Everyone and their mother will be blogging, tweeting, and Facebooking about Ken Block’s new Gymkhana 5 video, which marks another huge step forward for the new realm of branded content as an advertising medium worth assessing for your next campaign.
When I viewed the video this morning the YouTube view counter was stuck at 305 (a sure sign it was racking views left and right), Ken Block’s second video in the gymkhana series currently has over 44 million views and the other three videos of the series have view counts upward of 30 million.
With the exponential rise of internet videos on platforms such as YouTube and Vimeo, brands are no longer limited to traditional, and often expensive, TV ad spots that run for 30 or 60 seconds when seeking huge impression numbers.
Released from time and length limits or expensive distribution, brands can create relevant content that illustrates their history, promotes a new launch, previews a new product, or refines the perception of the company. As with any new medium, reactive consumer behavior is still a factor that has yet to be fully evaluated, but trends are starting to form and the power of video to communicate with audiences is increasing. According to comScore, in March of 2012 over 83 percent of internet users in the United States viewed at least one video, which calculates to 151.1 million active viewers over a one month period.
Even the Cannes Lion International Festival of Creativity premiered a new category this year to recognize the best branded content. I was amped they panel awarded K-Swiss’s MFCEO branded content piece the inaugural Golden Lion in the category, in my mind the campaign has given the shoe manufacture a second life.
However, with any new advertising medium or marketing strategy it is not a blanket solution for every brand, but DC and Ken Block have proven the expansive power of branded content as an advertising medium.
Here are a few of my favorites…
Capture the Company History
Vans - Since 66
Dollar Shave Club - Our Blades are F***ing Great
Renault - Alpine A110-50
Refine Brand Perception
Chipotle - Back to Start