Good, fast, cheap, the old office joke goes: Pick any two. Well, there’s good news for brand marketers: When it comes to online video you can have all three, says Victor Lee, senior vice president of digital marketing at Hasbro.
Speaking at VidCon 2018 about whether brands should create content in-house or farm it out, Lee said the dilemma isn’t new. Brands used to create content in-house because they couldn’t afford to farm it out. But times have changed and one thing that’s shifted is the importance of speeding content to market. Brands don’t need to offer high production values these days to hit big, they only need to hit fast and capture the moment. It’s not about big budgets anymore, but about how fast and how much bands can get done.
“You have to throw the models out,” Lee said. Good, fast, cheap: “That model works.” If one piece of content doesn’t work, that’s fine, just follow it up with something else. “What matters is let’s not waste time talking about it,” he noted. Instead, get it done. Whether brands produce in-house our farm work out, they need to change the mindset: Pull a phone out, shoot some video, and get it online.
The mindset that needs to change is that of brand managers chasing industry recognition and awards. Succeeding today means connecting with the viewer, not the rest of the ad industry. Create an emotion and think about the connection with the viewer. “When we hold our brands in such esteem, we lose site of the goal,” Lee said. When brands learn to let go they’ll get great results.
Going this route means green-lighting content that won’t be universally loved. Lee said that’s okay. Nothing is universally accepted as positive, he pointed out, so why do brands think creative content should be universally praised? Hasbro creates most of its video in-house because that offers the best speed and efficiency. Money he can get back, Lee said, but he can’t get back time.
While this is an easy route for Hasbro to follow since it sells to young viewers, Lee said every brand and category has a story to tell. Every brand can make a connection. “That’s the magic you’re trying to find is tell that story,” he said. “The best marketing a marketer can do right now is not let the consumer know they were marketed at.”