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Think BR: The future is video

The boom in online video is set to fundamentally affect consumers' lives, writes Jimmy Maymann, co-founder and chairman, GoViral.

Jimmy Maymann, founder and chairman, GoViral

Jimmy Maymann, founder and chairman, GoViral

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There is a phrase that we have been using at Goviral for quite some time, that in recent weeks has begun to increase in frequency and resonance.

"Everything that can be video, will be video." Taken on a science-fiction level it could be seen as a Philip K. Dick-style dystopian warning about the nature of man’s increased interaction with computers, where video walls constantly monitor our movements and tell us what to do.

However, read from a marketing point of view the phrase opens up a world of possibilities for clients who are eager to communicate with consumers through a medium that is exploding in value.

Figures from Cisco show that video is going to exceed 9% of global online consumer traffic by 2014.

Internet video alone will account for 57%, the remaining from sources such as VoD, digital TV, live streaming and other alternative formats.

These figures - and the general acceptance of branded content as a significant marketing tool - give a glimpse at how important video is going to become.

For agencies, distributors and clients (even the smart ones who already understand the importance of branded content) it is time for them to recalibrate their understanding of how consumers interact with brands and realise that to truly reach them through video, they have to talk to them at every stage of the marketing mix.

Re-tooling a TV ad or just putting up a 90 second video and hoping it goes viral won’t cut it anymore.

The consumer wants, needs and expects much more than this. So we have to deliver. It can’t just be entertaining, it has to build interest, awareness, engagement, a community and loyalty.

So, a strategic plan also has to include videos that on the surface may seem ‘boring’ or ‘functional’ in the old language, such as tutorials, instructional or product demos.

These are absolutely crucial to the user experience in the new media landscape - a world of on-demand.

As ever, it will be the creativity and hard work behind the scenes that will be the final arbiter of their success.

Companies such as Nike are way ahead of the field in this regard. Recently they put together a pitch perfect campaign that used video intelligently and innovatively throughout the marketing process.

It used the Write the future film during the World Cup to build awareness and drive people to their Facebook page - building Nikefootball to a 5 million strong force in six months.

And it has recently used the major initiative "The Chance" (where uses can win a place in the Nike Academy) to build engagement and community.

Then, at the end of the cycle you have Football+. Once the consumer bought the boots, Football+ videos inside the website offer them the promise of becoming a better footballer by getting exclusive access to training videos and tutorials featuring all the big Nike sponsored stars.

Nike football becomes, because of video, about much more than a boot. That is what branding in the new decade will have to aspire to do to engage a generation of native digital consumers.

Video as a communication tool is only going to continue to increase in relevance, but you may first have to realise how fundamentally it will affect our lives as consumers, when in a year or so from now you buy a new mobile, and instead of an instructional manual find yourself happily engaged in video tutorials that shows you how to use your new toy.

Jimmy Maymann, co-founder and chairman, GoViral

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