Making it Big Time

Most of you have relatively modest ambitions when it comes to the size of the audience for your videos. Most of you are satisfied when dozens or hundreds of people see your video. However, some of you want to reach hundreds of thousands or even an audience in the millions. As the video sharing movement continues to sweep the Internet, the huge audience possibility has never been more real. I was really shocked when I first learned that over 60,000 videos are being uploaded on a daily basis. While it may be difficult to stand out from the crowd of people sharing their videos, there are some new opportunities that could make it easier for you to reach millions of viewers, not only via the internet but on network TV.

For example, 19-year-old college student Katie Crabb won a contest put on by Chevrolet to create a commercial for younger audiences, which was aired during the Super Bowl. Chevy probably paid CBS over $2.5 million to run Katie’s video because the audience was nearly 46 million viewers. Dozens of companies are jumping into this new game of having commercials created by the people within the markets that they are trying to reach. Doritos, 1-800-Flowers, Blendtec, Dove and even the National Football League are getting into the amateur ad craze. While Blendtec’s videos never made it to network TV, over 11 million people have viewed their user-submitted videos on the Web which were submitted for their “Will It Blend?” campaign.

The TV commercial format is an inviting space to get into. These videos are extremely short in length and everybody is familiar with the genre. While some videos on video sharing sites are longer than five minutes, most of the clips are much shorter. This is partially due to the fact that most visitors of video sharing sites don’t seem to have the patience to watch 30-minute TV shows on their computer. This makes video sharing sites the perfect breeding ground for thousands of TV commercials.

Extremely short videos are easy to shoot and edit, yet they still offer an opportunity for creativity. When videos are this short, you have the time to shoot and log more video. The shooting ratios of TV commercials are among the highest for any video production. In addition, the number of edits per minute is much higher than you’d find in most video programs. Some spots have up to 200 edits per minute. This really gives you a proving ground to refine your editing abilities.

The objective of any video is usually to tell some type of story. While ads are perhaps more often used to convey abstract concepts or pure emotional appeal, there’s usually a story buried in there someplace. These extremely short videos offer a wonderful place to hone your storytelling abilities.

Matthew York is Videomaker’s Publisher/Editor.

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