What Old Media Can Learn About Advertising From Diggnation

Jan 27th, 2009 | By | Category: Commentary, Featured Story, Internet TV, Making Money with Podcasts, Video

Business Week published an article this morning about “The Pool,” a shared project among advertising agencies and several large media networks, to agree on a standard format for online video ads. The group aims to solve the perceived dilemma of advertisers and networks “tailoring their various ads to a host of different standards, and then come up with a way to measure the effectiveness of a broad range of approaches.”

“Pool” members include mostly big, mostly old, media networks: Yahoo!, Hulu, Discovery, and CBS. Advertising-marketing concern Starcom Media Vest spearheaded the project. Big advertising buyers like insurance giant Allstate, along with Microsoft, Applebees restaurants and credit card purveyor Capital One were brought in to help winnow down the list of thirty types of advertising to a more manageable list of five “most effective” types of spots.

The Pool project began staging viewer panels last week to test the top five ad types. However, research results and ad-format recommendations won’t be disclosed until February 2010.

A year seems an awfully long time to wait before seeing recommendations of the working group, especially in light of the fact that other organizations, the Association for Downloadable Media and the Interactive Advertising Bureau among them, have already researched and recommended standards for advertising units (ad formats/types) and for measuring their reach and effectiveness.

Furthermore, the list of “Pool” participants conspicuously leaves out other major ad and marketing agencies, internet video metrics people like Tubemogul, as well as ignoring established Internet video networks like Revision 3, Wizzard Media, and others.

What are established Internet TV shows on professional Internet video networks already doing in terms of advertising? Take, for instance, Revision 3. Rev3 is an Internet television network and home of popular (and advertiser-supported) Diggnation, a weekly tech/web culture show based on the top digg.com social bookmarking news stories.

I talked with Revision 3 CEO Jim Louderback, right, earlier today about his perspective on, and experience with advertising in online video.

Elisabeth McLaury Lewin, Podcasting News: This newly launched research project is looking for the most effective ways of advertising in online video, in order to recommend standard formats and units. You’ve been placing ads in your Internet video shows for years. What sort of ad types does Revision 3 sell to advertisers?

Jim Louderback, CEO Revision 3: We use pre-rolls, overlays and post-rolls, all work to some degree, but the most effective is the in-show sponsorships, and brand integrations that are delivered by our hosts.

Elisabeth Lewin: How do advertisers find your shows? Do you have a sales staff that goes out soliciting advertisers?

Jim Louderback: In general, yes we do have a sales staff that solicits advertisers.

Elisabeth Lewin: What works best for you?

Jim Louderback: We use the in-show sponsorship model because it is both the most cost effective, and the most effective in driving awareness, intent, purchasing and action. For example, 48% of our audience has purchased a product or a service from one of our sponsors.

Elisabeth Lewin: If you could tell prospective advertisers what they need to know about placing ads in online videos, what would you tell them?

Jim Louderback: When you place ads in online media, first take a close look at how the ads are measured.  How do you know how many views you are really getting ?

Second, to really be effective, be prepared to give up control over the message.  An authentic message, delivered by a trusted host in his own words, really does drive results.  But you have to give up a little to get these results.

And finally, match product with audience and show.  This may sound basic, but if you have a choice of scattering across user generated content, or going deep on a show that talks directly to your target, go deep, not broad, for best results.

What would you tell video content producers (and the networks who promote them) about attracting and pleasing advertisers?

For video creators, follow your passions, identify those companies that share those passions, and then show [prospective advertisers] how they can leverage the power of your audience to align their products with your passionate hosts and viewers!


In a recent blog post, Louderback talks more about advertising in Internet video’s ability to go beyond the “reach and frequency” of ads in traditional tv and print/text, adding a new third dimension of depth:

The text web has been built on CPC.  But the video web is as different from the text web as it is from traditional television.  It’s a new medium and it provides marketers a new weapon in the battle to convert consumers into paying customers and brand ambassadors.  Just as the web gave rise to interactive marketing agencies that built core competence on SEM and CPC marketing, the video web will create a new discipline, and a new way to reach audiences by layering a third dimension onto the Reach and Frequency graph.

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One Response to “What Old Media Can Learn About Advertising From Diggnation”

  1. Locama Anandamine says:

    Louderback’s comments seem pretty basic – but maybe that’s the point.

    What do you need to study for 12 months to find out if it works on the Internet? In 12 months, everything may have changed.

    How long did it take for YouTube to dominate online video? 12 months?

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