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Editorial Advisory Board

Is Online Video Living Up to the Hype?

1 Jun, 2009 By: Thomas Haire Response

Stacey: There are two areas currently hampering the growth of online video. One area involves technical issues. The second area involves usability issues.

Technical issues include:

1. The size of the file and length of the show, which can make it difficult to stream a video with good resolution

2. Hardware and servers which may not be equipped to handle traffic and downloads

Usability issues include:

1. Slow computer connections

2. Not all sites are good, and some abuse the tool

3. Software problems, such as clients who don't have flash installed and don't understand how to load it


1. General media is snatching up this inventory

2. Internet viewers are smart — they often click away or turn down their volume during the commercials, leaving millions of impressions without any action

3. Leads can end up on the advertiser's home page rather than the clickable microsite or 800 number listed in the copy; viewers often note the name or offer then search for the advertiser in another fashion resulting in a lost lead

How are producers now taking online video and its opportunities and limitations into account when working on a DR campaign?

Fays: They have recognized that getting ahead of the issues and allowing a fair amount of lead time to produce and edit the creative is pivotal, coupled with financially backing the production from the beginning.

Garnett: The obvious answer is to post anything you can, anywhere that supports your brand and message. That starts with YouTube, but shouldn't stop there. On the other hand, YouTube can be a strong central repository for your video (especially now that YouTube upgraded its quality a little bit.) In addition, while shooting a commercial, we're beginning to shoot extra bits that are intended for online use.

Hawthorne: When planning our DRTV shoots, we will typically also shoot footage specifically designed for the Web site. In this way, we can take advantage of the economies of scale and make sure that the Web footage has the same look and feel as the TV spot. With web being such a potent channel for enhancing DRTV sales, we approach all video for a client with an intention to integrate and reinforce the visual messaging in every channel.

Lee: They are working more hand-in-hand with the marketers to make sure that they are delivering the message in this more specified genre.

Murray: It's still not top-of-mind — some producers are now thinking of themselves more as business partners/consultants rather than purely executing the production of a DRTV campaign. These folks, limited in number, are actively working with marketers to stretch campaigns to their limits, or providing advice on when an idea is a bit "too creative." Most producers, in my experience, are ignoring these opportunities.

Pruett: Clearly there are certain producers simply launching long- and short-form ads onto the existing platforms. However, we're beginning to see specific DRTV ads entering the marketplace. These are coming from focused producers with deep knowledge of the Web. In my mind, many of the existing DRTV producers will be challenged with the new channels online unless they quickly develop their expertise. The same is true for call-center operators. Many have simply not invested in this expanding channel, and the growth will quickly spill over to the mobile market.


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