We seem to be at a crossroads with online videos. One well-traveled path is littered with videos that stay on our collective conscience for about three minutes or until the next shiny video gets posted to our Facebook page. Down the other path, are videos created by businesses which are actually entertaining, informative and noteworthy enough to garner boatloads of links, comments, and press. Granted, we often have to sift through a lot of garbage to find small business or corporate produced videos, but I managed to dig up a few that are certainly worth a look.
First up, I think Vat 19 deserves some major props for producing some of a the kitschiest videos to advertise their line of unique products. If Fozzie Bear got hired for product development by The Sharper Image, he might have come up with stuff like the half pound gummy bear on a stick and the 100% waterproof shower notepad. Vat 19’s “curiously awesome” products are really just the sideline for the company’s kick butt videos. Videos and a line of DVDs have been Vat19’s bread and butter since the company launched in 2001. The popularity of the videos gave birth to their line of products and the rest is history. Now the company has videos that sell their products and products that sell their videos. Genius! Just check out the irresistibly cheesy video for Vat19’s new launched line of gummy shot glasses for further proof.
Sponsored videos are a cool way to merge two brands that share a common audience. I love The Onion’s A.V. Club and I love the legalized crack also known as Starbucks… so having the coffee guru sponsor the A.V. Club’s Undercover web-series is totally brandtastic. The concept of Undercover is simple; take 25 bands and give them a list of randomly selected songs and the bands perform covers of the songs live from the A.V. Club’s Chicago office. The songs range from MIA’s “Paper Planes” to Starship’s “We Built this City” and the bands are of the ultra hip variety you’d expect from A.V. Club. The result is a too-cool-for-school series that merges music and cool bands while promoting A.V. Club and Starbucks. Give this Hall and Oates cover a listen and tell me you’re not hooked.
Even Youtube itself has come up with ways to show that the brand does more than just serve as the pimp and pusher of wacky animal videos. On April 10th, Youtube and See3 Communications announced the winners of the Youtube Nonprofit Video Awards. The videos applauded and drew attention to the warm fuzz side of Youtube that is committed to helping out small nonprofit organizations. Particularly moving is the video for “Darius Goes West” which chronicles the cross country trip of a teen boy in a wheelchair. The fourth annual do-gooder awards allowed YouTube users to vote for their favorite non-profit videos. The winners received $2,500 grant while the top entries are displayed on the contest’s YouTube page. Very cool and a smart way to add depth to a brand that could easily be written off.
So what are some of your favorite online videos that just happen to be selling something? And if you feel so inclined, check our series of groovy videos right here.