Richard Watson

Some insights into me and my friend YouTube

by Richard Watson

2008/04/01

Being the new guy isn’t always easy. In fact, most times, it’s quite difficult. Being an ex-film student, I am reminded of J.D from the comedy sitcom Scrubs who maintained that no matter how ready you are, you will realise during your first day how little you actually know. But at least I have figured out some things during my brief tenure.

Things I Have Learned

People to befriend include your fellow interns because you’re all in the same boat. Also, don’t forget your manager, because he’s in charge. And the CEO for the same reason. The Traffic Manager because, frankly, it’s tradition not to bother them. Don’t forget the guy who fixes computer problems. He’s invaluable for obvious reasons. Another one is the Internal Marketing Manager (our one at Quirk appears on the seat plan as both a “Safety Zone” and a “Danger Zone”) because they are most likely to sort you out. So, we can see where this is going: be nice to everyone because seniority is limited to everyone except you;- )

Moving heavy objects never goes out of style. You think you might have outgrown it when you get to ‘professional’ status in the working world, but it’s not the case. Just because you work with computers doesn’t mean there is a Department of Manual Labour to take care of chairs, tables, projectors and the like. If you went to an advertising college like I did (Red & Yellow), you’re prepared for all the high-end stuff like presenting and strategising. That comes later.

The label ‘intern’ makes you liable to inherit any kind of odd job. Luckily, Quirk is one of those places where everyone seems to have a positive synergy going. Also, the flexibility of the environment makes finding your place easier than in most others. The Quirk philosophy makes it possible to break in the newbies in an incremental manner.

I also have interests like creative writing, which is sublimated by good bouts of blogging, and martial arts which allows me to achieve inner peace amidst the deadlines. These are some avenues of relaxation that keep me sane. And a little quirky.

Another Thing I have Learned

While we’re on the subject of insight, YouTube has announced the launch of an interesting free feature: YouTube Insight. It will allow video creators to gather... well... insight beyond the usual hits, tags, comments and star ratings.

But let’s take a step back to let the implications of this wash over us like the aroma of fresh coffee.

Funny videos on the net are like dolphins, right? You’d be hard pressed to find someone who doesn’t have a soft spot for them. I, for one, know that nothing gets the juices flowing around the office like a hot, steaming cup of viral entertainment in the morning.

For marketers, campaigns that use YouTube clips are a decidedly hit-and-miss affair. Roughly one-third of attempts make it, yet it remains the most popular avenue of online spending for clients. It seems everyone wants to hit a marketing six instead of tapping out singles all day. Remember the Burger King’s ‘Subservient Chicken’ brainwave? On about a budget of around $90 000? I wouldn’t be able to calculate the returns on that one, because I don’t think I have enough fingers to balance all the zero’s on.

Things YouTube has Learned

It causes one to wonder: if only one could even the odds a little. Well, YouTube has taken a decent stride forward for the cause. With YouTube Insight, one will be able to tell when a video peaks, how long it’s taken to gain traction and more importantly, where it’s popularity has landed (Unfortunately, the international community will lag behind the US in terms of acquiring data along state or provincial lines).

Rob Stokes, our beloved CEO, once said to me, “I firmly believe consumers don't see in only one medium.”. This, coupled with the affinity of digital marketing offerings to become service-oriented rather than promotional or merely creative, makes YouTube Insight a useful ad-effectiveness measuring tool. The value lies in structuring or tweaking a campaign or service around the places where it's most likely to work. If a series of clips does well in Utah and Alabama, then syndicate the resultant TV show to those two areas. Leave the sophisticated Manhattanites alone.

Since online marketing has a strong ROI quantification component, continual strategy refinement through testing can be made easier with this feature. Perhaps it could even turn video-sharing into profit-sharing for both marketers and its parent company, Google.

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