Friday Fun: YouTube A Fun New Marketing Channel

10/19/2007

Friday Fun is Diva Marketing's virtual happy hour from cosmos to Jack to lemonade. A waiting for the weekend 'playground' time to be sophisticated-silly. Or sometimes just plain silly.

When you hear the words YouTube what comes to mind? A directory of fun, silly, inane, insane, controversial, political videos? Put on your marketing hat and YouTube morphs into an interesting distribution channel to extend awareness of your brand.  From a marketing perspective YouTube is quite cool and offers multiple Free benefits:

  • Serves your video
  • Extends reach through easy to use links and codes that even technology challenged me can insert
  • Provides statistics on page views
  • Provides statistics and links on websites that link to your video
  • Comments turn YouTube into social networking
  • Voting and favorites provide the "power of crowd" recommendations
  • Creating a channel allows you to provide information about your organization or the brand. It also creates a Go To Space where you can store all of your videos.

Max_and_tagAs an experiment in March (Everyone Needs A Best Friend post) I uploaded a cute, (Girlfriend it is too cute!)video of Max. With a few emails to some friends this wee video today has 5 links, 4746 views, 7 comments to a question I asked, 6 favorites and 15 stars averaging a 4-star rating. I'm not sure what it means expect that people are somehow finding it and taking the time to watch.

My friends at Spunlogic, Spunlogic_logoan Atlanta interactive agency, took their YouTube experience several steps further than the Maxie's best friend video. They invited YouTube celeb Kevin Nalty, or Nalts as he is know to his hundreds of thousands of fans, into their offices to film a spoof with some of their staff. 

What did the staff think when they found out they were part of a practical joke and how did Spunlogic pull it off? What were the end results .. from a marketing perspective?  Inquiring minds wanted to know. Stephanie Critchfield, Director of Marketing, kindly agreed to tell me the back-story of .. drum beat please .. Spunlogic's Drunk Interviews. First a few stats as of 10-19-07.

Views: 25,956
Ratings: 449 averaging 4 star rating
Favorite: 47 times
Text Comments: 236
Video Responses: 7
Links: 5

Sidebar: The video is included on Nalts channel which gives it a big lift in the view department. Although  "about this video" links to Spunlogic, if YouTube allows for duplicate downloads of the same video Spunlogic should consider adding the video to their own channel.

Toby/Diva Marketing: Was the goal to film the interviews and make into a video for YouTube? Did you have any marketing objectives in filming and putting up on YouTube?

Stephanie Critchfield: We invited Nalts – an honest to goodness YouTube celebrity - to come and speak at a “lunch and learn” to a group of clients and prospects on the topic of viral video. Seeing so much success from everyday people on YouTube, it’s a medium that many brands are becoming interested in.

As a consumer marketing manager for a Fortune 100 company by day, Nalts was able to offer this group a very interesting perspective. We knew during his visit that we wanted to record a video, but we weren’t sure exactly what we were going to do.  The only thing we knew with certainty was that Nalts would be editing the piece and placing it on YouTube and other online video sites.

After the lunch and learn, a group of Spunlogic employees sat with Nalts and toyed with some ideas. Nalts favors unscripted videos, not only because they are quick, but also because the reactions are more authentic. 

Toby/Diva Marketing: Who are the Spunlogic employees in the video and their titles? 

Stephanie Critchfield: The Spunlogic employees in the video are: 

Melissa Read, Ph.D. / Director of Behavioral Research, Tomer Tishgarten / Director of Development, Scott Councill / Developer, Eric Hammond / Senior Project Manager

Toby/Diva Marketing: How did you set it up? Who did your staff think Nalts was and why was he at Spunlogic?

Stephanie Critchfield: The idea to prank our employees was very spur-of-the-moment, coming to fruition in a matter of only 2 hours. Since all of Spunlogic’s meeting rooms were booked, we set up in the only available, private space, a vacant office where Nalts carefully hid the camera on the desk underneath a stack of papers.

The plan was for Jeff to ask each Spunlogic employee to come in a meet with a prospective candidate or a prospective client, depending on the “victim.” Jeff Hilimire, the agency’s president, would tell each person that Nalts was a friend of his named Jack, who had a few too many drinks while attending the lunch and learn. No employee was aware it was a prank, they truly believed they were either interviewing a candidate, or meeting briefly with a prospective client. 

Also present as a participant in each meeting was Ryan Tuttle, Spunlogic’s VP of Operations – who was in on the joke. Each person spent 5 minutes or less with Nalts /Jack, and after each person came out Jeff would set up the next person.

Toby/Diva Marketing: What was the reaction of the staff pre "know it was it hoax?"

Stephanie Critchfield: Each Spunlogic employee believed they were in a legitimate meeting. As you might expect, reactions were interesting to a drunk interviewee who falls out of his chair, snort-laughs uncontrollably, falls asleep, and nips from a bottle of booze. 

Our Director of Behavioral Research, Dr. Melissa Read was able to impeccably maintain her composure. She knew he was “Nalts” and that he had just presented, so Jeff set him up to speak with her as a potential client from the “consumer marketing” piece of his life. Because Nalts didn’t act “drunk” with her, she later told me that she wasn’t certain if he was narcoleptic, but that the way he fell asleep after just being on a “high” from his presentation was consistent with narcolepsy. So, when he woke back up, she wanted to be careful not to call attention to it and embarrass him.

The woman is a consistent display of professionalism and tact. In fact, every Spunlogic employee was a model of composure during such an unusual event. I still wonder what many of them were thinking. One of my personal favorites was Scott’s reaction when Nalts fell asleep, he just stopped talking, crossed his arms and looked at Ryan with a mix of surprise and exasperation. 

Toby/Diva Marketing: How did you break it to the staff that it was a prank?

Stephanie Critchfield: Nalts told each Spunlogic employee after their “meeting.” You can see the outtakes where he actually begs Dr. Read to let him use the video. He told me later that with some of them they were so surprised he wasn’t sure they knew what he was telling them. He even said the next time he pulls a prank that he might have to say “You’re on Candid Camera!” since that’s the universal language for “you’ve just been tricked.”

Toby/Diva Marketing: Sounds like it could be a new series - "Your On YouTube Now!"  What was the reaction after employees knew it was a joke?

Stephanie Critchfield: In the days after the prank, when they were able to see the edited video (we allowed them to see it and give us the final ok before it went live), the reaction was very positive. They all thought it was funny, many of them asked to get the link to they could send it to their friends and family.

We don’t take ourselves to seriously around here, so each person was a very good sport. While undoubtedly out of character to be pranked in a meeting, it’s not unusual for us to play around in the office. For, example, we’ve also held a staged arm wrestling competition, which can also be seen on YouTube.   

Toby/Diva Marketing: Spunlogic is def a fun place to work! What has been the reaction of putting the video on YouTube?

Stephanie Critchfield: Nalts placed the video on YouTube, Revver, MySpace and other sites. The reactions have been overwhelmingly positive. We even emailed our attendees form the lunch and learn to let them know about the prank and included a link to the video in our quarterly newsletter.

There have been well over 21,000 visits, 230+ comments, and over 425 ratings. The average rating for this video is a 4 out of 5. Some of the comments include “lol! 5 stars!!!”, “thank you for the laugh Nalts!”, “LOL i wonder what the employees said to thier boss after THAt interview! LOL”, “snort snort. funny when you hit your head.”

Be sure to read about what Kevin had to say from his visit with our agency. And the outtakes are great fun too!

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Tracked on Dec 14, 2007 7:44:35 PM

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