This Bud’s for You! Turning Points Made for Music …and YouTube

I found my self captivated by an ad for a beer that I don’t drink, featuring a rap artist I’d never heard of …and I don’t even like rap music.

There is a subtle revolution going on. I was intending to watch Kevin Spacey speaking at the Edinburgh Television Festival about the bigger revolution in the shift away from cable to Netflix – the only company that agreed to back him in the production of a “13-hour film” in House of Cards, without requiring a pilot.

Spacey says,”The audience has spoken. They want stories!”

And that’s why I stopped to watch the entire YouTube pre-roll commercial before watching Kevin Spacey, to learn the 1:51-minute story of a rapper named Ab-Soul.

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“You can skip to video in 5 seconds.”

That’s it! In YouTube’s skippable ad format, advertisers only have 5 seconds to win over my interest and I am impatiently counting… Using short-form documentary in black and white, Budweiser manages to do so, launching an engaging new concept with a collection of Pivotal Career Moments they call Turning Points. It’s just one of six parts of the Made for Music campaign that Bud launched with Vice and Facebook in July, 2013.

I am excited because Bud is confirming a personal artistic direction that I have been developing – one in which authentic story content is presented by a funding sponsor. As a marketing consultant and doc filmmaker, my earned media approach is demonstrated in the following video I just produced on the recent Baylake Tall Ship Festival, a project funded by Shipwrecked Brewery Pub & Restaurant in Egg Harbor.

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Meeting up with David HB Drake at the beer tasting tent was sheer luck, not to mention the fact that he was dressed in nautical attire and just happened to somewhat resemble the company’s iconic ship captain.



Jesse Horne, working the tent for Shipwrecked, was quick to improvise and I was fortunate to capture the moment, using their exchange as a tail to David’s performance of an original song he calls “The Lakes of Amerikey.” Here’s an opportunity for Shipwrecked to follow my lead and emulate Budweiser in building a campaign around the music of a talented musician and nautical historian that  just happens to personify their brand.

Have you begun to use the power of video publishing? Michael Hyatt, author of  Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World says, “The good news is that video is cheaper to produce than ever. You can get professional quality video produced for a fraction of what it used to cost.”


Check out the DesignWise Studios YouTube Video Channel to see how others are adding short-form video to their marketing campaigns. Then, contact me to plan your own video campaign – from channel design and distribution, to complete professional video editing and production – all at DesignWise Studios.

David HB Drake has written more than 200 songs, many of them sea shanties and songs of the Seven Seas and Great Lakes. He is the official chanteyman of Wisconsin’s flagship, the S/V Denis Sullivan and educator at Pier Wisconsin Maritime Center. Living his dream, David has also served as chanteyman on the movie tall ship “HMS Bounty.” You may find him at pirate festivals appearing as “Graybeard, The Ancient Mariner” and he authors “Graybeard’s Advice for Lubbers,” a column in Pirates Magazine.  

YouTube Publishes ebook and we share our Facebook comments with SocialDitto

As video continues to gain greater prominence, we are starting to build dedicated YouTube channels for clients as part of an overall social footprint campaign. Today YouTube announced the publication of YouTube Creator Playbook, a 70-page ebook that will be regularly updated…

DesignWise Studios of Door County Get a free copy of the new 70-page YouTube Creator Playbook helping you build your video audience online. They promise regular updates… very cool!

So, this post is serving a dual role: announcing the ebook and also testing this cool little tool called SocialDitto, that lets us embed Facebook posts and comments into the body of an article.

Kodak Zi8 HD Pocket Video Camera Sets New Low (Price)

The Kodak Zi8 HD Pocket Video Camera was written up as my top choice in Flip-style cams a year ago and for a while, the price was tumbling.

Now, you have no excuse! It’s time you started adding video blogging to your agenda. With the Kodak Zi8 falling to less than a hundred dollars (black model only) at Amazon, you really should begin making moving pictures. The Zi8 records high definition video (1080p at 30 fps with 16:9 aspect ratio). If you have already started creating video content, you can put this discrete, inexpensive mini-camera on a tripod to get that 2nd POV for professional productions.

Not sure why, but soon after Flip announced the discontinuation of their popular pocket cam, Amazon’s prices on the Kodak Zi8 started rising… to well above the former list price. This is disappointing, but if you shop hard you can still find them at a discount. Or, you can buy refurbished for less than a hundred dollars.

The Kodak Zi8 has…

  • a swing out USB arm, that’s flexible
  • a removable lithium-ion battery that can be charged in or out of the camera
  • expandable SD/SDHC card slot for up to 32 GB, so you can swap and keep shooting
  • a large 2.5″ color LCD screen
  • built in electronic image stabilization
  • 5MP still photo capture
  • improved low-light performance
  • smart face tracking technology

The biggest flaw with most pocket cams up until the release of the  Zi8 was poor sound quality. Users had been pleading for someone to add an external mic jack. Thanks to Kodak for listening!

“With the Zi8, Kodak finally surpasses Flip Video’s video quality and feature set.” David Carnoy, CNET Review

Happy Birthday Monster-Baby! YouTube Growth Doubles in Less Than a Year!

At 5-years of age, YouTube’s growth curve is more like a moon-launch and network TV may one day be just as nostalgic a memory.

Most of my clients are quite ill-informed when I ask them, “What is the second most popular search engine, right behind Google?” They seem incredulous when I reply,” It’s YouTube.”

Here’s the first video ever posted on YouTube, seen more than 2.5  million times in 5 years.

Today, as a birthday salute, the BBC reports the following YouTube statistics…

  • December 2005 8 million videos watched a day
  • January 2008 10 hours of video uploaded every minute
  • October 2009 1 billion views per day
  • March 2010 24 hours of video uploaded every minute
  • May 2010…

YouTube hits 2bn daily downloads reports the BBC’s Maggie Shiels. She explains that TV remains in comparatively good shape when you compare average time spent on YouTube at 15 minutes vs TV’s 5 hours per day.

But, 15 minutes a day spent on any one Web site is quite a different story, one only out-performed by Facebook, currently clocking in at 55 minutes of average user-time per day. There are a wealth of statistics that demonstrate that video improves conversion rates, decreases returns, improves search optimization and even increases open-rates when embedded in e-mail!

We incorporate video production into all of our current client’s Web-marketing campaigns and the proof keeps coming in that having a broad social footprint – one that includes video – is key to reaching your audience. Does your marketing plan include having a YouTube Channel?


eCommerce Video Drives Conversion, Sales and Traffic While Reducing Returns reports on a wealth of documentedc statistics like…
Internet Retailer reports that visitors who view product videos are 85% more likely to buy than visitors who do not, based on results. (Internet Retailer, April 2010)

Videos embedded in email can grab attention or cause deliverability problems and rendering nightmares. Most marketers believe the latter, but a few say their data speak otherwise. See how in 2008, a marketer increased conversions more than 50% by embedding video in emails. Includes deliverability and subject line test data. Plus, what’s the best video length to use.

Kodak Zi8 HD Pocket Video Camera Sets New High Mark

The new Kodak Zi8 HD Pocket Video Camera features an external mic jack and up to 32 GB of replaceable memory for 10 hours of on board recording time.

And, that’s not all. The Kodak Zi8 has…

  • a swing out USB arm, that’s flexible
  • a removable lithium-ion battery that can be charged in or out of the camera
  • expandable SD/SDHC card slot for up to 32 GB, so you can swap and keep shooting
  • a large 2.5″ color LCD screen
  • built in electronic image stabilization
  • 5MP still photo capture
  • improved low-light performance
  • smart face tracking technology

The biggest flaw with most pocket cams up ’til now has been poor sound quality. Users have been pleading for someone to add an external mic jack. Thanks to Kodak for listening!

Tired vs Wired, Yahoo vs YouTube and a Quick HD Pocket Camera Revue

You may already know that YouTube is the second most popular… search engine.

For more than a year, YouTube has dominated Yahoo for runner-up status behind Google in the search engine popularity rankings as reported by research firms like Comcast. Partly due to the fact that YouTube videos are now included among the standard Google search results, with Google claiming 65% of search market, nonetheless there is another shift taking place which deserves reflection.

Since learning of the shift, I have started using YouTube as a primary research tool. When I want to see how something is done, I search YouTube. Taking this cue to the next level means incorporating this realization into your own Web design strategies and marketing practices. People now expect to see video included as one of the components in an effective Web site.

This doesn’t necessarily mean that you must add the cost of professional video production to your budget. Windows and Mac both include video editing software in their basic installation packages and there are lots of additional, free tools online. With more than 15 hours of video uploaded to YouTube every minute, homegrown video has become a populist media form.

Chad Hurley, the co-founder and chief executive of YouTube explains, “That’s the equivalent of Hollywood releasing more than 57,000 full-length movies every week.”

The hardware isn’t expensive either. The Creative Labs Vado HD 8 GB Pocket Video Camcorder is a bargain at $114.99 on Amazon ($199 list). The HD signifies High Definition, that it shoots in widescreen format (16 x 9 as opposed to the earlier 4 x 3 TV standard) at 720p (image size 1280 x 720) at 30 frames per second progressive scan; recorded as MP4 files.

How would you like to get the camera for less than $15? This particular deal gets even better the deeper you dig. The Amazon fine print says:

Special Offer: Save $100 on the cost of this product when you agree to join’s AudibleListener® Gold program for 12 months starting at $14.95 per month.

The base price is currently $20 cheaper than the Flip UltraHD Camcorder – plus the Creative Labs Vado unit has a larger 2″ display screen and a much better wide angle lens. Chris Pirillo rates Creative Vado at the top in this great set of three comparable videos:

The Kodak Zi6 HD Pocket Video Camera would be another good choice based on price at $99, but it comes with such little memory and has poor low light capabilities.

If it’s time for you to begin experimenting and learning to create and upload videos, be sure to watermark them with your Website’s URL and post them everywhere at once using Tubemogul. Check out DesignWise Films and Video Production for more specific articles on video production and marketing.