Closing out Ad:Tech 2010 was a keynote that assembled some of the funniest people that have leveraged video online. Unfortunately, as they indicated, the sneezing Panda could not make an appearance, nor did "Charlie bit my finger!" who blamed not making it on some volcanic ass... oops, "ash." It was an onslaught of some of the funniest comedic talents online. Your host Kevin H. Naulty did a good job keeping them in line... an often difficult task with the comedic unpredictability of the legally insane members on stage.
From Alex Koll from Rooftop Comedy whose stand-up routine was stellar, to Ben and Rafi, (the Fine brothers,) who spoiled 30 movie endings in less than a minute, and Greg Benson of mediocre films (you may have seen him giving away "Deluxe Hugs $2" next to someone giving away free hugs online.) Even Iman Crossman appeared as Obama, in style, threatening to break up Google, and require all television advertising to have production budgets of only $500; and Devon Kelly and Shaun Peterson, all from Take 180 entertained us.
It was basically a cornucopia of the geniuses behind things like the Gay Leprechaun, to Deluxe Hugs, the Fine Brothers show, and that creepy Guinea Pig Twilight spoof. Almost half a billion video views were represented by those on stage. A bigger viewership than the last episode of M*A*S*H and the Superbowl, combined.
But beyond the potty humor, and brash comedy, there were some definite insights. There is a certain multiple facet role of video online where those who do the work, are also the producers, the writers, the editors, the comedians. The medium just does not come with the monetary association of value yet, and new role descriptions inhabit this world. From "The Predator," a combination Producer/Editor, to the "Shreditor," the Shooter/Editor.
"We work on budgets of a couple hundred bucks a minute, where-as traditional media works in the tens of thousands." Jim Lauderback, CEO of Revision 3, likens it to what happened when he was in journalism print media years ago. "There used to be a producer, the journalists, a cameraman, etc... and then we switched to backpack journalism where one person served all those roles."
There is an advantage to the lower seeming production quality. There is an authenticity that connects with audiences, and when you are doing product placement that authenticity translates. It actually helps instead of hurts brands, as your viewers actually praise the brands in the videos of having the balls to let someone play with their brand in a way that is not always kosher. The viewers want to see that level of risk. It elevates the brand when you put it in the hands of comedic talent. The brand becomes "cool."
With advertising changing, it now has to earn it's audience. Comedy is visceral to our nature, and the internet seems well poised to help comedians translate that. Because, of all the takeaways one stood out...
"In order for an impression to be an impression, it has to impress someone."
And that is something brands too often miss online. So if you want to not take risk, these people will help your competitors, and they'll both be laughing all the way to the bank.