Just came across this iMedia Connection interview online thanks to @jdoohan's Google search for me+machinima. I always love talking with Bethany (@bethanysimpson). She's the best. ad:tech was a great event as always. I learned as much (probably more) than I shared, I reconnected with old friends and I made some valuable new ones.
Machinima and Microsoft collaborated to create and distribute something amazing this month. Microsoft produced a BEAUTIFUL web series as a prelude to the November 6 HALO 4 game release. This is quite possibly the most beautiful scripted drama I've ever seen produced for the internets.
The first couple episodes were bumming me out. They were kind of like something you would see on the CW. Teen angst in the military academy....yawn. This is HALO! Where is the action? Episode 3 delivered though. The action really picked up because the Covenant arrived. I've seen episodes 4 and 5 as well and let me tell you, they're even better. The episodes are MUST WATCH for any HALO fan and they can be enjoyed by anyone even if you're not a HALO fan.
Episode 1 just broke through 5 million views. Episode 2 is at 2.7 million views and Episode 3 is already at 1.4 million views within 2 days of publishing. Check out episode 3 embedded below or if you want to see the whole series, which I highly recommend, you can do that here.
I was watching The Good Wife on CBS tonight and saw a mindblowingly long and beautiful ad from Cartier. @jdoohan and I were transfixed as a snow leopard and golden dragon entertained us in a gem filled fantasy world created by Cartier. Check out the embedded spot from YouTube below. The video shows 72,160 views as of me writing this blog post. It's going to get A LOT bigger.
I posted a link to the video on facebook praising Cartier for having the courage and vision to buy such a long spot during primetime and for producing a beautiful piece of content. In a comment on my post, one of my teammates from Red Bull told me he thinks Cartier roadblocked the spot across broadcast networks. This is even more impressive... Joan Chow, our CMO (and my boss) when I was at ConAgra Foods, used to talk about "breaking through the fog of familiarity". This ad "broke through the fog of familiarity" at my house for sure.
I went back to the YouTube homepage to search for the video to get the total views so far and noticed a homepage takeover. Another opportunity to high-five the Cartier team. They're making sure as many people as possible can discover and see this spot with the YouTube takeover. I know from experience that the YouTube homepage isn't the most efficient buy ever but it absolutely belongs in a digital media takeover for a piece of content like this.
I went back to facebook to add to the comments on my wall and suggest that my teammates check the Cartier campaign website because it also makes a great impression.
Upon my return to facebook...BOOM - I saw a Sponsored Story (pictured left) including a reference one of my friends who likes Cartier. Sorry for exposing you're my friend Corey... I know it might be embarassing. ;)
The Sponsored Story linked to Cartier's facebook campaign page which has 445,529 likes as of me writing this blog post. It will be interesting to watch the likes increase as the campaign continues.
I'm impressed. Cartier bought a broadcast television roadblock for a beautiful and innovative 3:30 spot. They made sure it was available online at their website, on YouTube, and on facebook. They then invested in a YouTube takeover and facebook Sponsored Stories to make sure consumers can DISCOVER the video and the supplemental content.
The major social media channel missing from the campaign in my view was twitter. I didn't see any Promoted Trends, Promoted Accounts, or Promoted Tweets. This feels like a missed opportunity. Others were reacting to the spot like I was. I easily found them via a twitter search. That's the problem...I had to search. I wonder if Cartier considered including twitter in the campaign. In my experience, twitter might have performed the best of any social media choice for driving traffic to the video. twitter's platform is made to capitalize on real-time experiences like this synchronized takeover and can route traffic quickly to where the action is. Alternatively, Cartier could have driven views of the YouTube hosted video via inline plays on twitter web. It just depends on what the brand's activity goals are for the campaign.
I've embedded three tweets below (thanks to twitter's excellent & newish tweet embed capability). They're great and show that consumers were mostly getting it. These tweets could have been even more powerful if they were connected to a promoted campaign hashtag or were RTs of something Cartier created in advance with perfect messaging and pinned at the top of the twitter feed.
OMG this Cartier film on all the major networks is amazing. #outofthebox— Jason Binn (@JasonBinn) March 5, 2012
I really love this campaign and will watch as it continues. It's nice work from Cartier. I love to see them raising the bar for creative and standing out on broadcast. Once they did, they had most of their social media bases covered including paid options. My only question/comment is why twitter wasn't included. twitter would have been a must for me.
I'm so excited to finally share that @BlakeGriffin has joined the @RedBull team as our newest athlete. Blake is a young, talented player at the top of his game and is a great brand fit. Signing Blake is further evidence for the world that Red Bull is serious about winning in basketball.
Combine Blake with our other NBA superstar on the right coast, Rajon Rondo (@RajonRondo) and add Red Bull King of the Rock our epic, global one on one basketball competition and you can see Red Bull is truly participating in basketball just as we do in action sports or in other playgrounds.
This is just the start. I cannot wait for the future especially since we will have NBA games starting really soon! I am so very glad that the NBA lockout got resolved. Otherwise, I think we were counting on Blake to make it happen in ping pong. Wouldn't have been a good bet...
You cannot get more credible than Red Bull Music Academy (@RBMA). So proud to be associated with this project. The best of the best of the best intimate interviews with epic artists. Good stuff.