More on the marketing secret you probably don’t know

"Viral" is the new holy grail of marketing. Leaving aside for a moment that the idea of creating a viral campaign is akin to making a note in your agenda like, "3:00-3:15 p.m. Be spontaneous," I did want to share a brilliant piece of advertising for a company called Similar to Hotwire or other such services, they sell last minute plane tickets, theater tickets, spa packages, etc. This piece was created by London-based Rubber Republic.

In our last post, we talked about content being the most cost effective and meaningful way to connect with users. Give them something of value BEYOND the 30-second spot, and watch what happens. This is a concrete example of what we're talking about. Why does it work? I think for two main reasons. First, it does not claim to be something it's not, so it passes the authenticity test. The beginning of the video clearly explains that this was done with hidden cameras and actors. At the end, there is a tag that shows the name of the company and what they're selling. By the time the video is over, however, you are dying for the payoff. The second reason it works is because it's relevant to what is being advertised. It is theater about going to the theater. (Or should I write "theatre.")

The lesson for advertisers and marketers is the one we talk about non-stop: be relevant and be authentic. As of this writing, this video has been viewed on YouTube less than 170,000 times. Check back at the end of the month and let's see where that number is.

The marketing secret you probably don’t know

The competition for eyes, ears and wallets is more fierce everyday. In this blog, we often talk about the migration of all three of those things to the web. But the challenge is, as Kurt Cobain so brilliantly put it, “Here we are now. Entertain us!”

Savvy marketers are starting to figure out that engagement comes from creating quality content. Not from commercials, sales pitches, or top-down blogs or podcasts that pretend to be authentic. The secret is to build loyalty solving problems or providing services that do not NECESSARILY relate back to your core business in a straight line. (We’ll talk more about this in future posts, or you can check out our podcast for more details.)

Enter online media in the form of an audio or video podcast. Entities as diverse as BMW,, the Los Angeles Opera and even (ahem) Clearcast Digital Media have all figured this out. Marketing budgets seldom allow for TV campaigns, which are ephemeral, at best. But hear this: we are not talking about campaigns, we are talking about STRATEGIES. They’re long term, they’re lower cost and they last (virtually) forever.

We decided a long time ago that we were going to try and add value and cut through the clutter by providing valuable information that was useful to current clients, potential clients and casual observers. By exploiting our passion for new media, technology and production, we regularly publish this blog and its companion podcast for two reasons, one altruistic and one purely commercial. On the one hand, we LOVE talking about this stuff, analyzing it, trying to predict where things are going and trying to help our readers and listeners understand why they should care. On the other hand, we realize that by establishing our thought leadership, we become a considered source for that client who is looking to take the new media/social media plunge, but might not be sure how to get started.

We will talk a lot more about this in the future because I am convinced that this is the best way forward for marketers large and small. The cost of entry is much lower than a traditional offline media play, and the upside is limitless.

How are people using Web 2.0 tools?

One of the questions we frequently field from the clients to our consultancy practice is, "What are the usage numbers like when it comes to online media?"

A couple of recent reports can help shed some light:

1- eMarketer estimated the 2007 podcast audience to be 18.5 million and predicted it to rise to 28 million in 2008. 2007 podcast ad spending was at $165 million. Wizzard Media, owner of 3 of the leading podcast hosting companies, reported 1 billion podcast downloads in 2007 and the company is now traded publicly on the AMEX. (They served a billion podcasts WAY before McDonald’s served a billion burgers.)

2-comScore reports that users watched 10 billion online videos in December 2007, with over 141 million Americans taking part in the fun. At this writing, the rumor is that the writers’ strike is coming to a negotiated end. And not a moment too soon as comScore’s EVP of media and entertainment observed that "…viewers have been seeking alternatives for fresh content. It appears that online video is stepping in to fill that void."

What’s “new” about New Media?

Part two of our five part podcast series about the secrets of leveraging online media is available in iTunes.

Today’s episode offers up some real world examples of small, medium and large companies across a range of industries and how they have successfully leveraged the internet to create some compelling online video that had a huge effect on their bottom line. Have you been hearing the buzz about online video but not really sure how it might apply to your business? Today’s episode is just for you.

You can also listen here.

In case you missed the first episode, you can grab it here.

New Media Consulting

We are proud to announce the launch of the consultancy arm of Clearcast Digital Media. Over the past year we have come across so many professionals who are looking for good, solid and USABLE information about online media tools and their effective application that we have decided to formalize our offering.

In the coming weeks we will be sending out information about the different packages and consulting services we provide. In the meantime, we wanted to get the ball rolling by releasing part one of our five part podcast series dedicated to how your company or service can benefit from the implementation of an online media campaign.  (We wouldn’t be very new media if we didn’t use a new media tool, now would we?) Episode one is entitled State_of_the_Online_Media_Union.

As always, you can find us on iTunes and we hope you subscribe for free. For those of you who have not made iTunes a part of your entertainment and information mix, you can listen live right here on the blog.  (Click the link above.) In doing it this way, you will miss out on many of the links and enhanced features available in the iTunes version. Rest assured, however, the content is exactly the same.

For consulting requests, please send us an e-mail.