I recently got an email that talked about Alphabird picking up PlaceVine for some undisclosed amount. But what I found more interesting in the release was this contest that PlaceVine is running. Essentially, they give you assets, ask you to submit a video based on certain specifications and if approved, you can start getting paid for your YouTube views on the video until the award pool is consumed. That means you have a shot at a chunk of $20,000.
PlaceVine essentially offers a business networking platform and nothing more. It's not really a marketplace as there is no buying and selling on it. It's not really a distribution platform either. Simply put, it connects marketers and agencies with content producers. Each can upload their specifics and then look to collaborate on a project.
The Austin Brown 85 Contest
Along with all of this is a new PlaceVine Contest Platform, launched with music label The Royal Factory and artist Austin Brown (nephew of Michael and Janet Jackson apparently). The contest platform enables any producer to submit a video (or videos) in response to PlaceVine's creative brief and get paid for each view they generate on YouTube. PlaceVine is offering an award pool of USD $20,000 to the producers who participate in the contest. YouTube video producers can visit http://www.placevine.com/contest
That's pretty cool, really, and an interesting way to promote a brand or product, I think. Look at it this way, you've got something you want to get the word out on. You've got a specific budget, a specific goal and no real specific idea about the creative.
So why not turn that into potential creative by a community of creators. You can still set your goals in terms of views and cost. The Austin Brown contest for example, has a goal of one million views and an award pool of $20,000 meaning with approved creative they're paying two cents per view.
Cash-fueled Viral Campaigns
The interesting thing, to me, is that you're getting truly unique content out of the deal from a variety or sources and you already know the cost of the campaign. If you were to head into an agency and ask them to do a wide variety of creative and put it online for $20,000 you probably wouldn't get all that much out of the deal. This is like crowdsourcing meets fan fiction in that you have a crowd of people making a variety of content and you're spreading out the money over all of it, or most of it, depending on how much doesn't get approved.
The Austin Brown campaign is set to start at noon today Pacific time so I am curious to see how quickly one million views will be reached and how many pieces of unique content they will use. Plus, think of the tangential marketing going on here.
Content creators make content, submit for approval. When the contest starts, they will be marketing their specific videos to their subscribers, friends and families to help garner their piece of the pie. Effectively, you have hired hundreds or perhaps thousands of PR agents who are all working to get your brand out there and all for a fairly small price (in the case of this contest).
On top of that, they're using YouTube – the world's second largest search engine – which will surely list other contest entries in recommended or related video sections meaning that the viewers might go see several pieces of the content and then tell their friends all about whichever one they liked the most. Plus with proper keywords on the part of the content producers (Jackson would certainly be in my list) they could have their videos showing up in results that could drive a lot of traffic.
Effectively, you've created a pseudo-viral marketing campaign by seeding the initial phases of viral spread with cash. Plus, those videos are embeddable and will certainly show up on some Facebook pages, get tweeted and placed on numerous blogs. If the content creators are smart, they might even offer some percentage out to blog owners on a per view basis. Then again, at two cents per view, that would be a hard sell.
If I were a betting man, I might say that, given enough approved content, the million views would be hit by week's end, if not the middle of the week. With 100 videos, it would only be 10,000 views each.
Sorry that you're all too late to get involved in the contest, entries had to be submitted by May 11th and I wasn't allowed to talk about it until then. At that point I was so deep in moving to the US (which went fine, thanks to those who wished me luck) that I just didn't have any time.