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Unconventional Wisdom for YouTube Ads

ClickZ columnist Pete Lerma offers the following commentary about how marketers and their advertising agencies could apply YouTube, or similar viral video portals to post promotional content. I would add that there's the risk of being too commercial or professional in the video production process, because that approach tends to repel rather than attract viewers. With that thought in mind, I've been experimenting.

Armed only with the free Microsoft Windows Movie Maker plus Sony's ACID XPress software, some stock video clips, and a simple idea -- I was able to quickly produce a digital media mix entitled "Digital Media in Action." This video clearly wasn't produced with the intent to win a Clio award, but perhaps that's the mistaken approach of marketers who believe that they must use conventional advertising wisdom to create engaging viral video content.
So you think you might... possibly... want to consider... maybe... placing your brand on YouTube? Why not? After all, it's one of the most popular sites online. In fact, in July, YouTube had over 16 million unique visitors.

Recently, Lee Gomes from The Wall Street Journal estimated there are more than 6 million videos on YouTube and the amount of time people have spent on the site since it launched last year adds up to 9,305 years. Which means not only do you have a huge audience, it's also a highly engaged one.

So, how do you leverage YouTube for your brand? First, consider whether you want to go with one of the packaged YouTube offerings it just announced or take a grass-roots approach.

When you consider YouTube, be prepared to break out of the way you've traditionally approached advertising, offline and on-. "This new medium requires finding a balance between traditional online advertising and new creative approaches that engage consumers in an active way," says Chad Hurley, CEO and cofounder of YouTube. "Advertisers now have a highly targeted opportunity for aligning their brands alongside the entertainment experience people are enjoying on YouTube."

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