Cindy Crawford, BMW and The Awesome Power of Online Video

May 5, 2011 by VidCompare Leave a reply »

Editor’s Note: This is a sponsored post from Ooyala’s Co-founder and President, Bismarck Lepe

Remember when Pepsi created its iconic Cindy Crawford ad to launch their new can?

Major marketers have used video for decades to engage, educate and inspire consumers. Companies like Pepsi, Proctor & Gamble and Unilever create more original video content than some major Hollywood studios — because video works.

In the past decade, these same marketers have turned to the Internet to create fresh experiences and engage their audiences — without the constraints of the 30-second ad spot or television’s censors.

In 2001, BMW Films reshaped its advertising with the groundbreaking film series “The Hire.” These short films used stars and directors like Clive Owen, Madonna, Guy Ritchie, Ridley Scott, Mickey Rourke, and Forest Whitaker to target the Internet-savvy BMW customer. BMW’s research showed that their cars were popular with high-achieving, high-income males who were tech-friendly, broadband-connected and lacked the time to watch network television — and that fully 85% of them studied BMW’s cars online before stepping into a showroom. The Hire was so popular with its target group, and with the public in general, that BMW distributed a complete DVD in an issue of Vanity Fair magazine.

That year, BMW saw a 12% jump in sales over the prior year. 11 million people watched the films, and two million of them registered for more product information on the BMW website. It didn’t end there. The films have been watched over a billion times in the last 10 years and have inspired other sponsored series like IKEA’s “Easy to Assemble” and Jeep’s “The Mudds.”

You don’t need a big production crew and Cindy Crawford to see the value of online video. The Kelsey Group reports that consumers who watch simple product videos are 55% more likely to visit the company’s website.  (55%!)  Video viewers are also 30% more likely to visit the brick-and-mortar store and 24% more likely to buy something.

There are many ways to get involved with online video, and the key for all of them is just to get started and to measure the impact. These well-known companies have already made online video a significant part of their commercial strategy:

  • Zappos: Has found a 6-30% increase in conversions when SKUs include customer video testimonials.
  • Volcom: Builds their brand by creating original video content and streaming their competitions and fashion shows to reach their surf, skate and snowboard audiences — who probably aren’t watching television.
  • Vans: Reaches their target audience by live streaming the Triple Crown Surf Championship.
  • Dell and Intel: The two tech giants have partnered with Vice Magazine to create destination sites like Creator’s Project and Motherboard, making their brands more approachable to younger audiences.

If you’re not already using Ooyala — think about it.

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