YouTube “Weblebrity” Marketing Case Study

August 22, 2011

YouTube is definitely a new concept for many marketers – certainly in terms of the tools which may be used to market online. There are still many differences of opinion about how to get this done, but, there is no doubt about the fact that it is every marketers dream to pop a video onto YouTube, and have it enjoy one million plus views! This kind of exposure is the stuff that dreams are made of, but it is only really happening with the added attraction of 20-something spokespersons who are what has now become known as “Weblebrities”.

The end result for the YouTube marketer are:

  • Valuable Views
  • Engaged Viewers
  • Instant Feedback
  • Quantifiable results

It is a hard game to play, but companies are already paying the few YouTube Web celebrities so much to market their products; these costs are seriously soaring – no longer allowing this channel to be a cost effective marketing choice. It is unfortunate, but this has made it possible for only companies with very deep pockets to afford YouTube Weblebrities in their videos, and as a worthwhile online marketing option. Businesses which don’t have such very deep pockets may find it out of their budget.

But wait . . . it is not all bad news, there is the option of introducing a product to tens of thousands of targeted eyes, as apposed to merely millions of general eyes.

In a recent Celebrity Marketing Case Study, which is also a one-of-a-kind YouTube success story . . . the independent film “Satin” was marketed on this channel. Being an independent film, they did not have a blockbuster budget, and this is where Duncan Rocks came in to save the day. Duncan Rocks is a character created by Andrew Santino – the actor who portrays Duncan, and Dan Dobi – the owner of the YouTube channel.

He is Weblebrity in the character of a red-headed, mustached reporter with simple-minded views. He is quirky, engaging and fun – which immediately attracts an audience, and the way in which he attracts his audience is with news stories, interviews and so on. For the purposes of “Satin”, he was to all intents and purposes on a press junket with the star of the film – Hamilton Von Watts. The video/press junket was filmed in the purported basement of Duncan Rocks’ Montana home.

While this marketing material only amassed 20,000 views, these were views which formed a very unique potential viewership. Therefore the beloved character of Duncan Rocks (as a weblebrity), with his established YouTube audience, introduced “Satin” to 20,000 pairs of eyes which might not normally have been reached by any other marketing drive. This took place within a month, did not take any creative control away from the director, because of its ‘press junket’ theme, and was almost immediately quantifiable.

As well as a 20,000 views, comments went up to more than 300, which were in the majority positive. Viewers expressed general excitement over wishing to see the film and a 1,068 – 26 “like to dislike ratio” was only one of the quantifiable results. Immediate feedback such as this allows the advertiser to gauge the success of the advertising venture, and there are very few or no TV commercials or billboards which can provide measurables such as these.

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