An old friend of mine, Rachel Barnhart, is a local TV reporter and anchor at Rochester station 13-WHAM. When I visited her station's site this morning, I was surprised to see how well they do pre-roll video ads. They follow many of the rules we lay out in our Online Video Advertising Best Practices Guide. The site keeps the ads short (all are under 15 seconds), they rotate through advertisers so users don't see the same ad several times in a row, and they run companion banners for each pre-roll advertiser. They even help their advertisers design custom video ads for use online (in one pre-roll ad, the spokesperson points to the companion banner and says "click here" -- corny, but probably effective). The only thing they don't do well is limit frequency: there's a pre-roll ad in front of every single clip.
2008 - A new year, a new chance to regroup and rethink our strategies. For me, it's also a new beginning. Today is my last day before I go on maternity leave. (Wish me luck.) While I'm gone, my boss David Card, as well as the other members of our Marketing team will be filling in for me. We've also got some good reports in the hopper to tide you over, including the Category Advertising Forecast.
When I come back, I imagine not too much will have changed. Perhaps Google will own Doubleclick. Perhaps the writers strike will be over. Hopefully, one or more of the Big 4 will offer some great new options in the wake of their costly acquisitions in 2007. In any event, I'll be keeping my ear to the ground, so send any interesting tidbits my way.
I'll be joining Pete at the convention and various festivities. I've got my keen eye on the design and product development side of things. So, if you're in to new product development, design research, product design, wearable computing, green design, or other related topics, let me know so we can talk shop. I'll also be at the Bloghaus and the Blogger party so you can track me down there.
Also, I'll be doing some cross posting over at my personal blog, birdahonk.com.
You can reach me at bhaven [at] forrester [dot] com.
As we get into 2008, my research agenda will focus on mobile marketing (among other topics). To get up to speed quickly, I'll be at CES 2008 in Las Vegas. Unfortunately, I'm also a CES n00b because I've never had a good enough reason to attend.
If you're involved in the mobile marketing space and want to meet up, let me know. Looking forward to meeting up with other bloggers at the Bloghaus and Blogger Party as well.
Just as I was about to sit down and write out my prediction that fewer advertisers will spend money on obviously forced social marketing campaigns, I get an email that Chick-Fil-A is running a "make your own video" contest to find their biggest fan. Then, hours later, I read that McDonald's has basically ripped off Ray Ban's Wayfarer video with a viral video that depicts two cool dudes catching French fries in their mouths as they do cool dude type stuff. So maybe I was jumping the gun; a valuable thing to realize as we're just getting ready to send out our Social Marketer Executive Survey, where we'll get a great understanding of just how many marketers are still trying for instant word of mouth fame and fortune. I fear that there are many. Social Marketing is still very new to many marketers, but hopefully the learning curve will be fast. This coming year, we will be focusing not only the hype-y stuff like viral marketing and using widgets, but the evolution of brand advocacy, successful product launches, and how to deal with fragmented audiences. These last topics seem to me to be the ones with the lasting themes that will define the next phase of social marketing. In the mean time, I will keep my eye out for more viral shenanigans.