Should Brands Create More Content With Talented Filmmakers?


Written by on Thursday, September 26, 2013

Casey Neistat Mercedes CLA Project

Online video talents have become an important piece of the entire video ecosystem as we know it today. Actually, we all should be thankful to all those creative and passionate minds, who strive for creating original content for a multitude of purposes and genres and who are taking the whole industry forward. Comedy, science, music, fashion, sports – the list of categories and sub-categories goes on and on, and as we speak, hours of new content is being uploaded online to be consumed by interested viewers.

Many of these independent talents have been able to upgrade their “game” by joining successful online video studios like Maker, Revision3 or Base79. Without going too deep to the business logic of these kinds of companies, it should be safe to say that they are built on sharing ad revenue coming from millions of shown ads on the talents’ videos. This is one way to create a online video business, where the talent and the company both can be successful. It has been great to meet people from both sides – at KLOK we highly appreciate the forerunner mentality, courage and enthusiasm.

The other side is, that brands are eagerly wanting to enter the online video environment not only with placed ads, but with original content – content produced solely from the brand’s perspective. In many cases (thousands have failed too) the outcome has been fabulous: touching stories, entertaining mini shows or cultivating small clips have left a mark to the online community.

A great bunch of this “professionally” created content is produced and managed by agencies and marketing departments, but what might happen when brands and the YouTube talent started increasingly getting acquainted with each other too? Would they find the perfect, authentic match to their upcoming stories they want to tell their audience about?

The talents know their audience. They already have a relationship. And if the talents are able to do what they love to do, it will be authentic. That’s what the brands are looking for online but very often lacking to execute.

Here’s an example from a collaboration, where NYC based filmmaker Casey Neistat joined forces with Mercedes Benz to create content for the launch of the new CLA. It’s authentic, it represents the talent’s style and vision and it’s even published on the talent’s channel. And yes, it is a series, not a traditional TVC.

Our First Contributor Post on Ad Age


Written by on Monday, September 23, 2013

Ad Age post

We’re avid  readers of Advertising Age here at KLOK and were happy to see them publish my post How YouTube Is Broken (And How Video Curation Will Fix It) this past Friday. The piece talks about the challenges YouTube is currently facing in terms of content discoverability and how clever start-ups are making the most of the situation. Have a look and let us know what you think!

About the author

Vilja Sormunen looks after publishing and distribution at online video agency KLOK. She has previously worked in social marketing at Nokia as the global YouTube channel lead, online marketing at e-commerce company Spreadshirt and public relations at TBWA/Helsinki. Vilja studied international business at the Helsinki School of Economics and wrote her Master's thesis on viral marketing.

A Way to Curate: Double Tree by Hilton’s Branded Hub for User-Generated Videos


Written by on Friday, September 20, 2013

thumbvilja2

In our latest blog video, we talk about a recent case study around Double Tree by Hilton. Dtour is their custom YouTube channel landing page that highlights user-generated videos shot by travellers in Double Tree destinations. As a case, it shows that brands are becoming more creative in their efforts to influence and engage consumers with curated content.

Reaching audiences with interesting content means brands have a better shot of getting their message across. First of all, people who watch videos out of genuine interest are more receptive, emotionally invested and willing to be influenced, compared to those that are exposed to video ads. And secondly, they are likely to form positive mental images they can refer to when making purchase decisions.

About the author

Vilja Sormunen looks after publishing and distribution at online video agency KLOK. She has previously worked in social marketing at Nokia as the global YouTube channel lead, online marketing at e-commerce company Spreadshirt and public relations at TBWA/Helsinki. Vilja studied international business at the Helsinki School of Economics and wrote her Master's thesis on viral marketing.

Is the Golden Age of Online Video Around the Corner?


Written by on Friday, September 13, 2013

mad-men

One month ago, during the Edinburgh International Television Festival, Kevin Spacey spoke about the changing face of television. He argued that TV was recognized as a legitimate art form essentially only fifteen years ago. However with shows like The Sopranos, Breaking Bad, The Wire, Mad Men and House of Cards, we are now witnessing what is being called the Golden Age of Television. TV has surpassed film both in quality and demand. And with services like Netflix the audience is being given exactly what they want. Quality content, whenever they want, wherever they want it. This has been a journey that has taken over 50 years.

So what about online video? Is it still just a place for cat videos and funny pranks? Is it perhaps time to ask the question: When will we see the Golden Age of YouTube? When will we see the The Sopranos of online video? YouTube has only been around for 8 years. And only in the past few years has it really begun to take form. General consumers and advertisers are slowly but surely starting to take it seriously. Compared to television, online video is still in it’s infancy and we are, most likely, only seeing the tip of the iceberg.

Another important observation is that the distinctions between television content and online content aren’t as clear anymore. We can watch our favourite TV-shows and films online and watch online videos on our TV. Why should we need to make a distinction? The quality of the content is not dependent on the medium.

So if we look at the TV shows that changed the medium, what do they all have in common? They are almost all slow starters. Their stories need time to build and so they require patience from the audience. They rarely give the viewer any quick satisfaction. Instead they challenge and question us every chance they get. And in the end they never revolve around any simple life lessons or punchlines, instead they give the audience a kind of workout of the mind where they raise as many questions as they answer.

If we look at YouTube and the tools that it offers, like channels, playlists and subscriptions, we can see that the possibilities for creating something similar to these successful TV-shows are already there.  With channels you can create your content, with subscriptions you can build your audience and with playlists you can build continuity in your content. But just as the shows themselves, creating quality content take time. We just need the patience.