Thursday, March 15, 2007

Video A La Carte: What Works and Why workshop

So video may have killed the radio star, but it also has given marketing and campaigning much more life - online, on mobiles and on television. This was the focus of the Video A La Carte breakout workshop.

This workshop was mainly a discussion surrounding how online video can be used most effectively.

Panelists included James Kotecki -political consultant for Capitol Hill Broadcast Network (and hasn't even graduated from college yet!), Bill Buck - President & COO of Cherry Tree, and Jason Rosenberg - strategy architect at EchoDitto. For the full bios, go here:

So first question..."why video, why now?" Some of the responses are as follows:

Jason: Viewers no longer trust political candidates, and don't want to be spun anymore. There is a trust factor. Online video takes away time constraints. Also there are no formatting issues. People aren't going out and actively looking for it, online video compiles it all in one place. It's also a very inside thing - those who are connected talk among each other.

James: CHBN is a mix of the political YouTube -anyone can upload videos, but are screened to make sure there's a political opinion or focus.
Online media is a different kind of media:
1. there's a possibility for new audience and new content - attracts people that might not go to a campaign website or watch the commercials on tv.
2. it's a two-way conversation - people can respond to politicians' speeches, and politicians can respond to voters' critiques, complaints, and questions.
3. almost free - can potentially level the playing field between candidates, so that money isn't as much of a deciding factor

Bill: Online video allows candidates to give a different view - behind the scenes. For example, Al Gore was accused of being wooden in the 2000 election. If there had been videos of him behind the scenes, more casual, it may have helped his cause.

Q: How are candidates going to use video in new ways in the next cycle?

James: Better content. The candidates will begin utilizing it as a dialogue. Hour long speeches won't work anymore.

Jason: People want something that is episodic - where there is a story line that will draw people back to see the next episode. Ex. Mayoral candidate makes a video on the issue of potholes - show how long it takes to fix a pothole now, and use that to show how you will make a difference.

Q:So what's taking these gosh-darn candidates so long to catch on to these innovations?

James: Well, have you met a politician? They like to talk. It's pretty much about breaking those time old habits.

Audience comment about UK and other European countries - ahead of us on all things interactive video and tv.

Audience comment about choose your own adventure videos. He's designing one about Spiderman - you can choose if he dies, beats the bad guys, etc. He also says that he's an expert on this since he's "the TIME magazine person of the year". What a jokester (for those of you who missed this year's person of the year award, it was you. Yes, YOU won. Who knew just how special you were.) He also suggests that companies not hire bloggers, but hire musicians and artists who can pass the message in more forms than just online.

Interesting comment...apparently there are better servers than YouTube. Some may read this and exclaim blasphemy, but that was the bold statement put forth. James offered up as an example.
This is because YouTube doesn't allow clicks - showing things at the end of a video that might say "want to learn more? click here".

Q: Online video is only in the mix in a very minor way - at the tipping point now, so what will make the difference/lead the change?

The politicians just need to continue to increase their use of it - the ones who do it well first will reap good rewards.

My personal blogger thoughts:
Stay tuned... video is on the rise, and there ain't no stopping us now... after all, we - the public - largely have control over the content - so keep putting the YOU in YouTube (along with the other possibly more effective video sites), and eventually candidates are going to have to respond more and more. And if you're a politician and/or a political candidate... jump on the online video bandwagon already... there's nothing to lose, except the election if you don't!