Category Archives: Video

Crowd Sourced Ad Campaigns: Genius Rocket Leverages 1.4 Million Critics

Expensive ad agency solutions regularly push video and rich media ad campaigns into six figures. AdReady, Mixpo and others have used templates, stock footage, networks and other solutions to bring the cost down.

How about crowd sourcing the creative? Genius Rocket, a three year old startup launched by former VerticalNet and AOL Executive Mark Walsh, “crowd sources” RFPs on an NDA basis to pre-qualified creative teams, many of whom are moonlighting from their day jobs with major agencies.

The Bethesda, MD-based company currently sends RFPs out to more than 400 teams and regularly gets 50 or more entries. Bake off winners get the right to develop campaigns with Genius Rocket, cutting costs down by as much as 75 percent to the $10k to $30k level sought by large local SMBs, such as car dealers, hospitals and others. The concept is similar to crowdsourcing solutions for logos originally developed by LogoWorks and initially pursued by Genius Rocket, along with contests and other creative.

Walsh and company president Peter LaMotte, in a discussion with BIA/Kelsey, says they’ve found video to be a lot more complex than graphic design – but that also creates an effective barrier to entry. “There may be one witty idea that is not produced well, says Lamotte. “Or just the opposite: a campaign that is produced well but is off message.”

The use of crowd-sourcing gives Genius Rocket a multitude of choice and ideas. Its 10 person team can help facilitate and improve production, but more importantly, it links the end result from The Top Three contenders with a community of online critics that has grown to 1.4 million. The critics, including retirees and others, are incented to participate with contests and coupons. Walsh says that millions of dollars of prize awardshave been granted.

At a higher level, Genius Rocket also works with former AdAge ad critic Bob Garfield, who provides a qualitative evaluation of every strategic, live-action campaign. He’s very influential. One imagines a lot of companies would go with Genius Rocket just to get a critique from him.

Google Offers’ Nitin Mangtani Set to Keynote at ILM East

Here’s what we’ve been waiting to announce: Google Offers’ head Nitin Mangtani will join our great list of keynoters at ILM East March 26-28 in Boston. We believe Mangtani’s appearance marks one of the first public debuts of Google Offers, which is playing a major role in Google’s vital local strategy, along with Google Places, Google Maps and Zagat ratings and reviews.

Previously announced ILM East keynoters include Groupon Vice Chair +++ Ted Leonsis; American Express SVP of Social Media Leslie Berland; CityGrid Media CEO Jay Herratti; New York Times Research Ops VP Michael Zimbalist; and New York Magazine Digital GM Michael Silberman.

Mangtani joins Google Channel Sales BizDev Head Christine Merritt at ILM East. Merritt will provide Google’s perspective on its emergence in the local ecosystem, and the most effective way to work with Google as a partner.

The next wave of Deals is, in general, a key focus for us at ILM East, along with mobile local media, social local media, video local media, hyperlocal and locally targeted national advertising.

In addition to the keynotes from Google Offers and Groupon, we have a special Day 1 session dedicated to the next wave of deals, featuring EverSave’s Jere Doyle; Find n Save’s Christopher Tippie; Closely’s Perry Evans; and Boomtime’s Bill Bice. That session will be followed by a broader view of deals and ecommerce, which featured NextJump’s Charlie Kim; Cartera’s Jim Douglass; and Bundle.com’s Jaidev Shergill.

Other recent adds to the program include The Boston Globe’s Lisa DeSisto, who joins Boston.com VP of Digital Products Jeff Moriarty as a presenter; and MIT Sloan Associate Professor Catherine Tucker, who gives the low down on the effectiveness of local social media.

Before the show, we’re making a special trip to The Boston Globe’s R&D Lab (Limited Space, RSVP required). Or come to Andrew Shotland’s SEO for the Enterprise session, which also features SEO Expert Will Scott and Advance Digital Media VP John Denny. We’re looking forward to a great show.

Venture Capital
•David Hornik, Principal, August Capital
•Scott Maxwell, Senior Managing Director, OpenView

Mobile Local Media
• Walt Doyle, CEO, Where
• Doug McDonald, Director, dotMobi
• John Valentine, VP, East Coast, SCVNGR/LevelUp

Hyperlocal
• Merrill Brown, Principal, MMB Media
• Josh Fenton, CEO, GoLocal24
• Zohar Yardeni, CEO, Main Street Connect

Social Local Media
• Geoff Cramer, CEO, Social Made Simple
• Adam Japko, President, Digital Sherpa
• Jeff Moriarty, VP, Digital Products, Boston.com
• Mark Schmulen, GM, Social Media, Constant Contact

Video
• Juan Delgado, Managing Director, Americas, Perform
• John McIntyre, CEO, Pixelfish
• Randa Minkarah, SVP, Revenue, Fisher Communications

Deals and Promotional Ecosystem
• Bill Bice, CEO, BoomTime
• Jere Doyle, President and CEO, EverSave
• Perry Evans, CEO, Closely
• Christopher Tippie, CEO, FindNSave

Transactions
• Charlie Kim, CEO, NextJump
• Jim Douglass, EVP, Retail Advertising, Cartera Commerce
• Jaidev Shergill, CEO, Bundle

National/Brands
•Adam Epstein, President, AdMarketplace
•Pete Gombert,CEO, Balihoo
• Steve Sherfy, Local & Mobile Search, GroupMSearch
• Karl Siebrecht, President and CEO, AdReady

Elections 2012
• Andy Slater, VP, Digital Agency Sales, Katz 360

SMB Marketing
• Dave Galvan, President, Schedulicity
• Maria Kermath, Director, AT&T Ad Solutions
• Randy Parker, President, SMBApps
• Darren Waddell, EVP, Reply.com

Sign up now (and hint: reserve your room earlier rather than later).

New Vertical Focus: On Demand ‘Maintenance’ Info

The focus for vertical sites is likely to shift in coming months. In addition to regular features, such as listings, many vertical sites will also begin to blend personalized or on demand “maintenance” information with various social media features such as scheduling and reviews.

We’ve seen it with garden and health sites, and also, increasingly, with car maintenance sites. DriverSide and RepairPal, both launched in 2008, have pioneered the personalized garage approach, which links car owners with auto diagnosis and leads to service providers.

A new site, CarCareKiosk, aims at DIYs — Do It Yourselfers. Founder Hans Angermeier, a former investment banker, has developed the site to provide car owners with “how to” videos that are specific to their car make. AT&T/Compete research shows that “How to” videos are major drivers for vertical sites. The site now has 8,000 car repair videos in its library.

Based in Milwaukee, CarCareKiosk has a team of seven who work with new and used car dealers to contribute videos on everything from how to check your own oil to changing the cabin air filter. “Every car is quite different – the cabin air filter on one car might be behind the glove box on one model, but in a completely different place on another car,” says Angermeier.

CarCareKiosk currently has a PayPal “donate” button for support the site, but Angermeier says he expects to sell some search-based advertising. There is also a directory for finding local mechanics, a la RepairPal and DriverSide, but that is just at a starting phase.he real target are used parts manufacturers. Sites such as eBay Motors are stores onto themselves.

He cites research showing that used parts will account for $43 billion in sales in 2012 and $47 billion in 2013. The poor economy might be contributing to people keeping older cars and maintaining them, and also doing their own work, he suggests.

The Super Lineup at ILM East March 26-28 (Boston)

ILM East is coming back to Boston March 26-28 with a lineup of do-ers and innovators that are transforming and re-defining the local space.

Highlights include a featured keynote from industry legend Ted Leonsis (Groupon Vice Chair/Amex Board Member/Sports team owner/AOL mastermind), along with keynotes/interviews from Jason Calacanis, Leslie Berland, Jay Herratti, Michael Zimbalist and Michael Silberman.

Other highlights of the 2 ½ day event includes a pre-conference rundown on Local search run by Andrew Shotland of Local SEO Guide; a full plate of Top BIA/Kelsey research and forecasts; a special Venture Capital panel; and innovator panels on Social, Mobile, Deals, Video and Hyperlocal (the latter co-moderated with Merrill Brown.)

KEYNOTES/KEYNOTE DISCUSSIONS
Ted Leonsis: Owner, Monumental Sports (Washington Capitals, Washington Wizards;) The Vice Chair of Groupon;, Board member of Amex, former Vice Chair of AOL; Author, The Business of Happiness
Jason Calacanis: CEO, Mahalo; Investor. Calacanis’ career has been at the cutting edge of local and social media and reflects all the big trends, from his development of The Silicon Alley Reporter to Weblogs (AOL), Mahalo, and the creation of TechCrunch50 and Launch.
Leslie Berland, Vice President, Social Strategy, American Express. Berland’s a major deal maker deeply involved in Amex’s mega FourSquare and Facebook deals.
Jay Herratti, CEO, CityGrid Media. Herratti always gets top rankings at our events. He runs IAC’s super quad of the CityGrid Media Network, Citysearch, UrbanSpoon and InsiderPages.
Michael Zimbalist, VP, Research Operations, New York Times Co. Zimbalist leads the NYT’s 12 person research unit. He’s deeply immersed in cutting edge social, mobile, tablet and video efforts.
Michael Silberman, GM, New York Magazine Silberman is the mastermind of NYMag’s development of a super set of verticals catering to the “New York state of mind.”).

FEATURED SPEAKERS
Bill Bice, CEO, SpaBoom
Merrill Brown, co-founder. MSNBC.com, Court TV
Jim Douglass, EVP, Cartera Commerce
Jere Doyle, CEO, EverSave
Walt Doyle, CEO, Where
Adam Japko, CEO, Digital Sherpa
Maria Kermath, Dir.,, New Tech & Sales Apps, AT&T Advertising Sales
Mark Josephson, SVP, AOL Local
Charlie Kim, CEO, Next Jump
John McIntyre, CEO, Pixelfish
Randa Minkarah, SVP, Revenue, Fisher Communications
Randy Parker, President, SMB Apps
Mark Schmulen, GM, Social Media, Constant Contact
Andrew Shotland, Publisher, Local SEO Guide
Andy Slater, VP, Digital Agency Sales, Katz 360
Christopher Tippie, CEO, FindNSave
Darren Waddell, EVP, Product and Corporate Marketing, Reply.com

Join hundreds of senior level local executives at ILM East for the local community’s best networking and insights. You can register here for earlier bird rates.


Internet Pioneer Ted Leonsis

New at ILM West: Google, Facebook, SoLoMo Day +++

ILM West is shaping up to be one of the great ones. Taking place Dec. 12-14 in downtown San Francisco, ILM West really reflects a sea change in local marketing from advertising to the new hybrid model of advertising and commerce (i.e. prepaid deals, reputation management, mobile app sales etc.).

We’ve made some big additions since our last update, starting with Google and Facebook. These add to the existing lineup, including our “rock stars” (Clear Channel CEO and industry legend Bob Pittman AllThingsD’s Kara Swisher, Media News Group/Journal Register CEO John Paton and Deseret Media and former Harvard Business School Professor Clark Gilbert), and major sessions on deals, offers, verticals and the whole spectrum of local trends.

We will pursue three unique angles on Google at ILM West:

1- The local efforts, under Marissa Mayer’s local team. Jeff Aguero, head of local marketing, will present on everything local, from Zagat, to Google Places, to the Big G’s new “Get Online” program for SMBs. These strategies have really developed since this summer.

2- The global reseller effort. Global Channels head Todd Rowe will engage in an in-depth conversation with BIA/Kelsey President Neal Polachek on all his efforts.

3- Google Mobile. Mobile and Local Search exec Surojit Chatterjee will provide insights into this critical area for Google as part of our All SoLoMo morning on Day 3.

We’re also going deep with Facebook at ILM West. Facebook’s new local leader Matt Idema is our afternoon keynote on Day 2, with a lot of new details and a progress report on the local and vertical strategies. On Day 1, we are also taking a special look at working with Facebook’s platform with execs from Trada, Oodle and Kenshoo Local/Social weighing in. Eager but not sure how to play with Facebook? You will be when ILM West is done.

The SoLoMo event on Day 3 itself is going to be quite the cornerstone for ILM West. Curated by the research teams from our Social Local Media and Mobile Local Media programs, SoLoMo features top line data; and indepth and fresh looks at SoLoMo implementations from leaders at Google, AT&T Interactive, Zaarly, PayPal, XAd, JiWire and AppStack (Steve Espinosa’s new project.)

You can see the full agenda here. And register here.

Remember: We are making a donation to the SF/Marin County Food Bank for all registrations that come in by Thanksgiving.

‘Video Bars’ Integrate National Brands, Local Agents for Insurance, Real Estat

Internet display and text advertising are great. But nothing really matches video for engagement and open rates. A number of players are specializing in SMB video. A new company, Webshoz (pronounced “Web shows”) is focused on presenting an onscreen “bar” of several video choices that viewers can click “video previews” on demand.

The application, which was built by Placelinks, may be used for national services (i.e., showing 5 top movies for DirectTV). But CEO Alexandrea Day anticipates several possible uses for local players, who can be targeted based on the user’s IP address and also provides a full set of analytics.

Real estate brokerages, for instance, can highlight specific homes in the first three video segments, and an agent in the fourth based on location. A major brokerage like Century 21 can use the service’s dynamic rotation to integrate any of its thousands of agents.

Similarly, insurance companies (i.e., State Farm) can highlight several types of insurance products in the first few frames, and introduce a video for the local franchise holder in the fourth. Travel is also envisioned as a key local application, and could even tie video previews with daily deals. “Every hotel has a video and wants to make a deal,” says Day.

Day notes that Webshoz launched 15 months ago with angel funding, and has a patent pending on its technology. She says that average videos are viewed about 15 seconds.

Mixpo Refocuses on TV-ad Based Marketers

The small business market is always attractive to vendors in terms of volume, but many give up in frustration because of its fragmentation, low margins and high service needs (and churn.) Many of these vendors typically seek to move up the value chain to medium and large sized businesses. With these, they get both larger contracts and more security.

Among these vendors re Seattle-based Mixpo, the online video specialists that track video effectiveness and embed actionable information, such as click-to-call and email buttons.

The 30 person company started three-and- a-half years ago with the idea that many SMBs would use online video as a new channel for advertising. But the company is now squarely focused on working with larger companies that basically want to extend their existing TV advertising.

“There is a fundamental reason to move up-market – it is so simple to put ads together and easily customize campaigns for creative versioning,. ” says CEO Anupam Gupta. An auto manufacturer, for instance, could quickly create local versions for 2,000 dealerships. “They can promote their sale next weekend,” says Gupta.

Gupta adds that “we’ve learned that customer segmentation is really, really important. The common base is TV ads. But we (use online to) get people to engage; to do things they can’t do with TV,” such as order brochures or click to call.

Mixpo has not only focused more on larger advertisers, but it has also started working closely with agencies and marketers, in addition to media partners such as Comcast and Belo Interactive, who remain an active channel. “It is strategic for us to expand into the demand side,” says Gupta, who notes that more than half of Mixpo’s revenues now come from agencies.

In talking with agencies, Mixpo focuses on how to use video to drive awareness and create more engaged users. “You can use it all the way down to a direct response campaign,” he says. “That’s not SMB.”

Hot categories for Mixpo currently include automotive, political and entertainment. “Political is huge,” says Gupta. “They get video. There is lots of advocacy work.” On its site, Mixpo shows success stories for tea party candidates such as Senator Scott Brown (R-MA) and Rep. Michele Bachman (R-MN)

Entertainment mostly consists of “tune in” advertising promotion TV shows. A number of local TV stations and cable franchises are utilizing Mixpo services for their websites. “They can change the content very rapidly based on day of the week, time of day, or whatever audience they are in front of,” he says.

Ultimately, Gupta says the most successful Mixpo campaigns are run by those that have video assets (especially TV); a time sensitive element (i.e. political campaigns); or some interactive needs with their advertising (i.e. coupons).

The transition to an agency-focused approach has also changed the competitive parameters for Mixpo. Previously, when it was focused on SMBs, it competed largely with companies such as TurnHere and Jivox – both of which still report strong results in their sectors, and have evolved their own strategies. But now Gupta feels that the company competes mostly against companies doing rich media campaigns, such as is EyeWonder and Gannett’s Pointroll. It also competes against companies engaged in dynamic ads, such as Tumri.