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Storybids is a simple yet extremely powerful website tool for media sellers and content buyers. We connect those with creative ideas for product placement with advertisers who want to place their products in user generated videos, mini-dramas and webisodes, music videos and online commercials.
Looks like an interesting way to marry up product advertisers, with creatives, turning it into web video.
The product placement and sponsorship idea is clear. I'm curious, though, about how the site functioned to secure greater media exposure for Rand's marriage proposal video. That's an interesting service, if they still provide it, that I feel they don't explain enough.
Storybids was Co-Founded by none other than WebmasterWorld's own Evangelist and Moderator Joseph_Morin (formerly EquityMind) and the venture capital behind the Company is WebmasterWorld Administrator Jake Baillie's (BakedJake) STN Labs out of Toronto, Canada. The website back end infrastructure was developed by RustyBrick, longtime PubCon Correspondent and editor of SERoundtable.com The first project Storybids worked on was the MySuperProposal project featuring Rand Fishkin of SEOMoz. Brett Tabke is on the Advisory Board. Baillie and Morin are also longtime speakers at PubCon and often share the stage together on various sessions including 'Competitive Intelligence'.
I just heard a story on NPR about author Robin Cook and former Disney head Michael Eisner hooking up to produce a low-budget web series. Several aspects of the story caught my attention (audio link on NPR site)...
- two previously-major players are falling all over themselves to give web video programming a try...
- the web seems to be where their desirable audience is...
- there's a scarcity of online product for advertisers to sponsor...
- there's a commercially acceptable level of web production that's much cheaper than current TV programming, albeit much more expensive than typical YouTube home movies....
"Advertisers are falling over themselves to find good opportunities to advertise on the Web, where they know that their brand is going to be next to something which is engaging, interesting, is not violating any copyright laws and is not sexually explicit, and those opportunities are rare," says Kenneth C. Wilbur, a marketing professor at the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California.
Thanks for the mentions and also to everyone else whose helped out Storybids have a great launch. Your NPR article suggests that there is a scarcity of valuable areas for advertisers to place their brand alongside of, but I'll tell you what - even I didn't expect the kind of responses we've gotten from the types of media looking for advertisers on the web. Since Storybids' launch three weeks ago we've had so many different mediums load ideas for product placement or branded integration that we didn't quite expect for some time. Not only did we get the YouTube content creators, but we also had a lot of the webisode or serial mini dramas including celebrity webisodes which we expected, but the surprising part was those that listed opportunities seeking advertisers for indie films, scripts with ideas for films, cable television shows, how-to shorts, animated cartoon series, comic books, novels and even an off broadway play!
What this tells us is that yes there is professionally scripted as well as user generated content available to advertisers but perhaps there is no current repository in which to find all of these nuggets of opportunity. Sure agencies can comb through the top YouTube creators and send out requests to partner but what about all of these other opportunities? Where do you go to find these?
This really opens up the advertiser opportunities to SOHO and Startup companies just like GoTo/Overture did back at the beginning of the search era. If you'll recall, if you wanted to do an Internet advertising deal prior to GoTo/Overture you had to cut a portal deal with the likes of Yahoo, AOL. Netscape or do a deal with DoubleClick. When GoTo then launched, it opened up a sea of change in allowing smaller advertisers to do Internet advertising like the big boys. The same can be said now with product placement. Up until now, in order to place your product in a video medium, you had to have a deal with the networks or retain an agency to try and work your products in movies and film and it just wasn't worth it for cable because agencies typically wouldn't want to go through that effort for a small integration. Now perhaps we can open that up so that if a brand wishes to align themselves with an up and coming web series or cable channel or even a book, here is a marketplace that can connect the two.
We just had our first Fortune 50 brand come on board looking for unique product placement ideas - MGM Mirage is now seeking content creators of all types to pitch ideas for them to advertise on. More informations at Storybids.com
[edited by: encyclo at 4:19 pm (utc) on May 28, 2008]
[edit reason] fixed typo [/edit]