Video Essentials

Three Ways Brands Can Push the Envelope with Online Video

It’s important to stand out if you want to get your customers’ attention. Comedian Mark Malkoff knows all about attracting eyeballs online. In 2008, he lived in an Ikea store for a week, a stunt that earned Ikea 1.8 million views and loads of free publicity. He followed that up in 2009 by living on an AirTran jet for a month, as well as several other corporate-backed stunts.

As someone who’s adept at crafting winning online video campaigns, Malkoff offers these tips to brands looking to break through the clutter:

Create Something New

“A lot of brands are starting to take more risks. I think they’re starting to realize that online content is almost a necessity,” notes Malkoff. No company is going to have an online video success by doing the same thing that their competitors are doing. Online video viewers are fickle, so if you want to break away from the pack, do something wild and new.

Be Authentic

“The stuff that people find entertaining and engaging is stuff that’s authentic,” says Malkoff. Ever notice how online viewers love to write “Fake!” in the comments of some viral video attempts? That’s because those videos are fake, and online viewers hate to be fooled. For his AirTran stunt, Malkoff incorporated his fear of flying to make the project about more than just taking a lot of trips. It also added a layer of realness. “That was a good in to really make it authentic,” adds Malkoff.

Give Up Control

Hire good people and let them do their work. When Ford hired Malkoff for a promotion, it let him run the project how he wanted. “I think that they realized there’s an enthusiasm that shows up in the work when they hand over free reign,” says Malkoff. There’s also a good chance that the project will turn out better, since, if you’re hiring quality talent, they’ll know what to do.

To view the full interview with Malkoff, watch the video below (courtesy of Beet.TV).


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  1. The control element is key, but that is the hardest part for brands to give up. Malkoff clearly knows how to take control and pump out great results for various organizations.

    Posted by Anish Patel | July 5, 2012, 10:52 am
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