Jean-Michel Billaut, host of the now almost legendary French show "the BillautShow" came by our offices on Friday. That turned into a long conversation in front of the webcam of my macbook pro (25 min...) where we discussed about the online video industry, competition, venture capital, P2P, reaction from TV networks, B2B, und so weiter...
He posted the original show here, and there is some discussion going on there as well.
Last week at vloggercon, I had a great chat with Tim, the founder of FrenchMaidTV, just before Amber of CommandN.tv dragged him away for an interview : I’ve got to go and watch that.
Well he was telling me all about his business model: product placement. See, the problem with online video ads is that users can skip them. That’s what happened to traditional TV when Tivo was introduced: Tivo users could skip the ads, hence taking away part of the revenues of advertisers, who cried wolf. The solution ? They tried product placement; I’m sure you’ve seen this happen in most episodes of “24” (a lot of Apple stuff, and Cisco recently), in the James Bond movies, etc.
Episode 3 of French Maid TV is out: it promotes heavily 2 brands / services, and the pretty girls are just a way to bring eyeballs. Smart. I’d just recommend toning down a little bit the commercial part, and working a bit more on the script. Tim showed an unreleased episode of how to change oil in your car: very sexy, and SPONSORED by an oil company.
Cali Lewis (not her real name, IRL she’s Luria Petrucci) was there at the conference too, although I didn’t have the opportunity to talk to her (next time ?). She also does product placement in a very intelligent way: I loved the way the introduced her sponsor in a recent episode with a clip on Bogart & Baccall. She seems to reinvent all the time the way to present her sponsors.
Indeed, godaddy.com have advertised their brand in a number of shows already (diggnation, commandN, etc.) and I have used their service several times already with the discount code on the shows, just because of their presence.
So product placement in videos are not easy to skip, fun to watch, and the brand does stick. Online video allows to experiment with more formats than just inserting them. Expect a lot more on this. I missed the morning sessions last friday in NYC at the first “online video ad forum”, and this was only slightly touched upon in the afternoon sessions.