In yesterday’s post, I linked to an entertaining video that I thought you might enjoy. I don’t feel bad about that, even though I was essentially telling you to watch an advertisement for Seagate, the maker of hard drives and other storage devices.
Granted, the blatantly promotional content is at the very end, and only lasts for a few seconds, and could even be interpreted as a thank you from Seagate employees who are grateful to their employer for letting them have fun on company time.
But it IS an ad, developed by the creative agency Sniper Twins. If you check their site, you’ll see that they are already producing their next geek-rap video, and are looking for a cell-phone company to sponsor them.
I think this is smart. First of all, by doing the creative before they have a client, they have pure control over the content, which probably makes for a better (and therefore more viral) product. And I also think it’s smart for the sponsors – 99.9% of people who watch the Seagate video don’t give a rat’s patooty about hard drives, but the 0.1% that do just might buy something from them. It’s the same model as TV ads: you watch something entertaining for a while, then they insert a pitch. The trouble with TV is that: the ads are intrusive in that they interrupt your entertainment; the pitch:entertainment ratio is 4:15; and buying airtime is frickin’ expensive. In the Seagate video, the pitch is at the end; the pitch:entertainment ratio is about 1:50; and the broadcast cost is ZERO (unless they paid a site like this to get the ball rolling).
I was so proud of myself for coming up with a new word for this phenomenon: “advertainment.” But of course, it’s already out there – 133,000 Google hits, and even a blog by that name.