Posts Tagged: Youtube

Oct 10

A Look at the “It Gets Better” project

On the web randomness happens. A word. An image. A website. One day it could be just like everything else on the net and then almost instantly it becomes something big (anyone remember 3 wolf moon?).  In this randomness it happens perhaps less often  that something with meaning and that does  good takes off .That’s why I found it really interesting to see a video labelled “It gets better”  get as much interest as it has.

The Background: After a series of recent youth suicides related to gay bullying, famous (infamous?) sex columnist  Dan Savage known for his straight talking, no holds barred sex advice column “Savage Love”   posted  with his partner the  video  “ It Gets Better”  which can be found below:

As it stands his video has received close to 1,000,000 visits from over a 4 week period. From  a viral video  standpoint this may be a little  slow in growth but results from this video alone only tell half the story of its success. Growing off this video is the countless response videos from average people and a multitude of celebrities. With over 2,640 video’s created against this video ( according to YouTube search using the term “it gets better project”) and over 7.78 Million video views from the first 40 videos ( excluding the original) this has received some serious attention. Most notably one video has even eclipsed the original receiving more than 2.1 million as of this writing (below):

What does all of this mean? That this original video has inspired action and in a way a ripple effect. Unlike say a fail blog video or any of the other top viewed videos that you’ll see on the front page of YouTube this video caused users to further spread this message through the creation of their own content. This works to further spread the video to not only a larger audience but a much more diverse one than the original as its then seen by these users’ pre-established viewership through channel subscriptions and regular channel visits .

Measuring further success: If I had to measure the full success of this impromptu campaign ( and had full access to any data I wanted) I would do the following:

  • Measure the web and telephone traffic of the Trevor project over the long term ( a few months). As this group recieved a large amount of mention in follow up videos it would be a strong measure of awareness if there was a significant and long lasting increase in the use of the services from this organization
  • Measure the increase in creation and use of teen support services. While teenage suicide was a major driver in this campaign there are too many variables that could get in the way to see if these numbers have improved. But looking at whether there is an increase in support for teens and whether its actually being used would be a stronger sign that the message of `It gets better` resonated with its intended audience .

Do you have a question or comment ? Feel free to reach me at@kevrichard or

Aug 10

To Do: Be Part Of A Web Series

For the past few years I’ve been following the web series The Guild and went through the joy and pain of the sporadic rate the content has been posted. The web series follows the experiences of lead character Codex and her experiences with her World of War Craft guild, The Knights of Good.  In its 4th season this series gives you a look at the collision  the guild experiences between in game interactions and real life .  A mixture of video game culture and awkward humor, what can I say its a guilty pleasure! (Check out Episode 1 here)

Looking at the concept of the democratization of content web series are a growing divergence from normal media (television,movies) we are used to. As online video is allowed to get larger  this will further provide the general public with more choice. Essentially watch out big media companies you have competition! Looking at the success of The Guild (boasting more than 50 million views) this competition has the potential to get big!

I think everyone at some point in their life gets the dream that becoming an actor or working in film would be great. Hollywood I’m sure is full of aspiring actors and  sadly has been a place for many crushed dreams.With Web content, essentially anyone with a camera and an idea can do it! Which on one side makes things less glamourous but on the other opens up the film industry to essentially anyone who has talent.  For myself I don’t know if I have the skill for being in front of a camera (some say I have a face for radio!) but I think being involved in the process of content creation be it conceptualizing it, being part of the writing and even doing the filming would be something interesting to be involved in.

What about the Money?

So how does web episode content bring in money for its developers? Much like with regular television web content is supported primarily with advertisements but some also make money off of merchandise . The system varies on the video hosting site but with Youtube suitable content that gains enough views is eligible for a portion of advertising revenue that the site gains through banner advertisements.  Essentially its all about the hits and how much of an audience you can pick up.

Avoiding the one man show:

Unless you have a bunch of friends that are as gun-ho as you are about starting up a web show,  finding the  talent or becoming involved in a semi established group of creators can be difficult. One option in the search for your next web episode crew is a site called Spidvid a social network that brings together content creators to get stuff done! I can across this startup in its early stages late last year and as of right now has a fairly active community(check it out!). Otherwise like any sector of the public interested in one topic or hobby you’ll have to go out and find out where these similar minded people are/hang out and start meeting them and sharing your ideas. Nobody said starting something new was easy!

For myself I hope to keep this in mind as something I want to get involved in (even briefly) to have some fun with and to overall create cool content! With web video growing like it is I think its a great chance for people to be creative and test ideas. So…. if anybody wants to brainstorm a web show let me know!

In ending  feel free to reach me at @kevrichard or

BONUS CONTENT!! Who said I only enjoyed one web show?! For another good laugh be sure to check out ” The Legend of Niel” (Warning: NSFW…. the comedy in this one is a bit more crude but fans of old school Zelda should get a kick out of it! )

Aug 10

Our Privacy Online

For a while I thought that internet privacy was over. The era of your mom telling you that  you shouldn’t talk to strangers and to keep your identity a secret was coming to an end.  I kept the mind set that the internet has become just another facet of a person’s identity and that information you post up is similar to being part of a phone book or walking down the street. Recently there have been a few things which made me reflect upon  how internet privacy and anonimity on the web still has some importance.

Blizzard Vs. The Hordes:

Earlier Blizzard Corp makers of World of WarCraft, Diablo and Star Craft announced the implementation of a RealID system which they planned to put into place for the upcoming Star Craft 2 title and later across their entire library of games. The idea behind real ID was that users could interact and be more connected to their friend lists within these games.  Blizzard had to later pull back on this initiative  because of the massive backlash from their communities and it is now  an optional feature rather than being  enforced system wide.

When everyone has a Facebook account why would gamers be concerned about revealing their personal information in game? Well for some its a sense of escape, it takes them away from their day to day lives as described in an editorial from Daniel Lipscombe  titled Why I play games: My Escapism . Gaming is a way to become separate from day to day activities. If you attach your real name to characters in game or within discussion of the game  is that separation still there? Also if  a character named “Princess Peach” decked out in pink  is suddenly attached to a user named Joe Blow can this person still act out the characteristics of that character? (Ok extreme example but you get the point!)  Despite all of this openness on social sites such as Facebook,  anonimity is still sought in the gaming world because once you form your character you can be a different person than yourself. When that character suddenly has your name it changes that aspect of the game.

The Anonymous Internet

With the ability to act (almost) completely anonymous online a certain mob mentality can often sink in within a group of like minded users sometimes with negative consequences.

Jessi Slaughter  AKA Kerligirl13 an 11 year old  from the U.S. enjoyed sharing her life and her interests on YouTube like many vloggers. As video views increased on her channel she began to see negative comments and she reacted much like any 11 year old girl would with a reactionary video. This video to haters  with the infamous line “I’ll pop a glock in your mouth and make a brain slushy” went viral and attracted the wrong type of attention. So much so that her and her family are now under police protection .

A large cause of this problem  is a site called 4chan. Now I won’t go into much details about the site or its users (because they scare the hell out of even me…) but as a group they have been known for creating false rumors about Steve Jobs having a heart attack (and causing Apple stock to take a tumble) and rigging the Time Magazine 2008 most influential person poll to be Christopher Poole aka Moot the founder of the site. Essentially this site with its large and anonymous user base is able to cause a lot of trouble when motivated to do so.

Upon seeing the video from Jessi ,4chan users decided to take it upon themselves to teach this girl a ‘lesson’ through harassing phone calls and  vandalism of social media profiles among other things. While what this little girl has said online is  absolutely inappropriate for a girl her age to be saying at all, harassing her and her family is even worse. With the growing ease of finding personal information online it is easy to announymously contact another person and do actions to them to the point of harassment. Kids especially not knowing the expansiveness of the internet and the consequences of being online are now increasingly at risk of receiving abuse online and without fully understanding could be sharing all sorts of personal information with perfect strangers on the web.

With younger age groups being at such risk online its very easy to say that they should be protected but the harder thing to answer is how?  No matter what restrictions are put in place there will be work arounds. Age restrictions on sites are easily lied to and  parental controls are almost easily turned off as well. When others can act anonymously and manipulate your own information how can be protect those who are just learning about the full expanse of the web?

Creating Online Persona’s

In the end I think managing your online self is becoming just as important as managing yourself offline. We all are visible online, its as easy as a quick google search so we need to ensure that only what we want people to see is visible. I think we also have to remember that our anonymous selves aren’t completely anonymous either. Comments or accounts that you think you made in private  can still be potentially tracked back to you.

Having these online persona’s bring on new problems like cyber bullying and identity theft and for good and for bad put us in front of a more global audience. For now I’ll remain more careful of what I place online and will continue to watch how things develop.

Do you have a question or comment ? Feel free to reach me at @kevrichard or

Jan 09

Sharpen your Blades! Red Bull Event Promotions

Red Bull has me really hooked at the moment with their Crashed Ice Promotion coming up in Quebec City. I’ve looked at the promotional materials and a few clips of this event and it looks like complete insanity. Upon looking at it further I’ve noticed that this is a very different sports sponsorship than what many other larger companies have been doing ( such as sponsorship of an established event or buying naming rights to the venue) .

Rather than take something proven and established , Red Bull has partnered with  a host city ( locations included Helsinki, Stockholm, Moscow and  Quebec City since 2006) combined popular aspects of hockey and luge and created an event that they take they can take  full credit for.  Risky business, but obviously for Red Bull this works as this event has been going world wide since 2000.

This isn’t the first event Red Bull has hosted and created as they’ve been involved as well with the creation of FlugTag USA  ( home made gliders going over a cliff competing for the farthest distance, amazing!) . Overall I’m really excited for Crashed Ice to come around and thought this was a  great case of  a  brand promoting itself. You can check out the Crashed Ice Website here  or check out the the Youtube clip I’ve included . Crashed Ice is going to be occuring on Jan. 24th on TSN for those of you who want to watch it for yourself….. my goal is  to go and see it live in 2010!



Questions/Comments?: contact me at or send me a twitter message.

Dec 08

You Stole My Virginity! Can I have another Whopper?!

In terms of advertising and promotions Burger king has been using a lot of creativity compared to their competitors in the fast food industry. This included the viral site Subservient Chicken  and the creation of the “King”   in commericial campaigns  and even his own  series of successful video games . Going in a different direction the creative minds at Burger King have come up with another interesting idea, a documentary!

Titled the Whopper Virgins  a crew of researchers hired by Burger King  are tasked  with finding once and for all who has the better Burger ? Mcdonanlds or Burger King. This documentary created by ad firm Crispin, Porter and Bogusky  goes into remote villages of  Greenland ,Romania and Thailand places that have never seen a burger  where the term Whopper Virgins come in. Through comparative taste tests between the Whopper and Big Mac  from a taste test of these populations the researchers come to the conclusion that tasters preffered the Whopper.  

While some claim that the whole idea  offensive  or even exploitive,  I thought it was brilliant! Barring all the arguements that its intruding on these villagers, making light of hunger issues or  exposing them to potentially harmful North American culture( is a single burger so bad?)   it none the less sparked discussion and feelings about Burger King and its Whopper sandwhich,something that  every promotional campaign builds towards.

I’m sure this documentary won’t be seen by a large portion of the population  and it won’t create new markets in Greenland any time soon but  more importantly it  went on to instill ideas and has even sparked  discussion among consumers making it more likely that BK will stay in their  top of mind awareness . This is unlike general commercials from Mcdonalds and Wendy’s which may spur a quick hunger pang from the thought of all of that greasy goodness ( mmm burgers!) but will be forgotten within a few minutes of viewing like all the other commericials consumers are bombarded within a day. 

I’ve included the documentary below (its short!) check it out if you can: 


Dec 08

British Bankster's: Not Sorry They F@#*ed Up Your Christmas!

I came across this sad bit of news while surfing the net ( check it out here) .The journalists at the London Sunday Express came across a video on Youtube from a group of British Bankers with a little Christmas carol of their own for the people of the UK to ‘enjoy’. Calling themselves the “City Bankers” they identify themselves as local bankers and  stock brokers with one claiming to have worked for the now defunct Lehman Brothers. 

This video follows the walk of a cartoon child describing the sad change in this years Christmas because of the financial meltdown. After a while of this, a group of obviously drunken bank workers go into chorus stating:

“Sorry we F@#*!ed up your Christmas, but really we don’t give a s#@t! Cause we have made loads of money, in fact we’re swimming in it” 

This video goes on to more creudness including a man urinating, overall not giving a ‘shit’ about  all the people that are suffering as a result of this financial meltdown.  The creators claim that this video came about because they were tired about people bugging and harassing them about this financial meltdown.

Although this isn’t linked to any one firm ,if this story grows legs this can potentially become a reputational problem that could turn into a customer relations firestorm. Any inaction in this case could cause problems for the UK banking industry as it then would be seen that  the opinion of this small group represents the general sentiment of the banks, something at this time  they obviously don’t want happening. Overall  I’m personally pretty disgusted with this video and don’t have much sympathy for these bank employees should they face consequences, I’ve embedded the video below to check out: 


Dec 08

Going Viral: Building Awareness or Weakening Your Brand?

Just recently I came across 2 videos from DETAILS Magazine on you-tube that made me do a bit of a double take: Gabe and Max’s Guide to  Man Style and Video #2  Beauty Tips.  The First video ( posted below) starts in a style similar to what you would expect from a magazine like DETAILS ( except the photo-shopped photos)  but as the video goes on it becomes obvious that its an over the top  comedy video that’s not great but is OK for a bit of a laugh. Included in the 1st video  are the “4 pillars of  Man Style” which include:

1. Only owning silk underwear.

2. Confidence : “Never don’t be confident” 

3.Wear a little bit of Makeup ( all men want to look,manly?)

4. Be Yourself: Everybody has their own ‘personality’ (I’m  obviously Mr Pure Granola!)

Posted last month these videos are among DETAIL’s more successful videos with the more recent video “Beauty Tips” gaining over 180,000 views. This would be great if it were a clear part of the brand or if this channel were specifically dedicated as a magazine “funny page” but video’s like this are mixed in  with more serious video’s like  interviews with Anna Faris and Ben Aflec and  style tutorials like How to tie a Scarf and How to fold a pocket square, part of the magazines core business which in comparision peform poorly in view count. 

Adding further confusion to DETAIL’s branding is its own website  which is very clean cut and serious.  Some may argue otherwise, but with competing  magazines such as Mens Health, Esquire and Mens Journal and an increasing on-line audience ( Ask Men) I feel DETAILS could instead  use You-tube as a strong medium to instead communicate with its core customer base ( as there are many guys like me who will look at a funny video , have their laughs and leave adding no value ). I also think as a company DETAILS  needs to  focus  their efforts on presenting them-self  as a serious contender rather than investing time in non core projects like posting  “funny you-tube videos” .  

Sales in  print media are dropping ( The New York Times having to mortgage its headquarters,that’s scary) and DETAIL’s along with other magazines in this segment will have a challenge ahead to keep the mind share of their target audience. Of course funny video’s will bring in the hits (Crazy Frog anyone?), but in the end DETAILS should be focusing on building value for its customers to continue its profitability.  

I’ve included the described videos. Admittedly they were a decent laugh and I plan to check out the original comedians: