You know about Fred Allen. Fred Allen the biggest radio star in America. A genius at the medium, the highest paid star. Nothing could touch him. Nothing except television. In 1948, Fred Allen was Howard Stern and Rush Limbaugh. He, like Howard and Rush read 12 papers, prepped his one hour show for 12 hours straight every day. Radio was his domain. But the minute the public saw him on TV, that was the end of that. He wasn't a TV star. Worse, he didn't look the way he sounded and the new medium was not for him. He retired.
TV did work for an obscure B movie actress: Lucille Ball. TV worked for a second circuit vaudevillian: Milton Berle. David Caruso is a major TV star---NYPD Blue and CSI Miami---can't make a movie. Julia Roberts can't fill a 300 seat Broadway stage show, but she can sell $25Million in movie tickets in a day.
Each medium creates its own stars and each medium demands different creative and different perspective.
1. REVELATION: THIS IS NOT A TV. It's a computer, you bought it to work and interact. The keyboard takes up half the footprint. It has bad speakers. Most online video should be titled, BUFFERING NOW.
Take a crew of three hundred, give them a million bucks and a couple months and they'll make a good TV spot. It will fail online. Guaranteed. Why? It doesn't use the keyboard. It is lit for TV and the sound is just wrong for lousy speakers. In fact, everything from camera angle to make up, is just wrong. It will appear to the viewer as too slick and not credible.
2. 41 hours of new videos are posted every minute. Most videos are watched in the first 72 hours. After 72 hours, it probably doesn't matter what you made. So forget the long meetings about the color of the set and make a video that is URGENT!!! Jane, and has an aura of disposability.
Radio programmers and stars understand a mass medium that is disposable. It is hysterical that radio listeners often call stations and ask for "tapes of the show." It would not occur to most hosts to record a show and some stations actually forbid it! Why? Because tomorrow there will be another four hour show and if you goofed, you'll fix it the next day.
Online creative is like radio. If it isn't right, hit refresh and do it again. EVERYBODY forgot the last video you made, it's just not life threatening. RADIO programmers understand the Internet's relationship with its audience better than the creators of any other medium.
Film, print and TV producers think in terms of permanency. Archives. DVDs. Awards. Radio stars and producers view their product as instantly disposable and instantly replaceable. And, there are no awards given.
3. The dressed in black, all hip creatives are not necessarily the answer to getting it right online. In fact if they have gravitated toward an ad agency, they were attracted to the Don Draper agency model.
The most effective Internet content creators only know the Internet. They have only created for the Internet. They do not understand the theory behind anything because they just do it. Their videos, podcasts, blogs and vlogs are inspirations for theoreticians but if you talk to them about "how they do it" they will probably just stop doing it. Hey, if something doesn't work, hit refresh.
4. Ask the CEO. The boss got to be the leader because she sees over the hill and inspires people to follow her into the unknown. Few in a company will "get" and embrace a new idea faster than the CEO. That's because she has time to think and she wants to be known as cutting edge. The slowest to embrace a new idea? Anyone with the word "Innovation" in their title.
To sell a new idea, a new creative approach and have a meaningful collaborator, go to the person who is paid to see over the hill---not the one who is protecting it.
5. Interrupting is rude. Nope, a brand is doing itself no favor by buying a pop-up, a floating pop up or a "spot" at the beginning of a video. For all the concern about brand image and the fear of bad publicity online why would a company buy an ad that starts with "Skip Advertisement?" or has an X in a circle in the corner?
What could be worse for a brand image that pissing off their customers on first impression?
.03-.06 percent of people click a banner---disaster! YouTube says 45% of their viewers won't watch a video at all if it has a pre-roll. But, hey, congratulations you have control of the creative!
Successful impact on the Internet requires messaging based in entertainment.
6. Don't run contests.
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