A Text Analytics Commercial

January 18, 2011
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Media Convergence is Finally Happening – DIY Advertising   

Several years ago social media, and perhaps more specifically new online web services such as PRWeb and PRLeap changed the way most PR was handled. Taking away almost any benefit offered by traditional newswire services which had charged well over twenty times what these new web services cost, it also took power away from PR agencies and put it into the hands of many small businesses.

Media Convergence is Finally Happening – DIY Advertising   

Several years ago social media, and perhaps more specifically new online web services such as PRWeb and PRLeap changed the way most PR was handled. Taking away almost any benefit offered by traditional newswire services which had charged well over twenty times what these new web services cost, it also took power away from PR agencies and put it into the hands of many small businesses.

Naturally, the web has challenged traditional advertising as well. However, video has long been underleveraged on the web for some reason. I believe this is about to change soon. The media convergence we spoke about well over 10 years ago has taken much longer than we expected, but companies like Hulu, Netflix and of course YouTube, are finally making it happen at a much faster rate than before.

One site of particular recent interest is Xtranormal. I first became aware of the site at a conference almost a year ago. It allows users to create their own videos for free using animated cartoon actors in 15 minutes or less. Most of the first videos created were just comical situations shared among more tech savvy internet users. However, they can easily be used to create advertising spots as well.

In fact, the comical and stuffy nature of these characters is perfect in getting a message across. In a way, the tool, because of it’s rough edges almost apologetically, makes the ugly promotional nature seem more normal and fun.

Here is an example video created around Anderson Analytics‘ new text analytics software development effort OdinText in Xtranormal and then uploaded to YouTube:

Sure, the video while somewhat educating is also clearly promotional. But the characters somehow make it work. Interestingly, fortune 500 companies, most notably Geico known for their hugely successful advertising campaigns have also started using the tool in several of their ads, further legitimizing its use in mainstream advertising.

I think this is further evidence that the video and web convergence we’ve so long talked about is finally happening, and at a more accelerated pace than before.

Eventually many businesses may begin to question why an advertising agency is needed if anyone in the company can create their own commercial using a tool like Xtranormal for free in just a few minutes. Yes, it’s DIY TV commericals!

It will be interesting to see how and when market research will take part in this convergence. I believe with all destructive innovation there is also always a tremendous opportunity.

@TomHCAnderson