Thursday, 6 December 2007

Blendtec (will it blend?), Lonelygirl15 and French Maid TV - 3 great examples of different You Tube business models

Many people (including Google) have been trying to work out how to use You Tube as a revenue generator. I have found 3 unconventional examples:

1) Blendtec and Will It Blend? Blendtec make industrial strength blenders and the CEO was confident that these qualities could be shown off on film. However whilst Blendtec CEO Tom Dickson did not have the budget for a slick TV campaign, he did have $50 and the technical expertise to make his own videos.

A series of videos were made where Mr. Dickson showed Blendtec equipment blending every day technological items. Once uploaded to You Tube the films became hits - especially the film where an iPhone gets blended!

Blendtec claims to have seen an online sales uplift of 650% since this approach was adopted and this is a great example of how it's not what you say, but where and how you say it.

2) Lonelygirl15

Running on Bebo and through You Tube, Lonelygirl15 was a massive success. Bitesized soap episodes engaged youth audiences and developed a cult following with over 3 milllion episode views.

As well as selling more ad inventory from higher site traffic, the producers were able to monetise the content by selling product placement opportunities which were taken up by companies like P&G and Orange.

This concept has been continued through new series like 'Sofias Diary' and Endemol produced 'Gap Year.'

3) FrenchmaidTV

A series of how-to-videos with a twist! Instead of traditional product demonstrations, FrenchMaidTV has (as the name would suggest) a number of French maids showing how to do things. Films are again bitesize (3 to 5 minutes) and are based around the French Maids having a bit of an adventure whilst the vocieover gives practical tips.

FrenchmaidTV are offering the chance for companies to get specific products featured as well as offering members of the public the chance to star as French maids in future FrenchmaidTV episodes - again monetising their traffic through things like

FrenchmaidTV is not particularly PC and may not be to everyones taste, but it does seem to work - over 3.6 million YouTube views for the 'How To Share photos' video alone!

None of the above examples employ cutting edge video production. These are great examples of how YouTube is changing the rules. Overproduced corporate advertising is a big turn off in this space (see my post on P Diddy and Burger King here) and whilst successful online video can often look amateurish, there is no doubting its ability to engage the You Tube audience!

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