As YouTube’s potential as a top marketing platform for brands is becoming more and more apparent, David Parker, CEO of Tadcast, has made a business out of pairing up brands with video producers and YouTube stars. I had the opportunity to ask him a few questions about how Tadcast got started, how the process of pairing up brands with YouTubers works and why brand and product placement in videos is a must. Read on to find out what he had to say.
Branded YouTube pages are on the rise and companies are uploading more videos about themselves and their products. But one of the best ways to market your brand on YouTube, which has been increasing in popularity over the last couple of years, is reaching out to YouTube stars who have built their own YouTube brands with hundreds of thousands (or even millions) of subscribers, and asking them for help. But as a brand it can be hard to reach out to there big online video stars. Are they right for your product? Will they be interested in helping you market yourself on YouTube? And will they even get your email? This is where Tadcast comes in.
According to the Tadcast website, “If you are a brand, advertising agency or PR agency, Tadcast can help you get your products integrated into the storylines of some of the most popular online videos. We work with you to choose the best video producers for your brand and then manage the talent to produce a powerful and effective campaign that meets your specifications.” Tadcast has paired up brands and YouTubers to run a number of successful product placement campaigns including a light integration campaign for Weatherproof, a strong integration College Humor campaign for Colgate Wisp, and recently a huge-scale promotion for Wonderful Pistachios that incorporated a number of big-name YouTubers including MysteryGuitarMan, The Annoying Orange and Brittani Louise Taylor.
Now that you’ve got a little background on Tadcast, I’ll let David take it away! Check out my interview with him below:
Megan at Social Times: Where did you come up with the idea for Tadcast and how did you put it into action?
Tadcast CEO David Parker: I started Tadcast in 2009 during my time at Harvard Business School. I developed the business idea during a class on ‘Strategy’ and then put it into action during a second year field study. As a former filmmaker, I really wanted to find a way to help other filmmakers monetize their content. I combined that desire with the assumption that advertisers would soon put money from their traditional media budgets into the burgeoning online video space, and the vision for Tadcast was born. Tadcast is now a premier online video specialist for brand integration advertising in viral online videos. We hope both agencies and brands get their products into the actual story lines of top videos. Over the last 2 years we have reached over 40 million branded video views.
Megan: How did you go about building a relationship with high-quality and up-and-coming video producers and YouTube partners? Did you have to hunt them down, or were they pretty willing to get involved?
David: We have spent the last two years really cultivating these relationships with top online video producers and developing a good reputation within that community. We initially cold called a few to get the conversation started, but because of how we have been able to help so many monetize, a number of top video creators actually reached out to us.
Megan: When pairing up brands with video producers, what factors do you take into account?
David: Most importantly we have to make sure that the video creator could maintain his or her unique style while communicating the brand’s message. If we feel that the video creator would have to stretch too far, then we simply do not recommend that particular producer. We also take into consideration the psychographics, demographics, and view goals that the brand or agency is looking to reach. Often, the kind of integration the advertisers seeks is crucial. For example, we would recommend a different set of video creators for the advertiser who wants to sponsor a continuous web series than we would for the advertiser who wants strong integration into a few one-off videos. Finally, the size of the advertiser’s budget is a large determinant as well – some budgets simply cannot afford certain video creators.
Megan: Step on your soapbox for a minute and tell brands why you think product placement in online videos is a must!
David: We feel the argument is really pretty straightforward. Why would advertisers want to be the advertisement that annoys the people to whom they are trying to appeal? Why wouldn’t advertisers want their products to be a part of the content viewers actively choose to watch? We can probably speak for more than just ourselves when we say that we have trained our eyes to ignore the banner ads and our fingers to click off pop up ads and switch to another window when a pre-roll comes on. In the content is where it’s at.
Megan: Can you tell us a little bit about the Wonderful Pistachios campaign and how it came together?
We know it’s very important for video producers to have the ability to incorporate the brand in their own voice, so we recommended a list of video stars we thought could do a great job for the brand. Unfortunately, we can’t go into so much detail about the details of our strategy recommendations, but we can say that it worked and that in just over 2 months since we launched this campaign, the videos earned over 7 million branded views.