its already that time again… here is our round up of the most viewed, talked about and expensive Christmas commercials starting with The Bear and the Hare, the £7 million John Lewis Christmas TV commercial;

Its arrival heralds the start of the festivities, according to economists, although the rival M&S campaign, unveiled this week, began the annual drive to make us stop budgeting and start indulging. M&S’s poster girl, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, in lingerie naturally, will be vying against a cartoon bear, the star of the John Lewis campaign. It’s beauty versus the beast.

Taking a different approach is Tesco that goes down the nostalgic route;

Morrison is playing it safe with celebrity endorsement

ASDA doesn’t give up on the price war, even during Christmas;

A very cute and massive unwrap from Cadbury

One of my favourite LEGO;

But Sainsbury probably created the most buzz this year with Christmas in a day. Last year they asked people to send in their personal video and so Christmas in a Day features heart-warming home footage of celebrations. Directed by Oscar-winning Life In A Day director Kevin Macdonald, His award-winning 2011 Youtube film featured 80,000 crowd-sourced clips. The ’Christmas in a Day’ 50-minute film, which took 14 months to make, documents the different experiences of a range of UK families to capture the diversity of celebrations across the country.


Will Video Ads Sink Facebook? Social Media Giant Faces User Backlash

The video ad market is on the cusp of a multi-billion dollar expansion that could transform Facebook and Instagram into syndication platforms putting pressure on the existing TV model, but those users may not accept commercials as readily as major online video sites.

TV advertising is a big business, but online video ads are projected to grow even more rapidly. eMarketer says that advertisers in the U.S. will spend $66.4 billion on TV ads this year, compared to $4.1 billion online. However, it foresees 40 percent growth in video ads.

Facebook Has the Potential To Generate $1 Billion in Ad Revenue

Morgan Stanley financial analysts are predicting that Facebook could generate over $1 billion next year in video ad revenues and as much as $6.5 billion by 2020. Advertisers are willing to pay a premium to Facebook because its ability to reach the coveted 25-34 demographic can exceed TV networks’ reach, Nielsen has found.

Facebook is especially attractive to advertisers during primetime hours. Nielsen has found that it is “a strong driver of duplicated reach—meaning that a marketer could reach the same consumers online and on TV.” Facebook complements TV ads and is overturning the perception that the Internet is only for niche audiences by becoming a channel for “broadly messaged, brand advertising,” Nielsen said in a July report. What’s important to note is that Facebook has served as extension to the main TV experience by bringing value through second screen activities. The Nielsen report noted that: The emergence of far-reaching publishers like Facebook, however, means that marketers now have another option for reaching consumers en masse. Likewise, the availability of true cross-screen metrics enables them to understand how digital can reinforce and complement their TV investment.

Facebook User Attention Span Is An Issue

Facebook has the scale to do this with its 1.15 billion monthly active users, but actual consumer interactions with its video ads could deviate from what analysts are expecting. Consumers are willing to sit through 30 or 60-second advertisements on online video platforms like YouTube,Hulu and UVidi, because they want access to the content. The social consumer is different – they don’t have the same attention span.

Moreover, Facebook doesn’t have a content strategy to hold users’ attention. The majority of the content that it distributes is user-generated and short-form, thus greatly reducing the likelihood that anyone is going to want to sit through a commercial to watch their friend’s cat fall off a couch. As video consumption evolves, we are seeing that 15 and 30 second pre-rolls are effective when users want premium content. It’s likely you will see much shorter messaging on social platforms with pre-roll that is 5 to 8 seconds long. Early testers will try to create branded content and use Facebook as a distribution source, but currently it can’t compete with the big video platforms because it won’t deliver equivalent results with its existing videos.

That’s the challenge: Facebook offers a very different customer experience from other content distribution sites. A model that could work would be to complement a TV advertising package with a Facebook extension that includes video to target mobile devices. More than 40 percent of Facebook’s advertising revenue and 68 percent of its traffic come from mobile customers, according to its Q2 earnings call in late July. That’s assuming users want ads.

Consumer sentiment could be why Facebook is moving so cautiously with video ads. It wants its ads to display in ways that aren’t distracting or alienating towards users the Wall Street Journal reports. “Striking that balance between consumer happiness and commercial opportunity has been a challenge for the young company, leading to delays and frustrations among the marketers it is trying to woo,” the report said.

While Facebook tinkers, established video platforms are better positioned to drawn display budget because of the duration of the videos. Morgan Stanley predicts that YouTube will generate $5.7 billion in video ad revenue next year, which is estimated to grow to approximately $17 billion by 2019.

Facebook could meet the street’s expectations, but that’s only true if consumers buy in. Content is king and will influence consumer interactions with video advertisements.


UK startup Nideo enters the enterprise video market. 

The enterprise video market is expected to surpass $35bn in value by 2018, according to a Markets and Markets report.

That represents a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 25.9% over the next five years, as more and more businesses turn to online platforms to communicate with customers, staff and other companies.

Cisco predicts two-thirds of mobile data traffic will be video in four years time – while it constituted half of all traffic just last year.

It is in this context, then, that UK startup nideo enters the fray.

The brainchild of two university graduates, James Hakesley and Roy Kimani, nideo caters for all firms great and small, providing an online platform where they can post videos about products, instructional clips for staff and advertisements.

While YouTube is used by thousands of companies to push their products, nideo co-founder Hakesley believes his company – and by extension its competitors – are better suited for firms to get their message out.

Screen Shot 2013-09-24 at 09.04.56

Nideo sponsored an online poll through YouGov in June which found that an overwhelming 89% of 2,022 British YouTube viewers do not believe it is an appropriate medium for business-related videos.

Most people visit the site for entertainment, video blogs and more – not exactly a credible environment for a business video.

Yet while nideo’s lack of adverts will be a welcome selling point for viewers irritated by having to skip such content on YouTube, it will have to sell plenty of hosting packages to do well.

However, getting customers is not something Hakesley is worried about – since nideo launched with 30 customers, its client based has grown to 150, and Hakesley has just spent six months working with Information Management Group to create a cloud-based platform for nideo.

“We wanted it to grow with us,” Hakesley explains. “We want it to be able to be a global platform. It was a necessary step because as we grow there’s a point we might hit where we need a bigger platform.”

The Rochester University of Creative Arts graduate first came upon the idea as a student alongside Kimani with a project in which they made films for local companies.

But the businesspeople they spoke to didn’t want the videos to go on YouTube, where their clips ran the risk of being surrounded by irrelevant content.

Instead Kimani and Hakesley developed nideo, which aims to provide both private and public video solutions with no bandwidth restrictions.

And they think the enterprise video platform is the future for businesses.

“It’s changing the way businesses are communicating,” says Hakesley. “In a couple of years’ time it will be a huge, huge thing and everyone will be jumping on it.

“It’s not just about making a video and hoping it does well. You can create a series of videos that have more of an effect and use videos as a way to connect with an audience.

“We have got training companies which distribute content to people who want to know about stuff and businesses who want to educate their work force.

“Then we have businesses using the public side and private side of this platform – private for back end and public for gaining clients.”

Nideo boasts links to promote videos on social networks, and users can also share it via email or simply do a good old fashioned copy and paste of a link to the clip.

Hakesley says some of these abilities were added following feedback from clients, and adds that the agile approach to developing the cloud platform with Information Management Group made it easy to change and adapt their approach throughout the process.

Examples of functions added during the process include a choice over the level of privacy users have, as well as being able to bring in lists of email contacts to add to your audience, as well as the all-important feature of location feedback – so companies know whether their products generate more interest in America or Australia.

“Agile gives you the opportunity in a project to change tack and change what you’re doing, taking out things that have become irrelevant,” says Jeremy Neal, head of online services at Information Management Group.

And he believes companies will continue to use cloud-based services, saying the concerns of security surrounding the cloud exist only in people’s heads.

“The issue is dealt with for most people,” he says. “The entire debate was around whether the cloud I ssecure but most people realise it is at least as secure as what most organisations could provide from within.”

And Hakesley believes the cloud will help nideo stay ahead of the curve in the future, as it tries to establish itself as the dominant force in enterprise video.

“It means we can continue to produce new features as users need them just by adding them to what we offer,” he explains.

“Dropping new features ahead of our competitors will be a definite advantage. I can’t think of a better way to add those.”

Peek of the Week – The Cute Edition

It’s all about the animals this week on the Viral Chart, well almost. There’s a piece of Honda video marketing that was too good to pass up but we’ll get to that after a series of delightful animal based clips.First up is the world’s first dog powered Rube Goldberg machine. The fact that the video thumbnail contains a shot of a clutch of Labrador puppies in a red wagon has probably helped this clip’s view count skyrocket.

1. Dog Goldberg Machine

Now onto cats, the rulers of the Internet, not everyone likes cats though, some people wish they would be more like dogs. O2 have realised that dream.

2. Be More Dog

Remember that clip of the whale being serenaded by the Mariachi band? This is the sequel:

3. Seal Sax Serenade

Originator of one of the greatest Rube Goldberg machines of all time, here is that new Honda ad:

4. Honda – Hands

Lastly this week and not cute at all – its a showdown on This Morning. Warning, this might make you angry:

5. Holly Willoughby Loses Her Cool With Katie Hopkins

Study: Video Boosts Mobile Ad Engagement Rates

According to Medialets, mobile ad engagement rates can be improved by 35 percent with the addition of video. A study from the mobile rich media ad firm shows that in the first quarter of 2012 mobile rich media ads containing video had an average of 35 percent higher engagement rates. The users who decided to expand these mobile ads spent a total of 20 seconds within the advertisement. Integrating video or product catalog information within ads can increase the average expand time from twenty seconds to over one minute.


Despite these numbers, only 30 percent of mobile ads on tablets contain video, followed by 12 percent from smartphones. As companies look to efficiently use mobile rich media, they have begun to expand their advertising to multiple device environments. The portion of mobile rich media advertising campaigns using multiple device environments has doubled from 20 percent in Q1 of 2011 to 40 percent in Q1 of 2012.

Among rich mobile ad formats, expandable banners are more than twice as common as non-expanding banner and interstitial formats, said Medialets.

Handset device advertising consists of 64 percent expandable ads, 22 percent interstitial ads, and 14 percent banner ads. When it comes to larger devices such as tablets that can support larger banners, 60 percent of ads are expandable, 26 percent are banners, and 14 percent are interstitials.

Expand rates across mobile environments range from 1.2 percent for androids to 1.6 percent for mobile web ads, with iPads and iPhones falling in between at 1.5 percent and 1.3 percent, respectively. As the data from Medialets first quarter are released, companies will be keeping watch over the improved success of mobile video advertising and the division of ads across diverse device environments.

The data reflects Medialets-enabled mobile ads delivered during Q1 2012 through the company’s ad platform.

Burberry Lets You Shop While You Watch Its Campaigns

Short films and videos to supplement a brand’s advertising campaigns and to enhance the house’s image are nothing new. Everyone from big name labels like Cartier Dolce & Gabbana and Dior to smaller designers like Phillip Lim have produced videos that ran the gamut, from lush, multi-million dollar productions to those with an indie vibe. There have been so many of these videos that they’ve become an industry standard in the age of YouTube and online streaming.

The British label Burberry under the direction of Christopher Bailey is one-upping everybody else with its fall/winter 2012 campaign. Sure, there are the stunning photographs of Gabriella Wilde and Roo Panes by Mario Testino, London landmarks, fog, rain and all. And yes, there are the videos too—a series of small films that call to mind the brooding cinematography of The English Patient. But what sets these videos apart from the rest of the pack is that they are, to use the digital age’s favorite marketing term, shoppable. What this means is that viewers of the campaigns can buy the clothes and accessories worn by the actors while watching the short films through Burberry’s website. Watch the video, click on the item you like, pick a size, add to cart, give your payment information and voila, you’ve shopped the video. This innovation is part of Burberry’s runway to reality initiative. It is a step up from the shoppable magazines that have become all the rage of late.

Burberry has been a leader when it comes to innovations on how to better reach their consumers. It was one of the first brands to embrace social networking through their website and Facebook. It aggressively looked for opportunities to advertise on digital platforms way ahead of other brands. One of the first to live stream its runway show online and to make the clothes immediately available for purchase as soon as they hit the runway. With the fall/winter 2012 campaign, Burberry re-establishes itself as a fashion and technology leader.

You can view the campaigns below.