Thursday, September 18, 2008

Brand Integration Into Web Video

I have previously stated that I believe the most effective web video advertising for brands longer term will be interactive product integration. How many times have you been watching a video, show, or movie and saw a product that you wanted to either get more information about, or were even willing to buy it right on the spot but were unable to? I'm sure most of the fashion obsessed girls who watch the MTV show The Hills are wildly waving their hands around right now.

I think the key to this ad medium for web video is to have the right balance between viewer experience, product relevance to the content, and effective interactive features so people can engage with products that directly interest them.

Some people argue that we may not see a huge explosion in the brand integration space because creators may overuse the ability to create interruptive viewer experiences, and hence diluting its overall value.

The new series BlahGirls may be an early example of brand integration that's overly aggressive, taking away from the content's core purpose and entertainment allure. We are still very early in this experiment, so I support the video sites that seek to find the golden mix as mentioned above. It will be interesting to see how BlahGirls adapt their model over time (assuming their ideal mix hasn't been yet established) to satisfy both brands and viewers.

I really hope that a few aggressively branded web shows don't negatively impact the overall market for this form of marketing. A hopeful multi-billion dollar market is now starting to take shape, and it would be nice to see an interactive permission based formula rather than more obtrusive advertising which we are traditionally accustomed to seeing.

How do you see brand integration for web video playing out? Share your ideas below.

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