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“Can you make me a viral?”

Posted: October 15th, 2010 | No Comments »

One of the interesting analyses from our comScore study on the persuasiveness of user-gen video was this one by Social Media Influence.

“…here’s a strong retort for those moments when the brand manager asks of the agency: “can you make me a viral?” Instead, it turns out, offering your customers a superior product and a compelling narrative has the potential to be even more persuasive than a handsome man on a horse.”

“Maybe it’s too early to boot the creative team, but the findings of the study do suggest that marketers have been underestimating the persuasive power of user-generated video.”

The conclusion drawn here was that there is more to user-gen video for marketers than skateboarding cats.  Viral videos became a standard agency product because they were something agencies and brands understood:  eyeballs…a lot of them…and quick!  They knew how to price that, they knew how to count that, and they knew how to sell that.  They slammed a new medium into the template of the old.

So what is the template of the new medium?

A surprising study by Next New Networks and Youtube shows that entertainment video created for the online platform actually does better online than video created for other mediums, such as TV shows.  It seems that viewers appreciate and respond to the differences when content is tailored to the platform they’re watching it on.

Applying that to a marketing video…if a TV commercial was made to interrupt an experience on a lean-back platform, why do we think that same video will work on when viewers are searching for content on a lean-in platform?

I believe that consumers online crave a different kind of video than that which is available on and created for television.  They want information & searchability (web 1.0), they want control & engagement (web 2.0), and they want personal connection (web 3.0).  Agencies, brands and publishers should focus on how to merge those strengths of this platform to develop the right video content for this new space and move beyond using the old video content for this new space.


EXPO first to distribute video reviews on Amazon product page

Posted: October 14th, 2010 | 1 Comment »

Today we launched the first third-party video product reviews on Amazon‘s product page.  These videos were placed onto the product page of our P&G client, Gain detergent.  As many of you may know, EXPO has a mission of placing our unbiased video reviews wherever consumers are shopping.  I first wrote about our Retail Syndication efforts here.

Since writing even that post, we have made great progress, including placement on drugstore.com through our partners at LiveClicker.

Amazon’s participation in our video distribution network is a big win for many reasons:

1) Amazon does not have an auto-publishing for partner content.  This implementation required resources from Amazon to execute.  Therefore, the type, style and placement of content were all considered prior to publishing.

2) The videos are not shunted to the text review space, but rather were given tremendous exposure within the product description area of the page.  Note that they are not presented as part of a ‘review platform’ but are selected to be highlighted as additional product content.  Video is different.

3) EXPO was able to travel our recommended disclosures with the video.  The viewers are given full information about the POV of the reviewer.

We think the integration of video reviews onto Amazon’s product page is a necessary step to breaking through with other retailers.  Whether it’s the studies showing that video created for the digital medium are more effective, studies showing simply the availability of video is effective in raising conversion, or the studies that show that consumers are seeking video on retail sites, the emergence of Amazon as a user-gen video retailer signals the opening of a new informational source for consumers. website load


comScore ARS finds EXPO user-generated videos as persuasive as TV — sometimes more.

Posted: October 13th, 2010 | 1 Comment »

In one of our first major studies, we think comScore hit it out of the ballpark.  Their major conclusions:

  • User-gen videos about products can contain elements that make them as or more persuasive than professionally produced TV commercials. That means that consumers, without any direction or experience, can create video content that naturally hits elements that have been found to persuade shoppers to buy products.  These are elements that TV commercials strive to portray, and elements that brands spend millions of dollars to try to convey.
  • User-gen videos can contain persuasive elements usually not found in traditional TV commercials. The study was not meant to test for this, but the finding became obvious when we stacked up the strengths of our videos against the strengths of TV commercials (and also against other digital media content).  What we found was that there was a very complementary nature of our strong attributes vs. TV commercials.  One example of this would be our videos hit elements around product convenience and quality…two attributes that are found in less than 10% of TV commercials.

The study was written in a very well-researched article by Christophor Rick at ReelSEO, and also covered by Mediapost, VideoNuze, SocialMediaInfluence, Retailer Daily, Video Commerce Consortium, and Bill Hartzer among others.

Here is the press release, webinar to be given by comScore, and access to some of the videos tested.


Rise of Social Commerce Videos by EXPO

Posted: October 7th, 2010 | 4 Comments »

EXPO’s community and team put together some highlight videos to help kick off the conference by the Altimeter Group. The topic was Rise of Social Commerce, and is streaming live via uStream. We hope our videos help remind attendees that the “Social” part means people, not technologies. (The 10,000 watt speakers might have blown out some audio in the Four Seasons…sorry about that.) Until Matt Cheuvront gets off his duff and puts this up at the conference site, here are the videos in all their glory:

Overview of Social Commerce

Mobile usage


Desire to share online

There were some questions about how we selected these folks, in order to give context about the demo reflected. Because these videos were meant to complement Altimeter’s framework, our reels were created quickly after the first draft of the research was completed by Lora Cecere. So, we didn’t balance the diversity for them as we usually would for client engagements. We put out a broad request to our members, and these were the folks who responded rapidly. Would love to delve further into what other demos think about social commerce as well…please contact me anytime!

(Thanks to my super sharp team: teresa & jess & matt mcclain.  UPDATE:  Matt C, we love you!)


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