GoingNative:How Marketers Are Reinventing theSOnline Video Advertising Experience           in association with:
Summary              Marketers are broadly expanding the types of online video content they are creating and are          ...
ForewordOnline advertising is in the midst of both a creative renais-     choice-based interaction and content-driven expe...
Going Native              Over the past decade, content marketing, specifically in                                        ...
The changing faceof distributionSixty-one percent of senior marketing executives value           more publishers we bring ...
In other words, marketers      Heightening awareness may boost usage.                                            are placi...
The Power of VideoTo say that online video has become a staple of the market-          Yet marketers also appearer’s toolb...
the weakness of a television-to-digital video approach,             human-interest stories related to travel. The videos d...
Honda Million Mile Joe and Monsters Calling HomeHonda owners are among the most loyal in the car industry.           Bende...
Demand for Native Video              Owned media channels and banner ads are the most popular ways of distributing online ...
Using Irreverence to Connect: K-Swiss and Kenny PowersBecause there are fewer boundaries to heed in content and delivery, ...
Indie Meets Social Media: The Beauty Inside              At the other end of the content spectrum from Kenny Powers is Int...
The Advantage ofAlignmentBecause a viewing experience organically          Most valuable attributes of online videoand uno...
Matching the Right Content to the Brand: JetBlue              Five years ago, JetBlue developed a campaign tied to the ope...
Conclusion: The Futureof the MarketAs marketers’ understanding of what engages consumers online—and what leaves themcold—e...
Methodology              The Forbes Insights/Sharethrough survey tapped 136 marketing executives. Forty-six respon-       ...
AboutForbes InsightsForbes Insights is the strategicresearch practice of Forbes Media,publisher of Forbes magazineand Forb...
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Forbes insights sharethrough goingnative

  1. 1. GoingNative:How Marketers Are Reinventing theSOnline Video Advertising Experience in association with:
  2. 2. ContentsSummary................................................................................................................2Foreword................................................................................................................3Going Native........................................................................................................ 4The Changing Face of Distribution ..............................................................5The Power of Video..........................................................................................7Heineken and 007..............................................................................................8Honda Million Mile Joe and Monsters Calling Home............................. 9Demand for Native Video..............................................................................10Using Irreverence to Connect: K-Swiss and Kenny Powers............... 11Indie Meets Social Media: The Beauty Inside......................................... 12The Advantage of Alignment....................................................................... 13Matching the Right Content to the Brand: JetBlue..............................14Conclusion: The Future of the Market....................................................... 15Methodology.......................................................................................................16
  3. 3. Summary Marketers are broadly expanding the types of online video content they are creating and are interested in syndicating their content in ways that get beyond industry-standard formats. “Native advertising” has emerged as the convergence between original brand video content and dramatically new approaches to distribution that ensure an ad matches the look and feel of a website and does not interrupt the viewing experience in the manner of a television com- mercial. While the term “native” ads has not fully caught on with marketing executives, the core elements of native ad types are favored by them, which suggests this market will grow as awareness increases.2 | Going native
  4. 4. ForewordOnline advertising is in the midst of both a creative renais- choice-based interaction and content-driven experiences.sance and a severe attention deficit. Although creating these native content experiences Online video typifies this digital paradox; there has been requires a more thoughtful and customized executionan explosion of original brand content that has redefined the strategy (as compared with interruptive display ads), manyways brands express themselves, as well as how they enter- of the largest platforms have been first on board to adopttain and connect with their audiences. However, at the same native advertising. This is a testament to the value oftime, interruptive distribution tactics are showing skip rates this new medium. For example, the major platforms onclimbing at alarming rates, and traditional display ads are the web—Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Tumblr andcontinuing to show paltry engagement metrics. WordPress—have universally adopted native advertising These signs indicate that we are at the beginning of formats, and premium editorial publishers are prepping fora new era of online advertising with brand content at its an industry-wide native ad overhaul.core. In a world where consumers are now in full control The future of digital marketing is going to be native.of their media, interruption and poor visual integration are Advertising experiences like banners, boxes, buttons andno longer viable branding tactics. Instead, it has become pop-ups are permanently giving way to ad experiences thatimperative that branded content remains consistent with are native to a publisher’s site. At the same time the creativ-the user experience and visual design of a publisher’s site. ity is evolving alongside the native medium. Together theyIn response to this fundamental shift in media, a new wave are producing a new, direct way for brands to connect andof “native” advertising models that fit with today’s social, entertain audiences across the web. With approximately $11connected web experience is emerging. billion a year being spent on display ads, there is no better Native advertising is defined as ad strategies that allow time for change than now.brands to promote their content into the endemic experienceof a site in an integrated, non-interruptive way. The core By Dan Greenberg,attributes of native advertising are strong visual integration, CEO and co-founder, Sharethrough Copyright © 2012 Forbes Insights | 3
  5. 5. Going Native Over the past decade, content marketing, specifically in Importance of brand video syndication the form of online video, has become a fundamental tool features for connecting with consumers. It has enabled companies to reach and engage audiences where they are spending Look and feel: native versus standard increasing amounts of time. 61% Native video, a more recent phenomenon in this Embedded within organic site versus in ad banners field that meshes in appearance—if not substance—with 60% the overall feel of a publisher’s website, is achieving even Choice-based versus interruptive greater viewer engagement. Companies are deploying it as 53% they seek more effective ways to forge stronger ties to con- sumers. Defined broadly, native ad units are visually well Standalone versus before, during or after other content integrated (ads match a website’s look and feel), choice- 52% based and content-driven (providing a content experience Enables video sharing versus doesn’t enable video sharing for audiences, rather than just a standard commercial). The 48% terms “native video” and the wider umbrella of “native Publisher sites: premium content versus not premium content advertising” are still referred to by different names, and 47% even interchangeably. This suggests that marketers have not settled on precise definitions of this trend. When it comes to native advertising, however, two principles are clear: 1. The content itself is the main event, no longer a side- show that interferes with other programming. Through humor, pathos or meaningful insights, the content aims to create a more entertaining, engaging viewing expe- rience. The end goal is that this improved experience ref lects favorably on the brand and leads to stron- ger long-term bonds with consumers—which in turn may lead to larger, more enduring financial benefits. Online video formats have enabled companies to push beyond traditional advertising boundaries for length and the nature of material they cover. Such flexibility has enabled them to tell stories with the sort of fullness that could not have been done through other formats. 2. Content distribution has changed. There is no simple formula or paint-by-numbers approach to publishing content—as with, say, a banner ad. Rather, there is new flexibility for presentation. What are the right propor- tions for the video? Where should a company place a video on a company’s web page and what visual ele- ments of the site should the ad mimic? Companies can determine more analytically which format will create the best viewing experience. At the same time, brands can be more precise about which websites will ensure the widest viewership among the right audience.4 | Going native
  6. 6. The changing faceof distributionSixty-one percent of senior marketing executives value more publishers we bring on board, the more advertisersthe look and feel of native videos, which mimic site invest in native. It ends up being a self-fulfilling prophecydesign and interaction, over that of standard video, where because it will work so well that they’ll notice it and see itsthe video player stands out as a separate advertising fea- value just by being Internet users.”ture. Interviewees from major companies and ad agencies Marty St. George, senior vice president, marketingechoed this opinion, pointing out that consumers are more and commercial strategy, JetBlue, says that he foreseesinclined to view content that does not point them directly increased usage of this more creative way of advertising.toward a transaction, but rather catches their interest in “Look at what a successful program looks like for displayan organic way. Indeed, 60% of executives also pointed advertising,” says St. George, whose company has cre-to the importance of organically ated video game shows, as wellembedding a video into a site’s as a more recent campaign tied tocontent, rather than delivering it the current presidential electionin traditional ad banners that donot connect to the page in a rel- “We’ve gone beyond (see sidebar, page 14). “If I have a display ad that has a 2% click-evant or meaningful way. This the thought of interactive through rate, that’s a really goodleads consumers to think more display ad. I’ll spin that in a dif-favorably about the brand that is digital into creating ferent direction, which is if I hadproviding the content. The shift to native video dis- our own digital a display ad that has 98% of peo- ple that ignore it, that’s sort oftribution dovetails with creative content wholesale.” sitting there inert. I don’t thinkstrategies that focus on custom that’s success at all. When wedigital assets. In the past, online —MARTY ST. GEORGE get digital video involved, wevideo strategies centered largely SVP, Marketing and get significantly higher engage-on the distribution of commercials Commercial Strategy, ment. We’ve gone beyond theoriginally made for television, ret- JetBlue thought of interactive digital intorofitted for distribution online. creating our own digital contentThe end result was something that wholesale.”didn’t fit the medium. Survey respondents and inter- Sharethrough CEO Dan Greenberg says that native viewees noted that marketing strategies now increasinglyadvertising addresses viewing preferences that are increas- use long-form and custom 15- to 30-second content madeingly based on the quality of the content and ease of access. specifically for the web, instead of repurposed commercials.He believes that as brands, agencies and, most of all, the “If I see an ad that promises to be funny or interest-publishers of websites become more aware of its attributes, ing, or promises to teach me something, on like BuzzFeedusage will increase markedly. Indeed, click-through rates or the Atlantic, and I click it, and they’re just trying to sellon banner ads have been harder to come by, while skip me on car insurance, I’m going to turn around and neverrates on pre-roll ads that precede online videos have been click it again,” says Greenberg. “That’s an important faceton the rise. of this market that is [prompting] brands to invest in con- “When you see a banner ad in the New York Times, tent for the first time ever. That’s where this whole thingyou don’t think twice about it,” says Greenberg. “But if starts. It stems from making content so good that peopleyou saw a news feed video that had a quick play video that will not only want to watch it, but even want to share it.expanded, that was native to the page, seeing it during day- Most brands are thinking about production and engage-to-day usage is going to change people’s perception. The ment as opposed to interruption.” Copyright © 2012 Forbes Insights | 5
  7. 7. In other words, marketers Heightening awareness may boost usage. are placing a higher priority Content marketing such as native video has more in “Consumption on distributing their videos common with short films, documentaries or the creative, has changed, and in ways that do not interrupt occasionally irreverent work on YouTube than with tradi- the user experience. This may tional commercials or the banner ads that are predominant advertisers will have account for the low use of pre- in digital advertising. It is more nuanced, focused less on to continue to follow roll video distribution tactics, product messaging than on creating an experience that [consumers]. Quality in which advertisements are viewers want to repeat and share via social media. It calls to delivered online in a format the consumer to be engaged, rather than “marketed to” as has become more similar to television commer- a captive, passive audience. important now.” cials. In addition, companies Native video is meant to function as destination enter- are looking for ways to differ- tainment, as marketers become increasingly reluctant to —RON AMRAm entiate their advertising from “interrupt” the consumer experience. Its appeal for market- Senior Media Director, the avalanche of material that ers lies primarily in its emphasis on compelling storytelling Heineken USA exists online. But the progres- and providing an opportunity to go more in-depth into a sion from television-like ads message. A native ad’s length may extend over several min- to those designed specifically utes or run in installments released over regular intervals. It for an online experience is may sadden, amuse, shamelessly tug on heartstrings or even also a response to new consumer viewing habits. Television feature a star performer in a signature role. Interestingly ads are increasingly ignored by consumers even when they’re enough, particularly successful examples of content mar- shown on television, as intended. Nearly three in five con- keting also generate their own coverage. sumers surveyed by Forbes Insights recently said they use For example, Intel’s six-part Beauty Inside series this their DVR to skip ads. summer sought to engage consumers with the possi- “For me, this is the continuing evolution of advertis- ble romance of an unlikely couple. A series of Honda ads ers trying to connect to consumers,” says Ron Amram, offered surprise outcomes for dedicated owners of Honda senior media director for Heineken USA. “Consumption cars. An episode in a Heineken campaign, timed to the has changed, and advertisers will have to continue to follow opening of the latest James Bond movie, includes a cameo [consumers]. Quality has become more important now.” by the present Bond, Daniel Craig. All this suggests a potential for significant and rapid Such videos are also typically easy to access via corpo- growth for native video. At the same time, however, a lack rate websites as well as other sites that are likely to reach of awareness or understanding of the medium and its bene- target audiences. They do not require viewers to click on fits among senior executives may be hampering this growth. banners or barrage them with a hard sell. The product men- Indeed, half of the senior marketing executives who said tion may be minimal or occur subtly in the context of the that their organizations had no imminent plans to use native story. In short, the goal may be a conversation or at least video couldn’t predict if this would change in the future. holding a consumer’s interest in a format that feels less arti- This may reflect the newness of the medium or a lack of ficial and more natural. understanding of its benefits for consumer engagement.6 | Going native
  8. 8. The Power of VideoTo say that online video has become a staple of the market- Yet marketers also appearer’s toolbox would be a significant understatement. More to view branded video asthan half (54%) of senior marketing executives say that they a way to create a stronger, “It’s almost an osmosisuse online video, while 23% are planning to use it, nearly more positive imprint in con- effect of native ads. If you70% of them within the next year. sumers’ minds that may help Companies see online video as an effective way to marketers achieve larger, see it a few times, it willspur higher degrees of brand awareness, retention and long-term goals. “It’s almost feel as if it’s everywhere,loyalty. Seven in 10 respondents (68%) to the Forbes/ an osmosis effect of native and it will hit your brain.”Sharethrough survey said that a top objective was to ads,” says Sharethrough’senhance brand awareness. Fifty-five percent of respon- Greenberg. “If you see it a —DAN GREENBERGdents said branding was a goal of online video advertising, few times, it will feel as if it’s CEO and co-founder,while 43% pointed to bolstering customer retention and everywhere, and it will hit Sharethroughloyalty as a leading objective. your brain and register with These marketers view paid brand video as a particularly you, as opposed to a bannereffective way to achieve these goals. Three in four respon- ad, where the impression isdents (75%) aim for a measurable brand lift (i.e., an increase just a throwaway. “in awareness and purchasing intent) as a result of their paid Custom digital assets are the most popular type ofbrand video syndication efforts. More than half of execu- assets for digital video advertising. Senior marketingtives (54%) seek a measurable gain in reach and frequency. executives interviewed said they valued the flexibilityAnd one-third pointed to more active measures of engage- afforded by custom content. Three in five executives sur-ment, including sharing and buzz. Getting consumers to veyed use custom digital assets in their video advertising;talk and share more about a brand, more often and more two in five (41%) use long-form digital assets (brandedproactively, are the name of the video game. content). In a sign that executives by and large recognizeTop objectives of current online video users Top media objectives considered while measuring paid brand video syndicationAwareness 68% Brand lift (awareness, purchase intent, etc.) 75%Branding 55% Reach and frequency 54%Customer retention and loyalty 43% Sharing (i.e., earned media generation) loyalty 33%Brand affinity/advocacy 30% Building buzz 33%Customer acquisition 26% Direct response goal 27% Copyright © 2012 Forbes Insights | 7
  9. 9. the weakness of a television-to-digital video approach, human-interest stories related to travel. The videos do just 28% still repurpose television commercials online. not tout Expedia’s services to help people find airfares and Thus, long-form branded content has surpassed repur- accommodations; in fact, the company is mentioned only posed TV assets on the web, a testament to the maturation briefly in each video. The videos could function indepen- of the online video marketplace. dently of the company’s website—and do. Implicit is the For example, Expedia’s Find Your Understanding understanding that travel transforms lives and that Expedia series amounts to a video blog of quirky, often touching can help you get where you want to go. Similarly, as mentioned earlier, Honda uses its Honda Loves You Back videos to underscore the sometimes extraordinary bonds car owners have with their cars. In Types of video assets used for digital video one, the company features a Honda owner who has driven advertising his Accord sedan a million miles. In another, a young musi- Custom digital assets (15 or 30 seconds in length) cal group living on a tight budget receives an unexpected 61% prize for recording their music video in their Hondas. The videos have generated millions of visits on video sharing Long-form digital assets (i.e., branded content) and social media sites, creating a dialogue that had more to 41% do with the stories than the attributes of the cars. Moreover, 30-second repurposed TV commercial the videos have created a larger emotional investment in the 28% brand than a traditional commercial probably could. Heineken and 007 Follow the consumer? Or use content to push the consumer in new directions? It’s an age-old dilemma in advertising. Heineken Senior Media Director Ron Amram says that his division of the 170-year-old beer manufacturer does a little bit of each. Amram says that he is always cognizant of the company’s most recent installment intersects with the coming release of reputation as a producer of premium beer. It would not be the next James Bond film, Skyfall. It features a handsome ev- true to the Heineken brand to push its advertising in wildly eryman caught between the current Bond, Daniel Craig, and new directions too far afield from its established messaging. sinister-looking villains. The segment ends with Bond skydiv- “Heineken is a global beer with a rich history, sold in 170 coun- ing from a snow-covered trestle. tries. We refer to our target audience as a man of the world always looking to do new things.” The ad differs from other Heineken ads in both length and the type of content, and it amassed nearly 7 million views on Yet like many other companies, Heineken has had to find ways Heineken YouTube channels. “Marketers are always trying to to reach consumers via social media. That has meant trying push the envelope and push consumers into new places,” says new types of advertising, including long-form videos. Amram. “I’m a little of both [pushing the envelope and following the consumer]. It depends on the situation. If you don’t lead at Among its recent initiatives has been a multi-part series. The some times, you don’t capture [consumers’] hearts and minds.”8 | Going native
  10. 10. Honda Million Mile Joe and Monsters Calling HomeHonda owners are among the most loyal in the car industry. Bender says that the biggestThey appreciate the Japanese automaker’s well-engineered, obstacle was maintaining thereasonably priced cars and are not shy about sharing their ad- surprise. Had Joe learned “We knew it wasmiration online. “Weekly we get a lot of letters from our custom- what was planned before- going to be a challenge,ers saying, ‘Hey, thank you so much for making a highly reliable hand, his reactions might notcar,’ or people who have been in collisions, saying, the safety of have been so poignant and keeping the surpriseyour product helped save our lives, minimize injuries, things like engaging. “Honda saw right and keeping the secret.”that,” says John Watts, senior manager of digital marketing for off the bat the possible emo-Honda USA. “Our customers really appreciate what we do, and tional connection that could —BRETT BENDERwe wanted to show them how we appreciate them.” be put together between Senior Vice President and consumers and Honda with a Group Account Director,Several years ago, the close relationship became the basis of video of this nature,” Bender RPAHonda USA’s Facebook and social media strategy. The com- says. “Pulling it off was some-pany built an initial Honda Loves You Back campaign on the thing. We knew it was goingconcept popularized more than a decade ago by the movie to be a challenge, keeping theSix Degrees of Separation: Everyone knows someone who surprise and keeping the secret.”directly or indirectly leads to someone famous. In Honda’scase, Watts says the company created a Facebook appli- Emboldened by the success of Million Mile Joe, Honda and RPAcation in which anyone could find somebody who “loves a took a similar approach this year with a very different story,Honda or knows somebody” who does. This promotion led to albeit one in which a pleasant surprise was also the basis forothers in which Honda rewarded its customers: free parking connecting with viewers. Affectionately called Best Gig Everfor Honda owners at Anaheim Ducks hockey games (at the by some, the four-minute online video focuses on a day in theteam’s Honda Center arena), massages and food giveaways life of the indie band Monsters Calling Home. The group hadat car washes. Honda videoed the reactions of the beneficia- drawn Honda’s notice by recording a music video in their Hon-ries and posted them. das. Honda surprised the band by arranging an appearance on the nationally televised Jimmy Kimmel Show.When the Honda Facebook page reached 1 million followers,the company celebrated by posting Honda-related photos This second video also went viral. It hit its goal for impres-from its fans’ Facebook pages and upped its efforts to find sions within five days, well ahead of schedule. The video hadunique stories of Honda affection. That led them to a Maine received more than 1.3 million views on YouTube by OctoberHonda owner, Joe, who had just reached 1 million miles on his 2012. “We went well above what we had targeted ahead ofAccord sedan odometer. time,” Bender says.Honda and the ad agency, Los Angeles-based RPA, believed Watts, a 25-year Honda veteran, says companies have had tothe story of Million Mile Joe would resonate loudly both in- become more flexible about the types of advertising they use,side and outside the Honda community. Yet RPA Senior Vice and the steep growth of digital has presented new options.President and Group Account Director Brett Bender says thattraditional short-form video or television commercial formats But a mix is still important to maintain. Even as it developswould not enable Honda to tell the full story. these longer online videos, Honda continues to produce shorter videos and other types of advertising. “I think that aRPA writers suggested a plot in which Honda would throw a four- to five-minute format doesn’t work well for everything.surprise parade for Joe in his hometown and award him with But in this case (Monsters Calling Home), if you’re building aa new Accord. The more than three-minute piece, which cap- story and you want to really engage people, a four-minute for-tured Joe’s astonishment as floats, stilt-walkers, cheerleaders mat worked very, very well,” Watts says. “Obviously, there areand a marching band roll by, quickly went viral and made na- other situations where we didn’t have five minutes of contenttional news. “We surprised him,” says Bender. “He thought that to keep people engaged, so it’s kind of a case-by-case (basis).he was coming to a press conference.” But content is definitely key.” Copyright © 2012 Forbes Insights | 9
  11. 11. Demand for Native Video Owned media channels and banner ads are the most popular ways of distributing online vid- eos. Half of senior marketing executives report using these tactics. Yet numbers can be deceiving; they do not reflect the Top media distribution tactics for brand demand for this type of product. The level of demand is videos clear in the high percentage of marketers indicating the importance of a native look and feel to online video. Owned media channels (corporate website, YouTube channel, Indeed, marketers know they must meet consumers on their Facebook brand channel) turf; that is, they must provide content in a way that will 51% gain and maintain their attention without feeling intrusive, Video display banner ads inauthentic or one-way. 51% A majority of marketing executives value the attributes PR outreach of native video. To be sure, just one-third (32%) of senior 34% marketing executives say they have either bought or are planning to buy native video advertising of brand videos. Native advertising 23% But in qualitative interviews for this paper, respondents indicated a greater receptivity to the format. Pre-roll or in stream advertising 19% Viral video syndication 11% Have you bought native video advertising for distribution of your brand videos? 12% 20% Yes 18% but we are planning to do so No, and we have no imminent plans to do so No, on’t know D 49%10 | Going native
  12. 12. Using Irreverence to Connect: K-Swiss and Kenny PowersBecause there are fewer boundaries to heed in content and delivery, content marketing in theform of native video can take chances that other types of advertising cannot. In some cases,online video may offer unprecedented opportunities for companies to redefine their brands.Take K-Swiss’s series of irreverent videos featuring the ficti- gueur in each part of the series,tious cable television character Kenny Powers. The washed-up and Powers is not shy aboutbaseball player in the HBO comedy Eastbound Down, played insulting athletes who make “If you do somethingby the comic actor Danny McBride, earned a loyal following cameo appearances: kickbox- that’s exciting andamong younger men for his fast-talking, vulgar persona. The ers, football players, wrestlerscharacter of Powers says what is on his mind, no matter how and celebrity personal trainer relevant, you can farpolitically incorrect. Jillian Michaels. The content is expand your media not for shrinking violets. spend in terms ofK-Swiss has largely been known for its comfortable, well-builttennis sneakers. In 2010, it was looking for a way to add flash The videos shocked some but its impact.”to its image and hook younger men, who compose a key de- drew raves from others, includ- —MATT JARVISmographic in sneaker sales. The California-based company ing critics of online video. The Partner and Chiefcouldn’t spend as much on an ad campaign as larger competi- series won three Golden Pencil Strategy Officer,tors such as Adidas and Nike, so it needed to think differently awards for excellence in ad- 72andSunnyto generate new interest at a price it could afford. “We knew vertising. As for K-Swiss, thewe wanted to connect with the 16- to 21-year old guy,” says company’s president, DavidMatt Jarvis, a partner and chief strategy officer for the K-Swiss Nichols, told OnlineVideo.netad agency 72andSunny. “So we thought it was really important in a June 2012 interview that he “would be the first to go onthat if K-Swiss didn’t have a brand personality or equity with record to say” that the company “didn’t sell as many shoesthat audience, that we connected with the audience in a way as we would have liked.” But Nichols added that, “We did getthat was more peer-to-peer and was speaking their language, more people talking about us…we increased our search rank-connecting in a way that was relevant to them.” ing, hits to our website and increased sales. We did this with effective media buys. We were able to reach people withoutSneaker companies typically align themselves with athletes to having to pay for television time.”build brand awareness. But in its research, 72andSunny foundthat the type of consumer that K-Swiss was trying to reach By changing the brand image, this type of attention can leadspent more time on such content-sharing sites as Break.com to more sustainable future growth. “For a long time in the mar-and Funnyordie.com than watching sports. “For K-Swiss to keting world, entertainment value was considered by manykind of take a page out of the traditional marketing playbook, it agencies and marketers as a nice to have,” Jarvis says. “In thiswas almost guaranteed to fail from the outset because it would era, its feast or famine. If you’re not relevant and if you’re notjust be spending less money against a plan that everyone was making it worth somebody’s while, you can spend hundredsusing,” Jarvis says. of millions of dollars and people can completely ignore you. But conversely, if you do something that’s really exciting andThe agency suggested that an edgy approach featuring Mc- relevant, you can just absolutely far expand what your mediaBride as Powers would draw the sort of consumers it would spend is in terms of its impact in the marketplace. Creativityneed to create buzz and increase sales. In a series of videos, is a great amplifier.”some clocking in at more than four minutes, Powers extols thevirtues of K-Swiss sneakers while taking over as the company’s 72andSunny Creative Director Matt Murphy said in the same On-CEO (he renames the position in a vulgar way). In a separate lineVideo.net article that firms have to be willing to take chancesinstallment, he holds a product presentation on stage in a way but also know what the right format for them is. “Don’t followthat mocks former Apple CEO Steve Jobs’s well-known ap- trends,” Murphy said. “Figure out what the DNA of your brandproach – complete with Jobsian turtleneck. Profanity is de ri- is and what’s right and true about your company.” Copyright © 2012 Forbes Insights | 11
  13. 13. Indie Meets Social Media: The Beauty Inside At the other end of the content spectrum from Kenny Powers is Intel’s romantic series The Beauty Inside. The 40-minute film, which was released earlier in 2012 in six installments, mar- ries independent filmmaking, social media and advertising. Intel Co-Marketing Manager Billie Goldman calls the genre “social film.” The title is a reference to Intel The Beauty Inside generated more than 66 million views by parts, which are never seen October 2012, along with approximately 8,400 Twitter follow- “We think that we’ve but, in Intel’s estimation, serve ers and 95,000 Facebook fans. found a new form of as the “brains” and “heart” of many computers. However, “To me the engagement was all the people who were interact- entertainment,” Goldman mention of the Intel and Toshi- ing on Facebook, the hundreds and hundreds and hundreds says. “It all comes down ba brands occurs only briefly of comments you saw,” says Goldman. “Each post that Alex to the concept and the at the beginning and end of would make, the comments that would go back and forth. To each segment. me that’s what I’m looking for. It showed how engaged the talent that’s involved in audience was.” the concept.” The Beauty Inside uses an in- dependent film director, D.J. The Beauty Inside was Intel/Toshiba’s second foray into social —BILLIE GOLDMAN Caruso, whose previous credits film. The companies released a program called “Inside Experi- Co-Marketing Manager, include the feature film Distur- ence” in 2011. The 11-day campaign followed a young woman’s Intel bia. The project is an ongoing attempts to escape from the room in which she’d been impris- film where the audience can oned. Her only connection to the outside world is a Toshiba participate, even potentially laptop through which she contacts friends and family via social playing the main role. Topher media. The series drew roughly 50 million views. Grace, best known for his role in the Spider-Man films, narrates the series as the mind and heart of Alex, an antiques restorer Emboldened by the success of “Inside Experience,” Goldman looking for love. The unexpected trick is that Alex wakes up wanted “to create a campaign that was as long as you could each morning as a different person: a pudgy slacker one day, possibly make it and still keep the audience.” She says that an older man the next and so on—different genders, ages and old-style formats limited by time and the type of content that ethnicities. In each installment, Alex is played by a different un- brands can show will no longer grab viewers. To engage con- known individual—each of whom was cast via online auditions. sumes, they will have to continue to think more creatively. “We The idea is that, while Alex may change on the outside, he think that we’ve found a new form of entertainment,” Goldman remains the same underneath. Viewers who “like” a particular says. “It all comes down to the concept and the talent that’s installment could then learn about the next episodes or sign involved in the concept.” up to audition to play Alex in future installments. Members of the audience could also comment on the plot or “talk” directly to Alex on the campaign’s Facebook wall.12 | Going native
  14. 14. The Advantage ofAlignmentBecause a viewing experience organically Most valuable attributes of online videoand unobtrusively intertwined with a site’s Delivery among brand-safe contentcontent is the hallmark of content marketing 65% Alignment with premium site contentin general and native video in particular, it’s 60%understandable that marketing executives Delivery as choice-basedwant their brands “intertwined” with content 57% Custom integration within site look and feelthey want the brand to be associated with. 51%Thus, alignment with premium site content Ability to drive sharing 46%is seen by marketing executives as amongthe most valuable attributes of online video,at 60%. Likewise, marketing executives alsopoint to video delivery among brand-safecontent as adding significant value to theirbrand, at 65%. Copyright © 2012 Forbes Insights | 13
  15. 15. Matching the Right Content to the Brand: JetBlue Five years ago, JetBlue developed a campaign tied to the opening of The Simpsons movie, portraying itself as the official airline of Springfield, the fictional hometown of the cartoon family. But JetBlue’s Marty St. George perfect to highlight their brand. The lesson we took from that says the initiative didn’t gener- was: if we’re going to do tie-ins like this, they’ve got to really “Content has to get at ate as much buzz as the com- fit into what we do.”what the brand is about. If pany had hoped; the content didn’t tie closely enough to In June 2012, JetBlue created “Get Away With It,” a game we’re going to do tie-ins, JetBlue’s business. St. George, show-themed campaign highlighting the company’s Getaways they’ve got to really fit who held a less senior market- vacation packages. The show ran in roughly 15-minute install- into what we do.” ing position at the company ments live-streamed over five days. Contestants answered then, saw the more successful travel-related questions via Skype, while viewers could learn —MARTY ST. GEORGE approach in another movie- how to become a contestant on the JetBlue website, which SVP, Marketing and related campaign by 7Eleven, also linked directly to the shows. “If you made it through 12 Commercial Strategy, which remade several stores minutes of that video, you learned an awful lot about JetBlue JetBlue into the Kwik-E-Mart conve- Getaways and about JetBlue,” says St. George. “The good nience store featured in the thing is that the shows are actually hilarious. So you not only cartoon series. “We had a nice learned those things, but you actually had a good time, too.” one-day story, but the cam- paign didn’t really get at what we do the way the 7Eleven Most recently, the company has been running an Election Pro- campaign did,” St. George says. “Content has to get at what tection campaign in which it promises to give free internation- the brand is about.” al, round-trip tickets to about 1,000 customers who voted for the losing presidential candidate. The initiative connects airline JetBlue learned from the experience and continued to look for travel with the fall’s most significant current event, and calls at- inventive ways to market itself. Since its launch in 2001, the tention to JetBlue’s international business, an area it’s focusing company’s unique style and identity have enabled it to stand on and looking to grow. JetBlue’s agency, Boston-based Mul- out in a crowded marketplace—and to compensate for market- len, found an obvious link between the two: the mock threat ing budgets that St. George estimates to be as much as six to to leave the country if a candidate loses. 10 times smaller than those of competitors. “They came back with one of those core insights of how air The airline was an early proponent of digital advertising and travel and presidential elections tie to each other,” St. George now focuses more than half its marketing budget in this area. says. “That was perfect for us. Historically, we didn’t fly any Some of its more successful, recent campaigns have linked pro- international services as a company; we’re now flying to 21 motions and deals to current events in clever, unexpected ways. different international destinations from New York. It’s one of the things that we could get across. The second thing is [that] “When I saw 7Eleven do that I said, ‘You know what? These it shows that brand personality that we’re always trying to get guys did it right. We did it wrong,’” St. George says. “Official across to our customers. This fit it perfectly because it was one airline of Springfield is cool, but it doesn’t really get at the of those things where the minute you hear it, you’re like, ‘Oh core of what we do. It’s not like the Simpsons are flying around my God, that’s so brilliant!’” all the time. What 7Eleven did, highlighting Kwik-E-Mart, was14 | Going native
  16. 16. Conclusion: The Futureof the MarketAs marketers’ understanding of what engages consumers online—and what leaves themcold—evolves, some marketers are opting for online video approaches that are less a ret-rofitting of television ads and more story-based, relevant and easily accessible content thatis a destination, not interruptive. Indeed, advertisers are clearly thinking about online videodistribution very differently from television. More than half (57%) found that delivering theirvideos as choice-based, rather than interruptive, was one of the most valuable attributes ofonline video.Advertisers already appear to recognize the power and Half of survey respondents who don’t yet use nativepotential reach of this type of approach to digital video; video said that they didn’t know if they would consider23% of executives said that native video has become a top native advertising in the future. As awareness of its ben-media distribution tactic. As well, more than half of adver- efits increases and more brands find success with native adtisers (61%) validated the importance of a native look and options, the uncertainty will diminish.feel for their ads rather than a standard ad placement. This The disconnect between those currently using nativesuggests that demand for native advertising in the near ads and those who value its very advantages suggests that,future will rise significantly. There’s clearly ample room once awareness of native advertising increases, so too willfor such growth. the number of brands that deploy it. Copyright © 2012 Forbes Insights | 15
  17. 17. Methodology The Forbes Insights/Sharethrough survey tapped 136 marketing executives. Forty-six respon- dents came from companies with revenues between $500 million and $1 billion, and the rest from companies with revenues of $1 billion-plus. Fifty-nine survey respondents had titles of director and up. Roughly half described their business outlook in positive terms, and about two in three said that their media budgets were at least $1 million. The vast majority (99%) are located in the United States. Acknowledgments Forbes Insights would like to thank the following individuals for contributing their thoughts to this report: Marty St. George, SVP, Marketing and Commercial Strategy, JetBlue; Ron Amram, Senior Media Director, Heineken USA; John Watts, Senior Manager of Digital Marketing, Honda USA; Brett Bender, Senior Vice President and Group Account Director, RPA; Billie Goldman, Co-Marketing Manager, Intel; Matt Jarvis, Partner and Chief Strategy Officer, 72andSunny.16 | Going native
  18. 18. AboutForbes InsightsForbes Insights is the strategicresearch practice of Forbes Media,publisher of Forbes magazineand Forbes.com. Taking advantageof a proprietary database ofsenior-level executives in theForbes community, Forbes Insights’research covers a wide range ofvital business issues, including:talent management; marketing;financial benchmarking; riskand regulation; small/midsizebusiness; and more.Bruce RogersChief Insights OfficerBrenna SnidermanSenior DirectorChristiaan RizyDirectorKasia MorenoEditorial DirectorJames Peter RubinReport AuthorHarold Velardedesigner 60 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10011 | 212.366.8890 | www.forbes.com/forbesinsights