Advertising usually takes a big chunk of a company’s promotion budget. And we all know TV ads are the most expensive when it comes to creating them and to having them broad casted. They are extremely short movies showing the product, the people buying it and their values, product benefits, etc. Funny commercials are not something new, but more and more companies seem to somehow be influenced by the YouTube era. As viewer numbers become relevant, video ads keep migrating to the virtual world.

I have recently seen an ad for safe backup. It presents mishaps preceding a meeting: basically all those knowing what to say at the meeting manage to somehow hurt their heads and forget everything. The company and its product are only present in the last moments of the commercial. But the video has a great impact. Imagine this video posted on Youtube. A few hundred thousand views. And those people search the video database and watch what they are genuinely interested in. Hence, better chances to buy. But is it really so?

If it were and home user antivirus product, it would have probably worked better than for a corporate product. Is then the market of online videos opent to targeted end users only? If you think YouTube, Google Videos or Yahoo Videos, most likely. But the trend of techie sites and online tv broadcasters to expand saves products with precisely targeted audiences. Therefore, speaking of a backup service for a large number of high-end servers through a movie has better chances of being seen by system administrators, IT management representatives and so on.

How are specialized websites different from general ones? The sort of movie that would attract viewers makes the difference. While YouTube fans would gladly watch something extremely funny, tech oriented audiences are picky. They would need something smart and entertaining. Something representing them, boosting their geek pride. Because there are many geeks out there being extremely proud of it (I am slowly becoming one of them because it is really cool to be able to name more than 3 Linux distros and to not get scared when you hear the someone saying “command line interface”). These are the type of people that never respond well to “buy this, it will change your life” messages. Nor to “this is a product that will never get you into trouble” statements. Do that and you are sure to find a vulnerability posted online in the blink of an eye.

Are these people on YouTube, Yahoo or Google. Some of them are. But are they looking for techie stuff there, when there is no tech category on the site? Most unlikely. But, as it is free to post, a catch-all solution would be to create the video to match your targeted audience and then have it uploaded on all available sites, including the general ones.

If you ask yourselves which option is cheaper, the answer is: it depends. If you judge it by immediate price, the general ones are free, while some of the specialized video portals require payment. If you judge it by return on investment, well, things might change.

Have any of you used video ads posted online only to promote a company or have heard of something of the sort? What type of product was it? Which were the results?

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