One Video Does Not A Success Make – A Strong Campaign Does

In the rush to place video online, many companies and their planners are quick to take video elements from TV and just slap them into online inventory. Seemingly without a care about the platform and what its users relate to or interact with, the easy solution is usually just to place an on-air spot online and it is usually a wasted opportunity.  While most video placements are of the pre-roll variety, it is so easy to tune out those versions of what’s on TV.  It may be cost-effective from a production standpoint, but it ends up just ticking a box if you only use your TV ads to fill that space.  In these cases, it’s not about video alone to create successful campaigns – it’s about strong campaigns to help guide video creation for effective placement and ROI.

Kraft just launched a new campaign for their Wheat Thins product that exemplifies the strength in creating a whole campaign and then allowing for different video creatives for different placement.  They are using the umbrella theme of “Do What You Do” to inform one on-air spot that features characters from the animated TV show, FAMILY GUY,  debating the pronunciation of Wheat Thins and online only “pep talks” from a mustachioed man calling himself “The Do-Minatrix.”  Time will tell whether the online versions resonate with consumers, but there are a number of reasons – in this case and others – that creating different creatives for different platforms tied to the same campaign is smart.

It remains heavily dependent on the planning and creative execution, but exploring platform specific executions should be in play.  In the case of Kraft, I think they’ve got a very funny spot with the FAMILY GUY characters.  But, the broadcast/cable placements could make or break it.  Luckily, the FG fans are active and there’s a good chance they will be directing friends to the video on YouTube, thereby negating the specific need to really do online spends.

I’m not entirely sold on the messaging of the Do-Minatrix pieces (created by the agency, AKQA) and whether their use of new year’s resolutions will tie the consumer to Wheat Thins as it really is about the Do What You Do campaign with only graphic callouts.  If a person doesn’t know about the larger campaign, will it make sense?  At least the creative was certainly done in such a way that will capture the attention of online users so even if users don’t get auto-sound (in display placements), their attention will be grabbed and they will hopefully turn the audio on. 

As far as it can be seen through what was reported, they are mainly placing the Do-Minatrix videos on their Facebook page – which has over 400K users.  If they only place them on their Facebook and YouTube, it won’t be as effective as it could be.  While a nice diversion for their existing fans, they have already drunk the proverbial punch.  They might not have had to do so many iterations just to keep their fans happy.

An interesting component of this campaign is the fact that the Do What You Do idea was originated by the social activity of Wheat Thin customers who were sharing what they were doing while imbibing the product.  Effectively, Kraft is taking what the fans are giving them, putting a spin on it and getting it right back out to them in a fresh (and hopefully entertaining) way.

With how easy and cost-effective it is these days to get multiple web-ready videos from numerous sources – as seen by providers such as Poptent or Playkast – cost is no longer an excuse and it then comes down to placement.  With a solid campaign theme and structure, the pieces come into place that much more easily. 

All in, the platforms need to be looked at strategically to formulate whether they need specific creative or can re-use on-air creative.  Will the campaigns be bombs if they just use existing content? Of course not.  But they could be so much bigger – especially if you have a clear campaign theme and objective.  Be sure not to optimize your creative, planning and platforms to get the best ROI out of your video campaigns.

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