YouTube: The New Campfire

Representing the Kstudio team, I attended a panel session entitled “YouTube as the New Campfire” during Social Media Week. During this session, the panelists talked about the qualities required for a video to be successful. Not only must the video be entertaining, engaging, inspirational or educational, but also it must tell a good story, extend an experience or take the viewer somewhere he or she has never been before. Furthermore, they discussed the opportunity for a video to change a brand’s conversation by making a campaign more conversational.

One good example of this that they highlighted was Toyota’s “Swagger Wagon” video which premiered in the midst of the sticky brake pedal scandal last year and how it created a new conversation for the brand. Its engaging content with funny characters told a story and it caught on like wild fire – to date the YouTube video has garnered nearly 8.5 million views. It was so successful that fans parodied it and Toyota embraced this and posted the parody videos on their site. This in turn offered an open forum and turned the audience into advocates for their brand and changed the original conversation. Most importantly, it delivered a spike in sales, despite all the negative publicity surrounding the brand.

For the best results, video needs to be part of a 360-degree campaign where PR, marketing and advertising work hand-in hand. Social media should then be woven into the campaign, so that traffic can be driven from one touch-point to another. For example, the TV ad campaign should send viewers to the brand’s YouTube channel and the YouTube channel should then link viewers to the brand’s Facebook page.

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