Marketing

“We do enforce this policy.”

I run a very small, very casual video games channel on YouTube called The Blundercast – I just record, edit, and post silly little moments that happen while I play games. It’s very much a labour of love, but I do happen to monetize a few videos just for a bit of coffee money here and there.

Most recently, I posted a video where I played Scribblenauts Unlimited and had fun on a mission.

I did attempt to monetize this video but was abruptly stopped by YouTube.

YouTube:
We may consider your video(s) for further review provided you verify that you are authorized to commercially use all of the elements of your content. This includes all video, images, music, video game footage, and any other audio or visual elements.

Fair enough, I’ve run into this before. I explained:

Me:
This video is a video where I have fun with a small portion of the Scribblenauts Unlimited game. It was created solely for the purposes of entertainment and education and is all done in fair use.

Makes sense to me, you learn about the game and you can enjoy watching me make an ass of myself on the internet. However, it got rebuffed with a request for information regarding formal permission and/or terms that would allow me to post the video.

I reached out to WB Games, the publisher of Scribblenauts Unlimited, to get this permission, and got this response in a few hours:

WB Games Support:
WB does not provide formal permission to post videos on YouTube or similar sites. Generally we don’t mind fan videos so long as you’re using legal copies of the game, are not being posted to make a profit (through advertising or other means), and are in good taste.

Hmm… not being posted to make a profit? What about the hundreds of videos that do just that on YouTube? Do they all have a standing agreement with WB Games that allows them to post and profit off their videos? Or are they in danger of having WB enforce their policies on them?

So I asked to clarify, especially with regards to YouTube partners, and got this response:

WB Support:
WB does not give out any formal permission. We also do enforce this policy.

And now we’re back at square one.

I understand you want to protect your game, but we’re giving you free marketing at no cost. I’m not entirely sure why you would be against that?

It is a silly place.

Look What Popped In Today!

What a lame title, I know. It’s been a long day, spare me!

Anyhoo, I received a mysterious package today from Brampton, ON and I didn’t remember making anyone mad recently, so I checked for ticking noises. I cautiously tore off the brown paper packaging, and I was pleasantly surprised to find this:

Popchips!

Well whaddya know, I had completely forgotten that I received the Klout Perk for this! Popchips sent over a nice box of goodies; billed as the healthy chips that have been never fried or baked. Might be just the escape I need while I try to cut back my junky eating habits.

It came with a nice hand written note telling me to enjoy along with a bunch of coupons, a fact sheet, and a passcode to send this very care package out to my friends.

Thanks Popchips and Klout!

PS. If you wish to receive one of these care packages, just let me know!

Handwritten noteChipclip!CouponbookTaste that chippy rainbow, I guess.

What I’ve Gone and Done

So it’s been a little more than two weeks since I made my last post, telling everyone what sort of jobs I was looking for. Well, I’m happy to (finally) announce that I found and joined, what is literally, my dream job.

I have joined The Working Group!

The Working Group

I am leading the charge for PostageApp, our in-house product that allows web apps of all flavours to send transactional or event-driven emails. It’s been around for a while, but the fully featured, end-to-end product will be released in the near future and I am going to make sure that the launch is going to be a great success.

I get to do everything I mentioned in my “what am I looking for” post, and I get to work with an amazing team of really smart people. What more could a guy ask for?

Always happy to expand on my role a little if you have questions, and I am always happy to go for coffee, so if you want to reach me, shoot me an email at my new work address!

In addition, if you are running a web app (social networking sites, social gaming sites, e-commerce sites, anything that sends emails to users on a regular basis) or know someone who does, I would love to hear from you! We’re getting tons and tons of feedback for the app, and I want to make sure I speak to as many people as possible, so please send me an email.

Huge thank you to everyone who helped me out during my job search, you helped me find opportunities, kept my spirits up, and introduced me to all the right people. You’re the best.

Feel free to ask questions or leave comments!

The Working Group

Jamie Oliver’s Branded Video Content

Jamie Oliver has always been one of those guys I have a tremendous amount of respect for – he’s an accomplished chef, and he is on a mission to make people around the world healthier by giving them the knowledge to cook good food, fast.

Well, I just noticed that he has a YouTube presence which he’s using to promote his book, 30-Minute Meals (Aff Link), which is exactly what he’s all about: good food, fast. In the channel, he goes through a lot of basics of cooking, such as knife skills, herbs to use, and a plethora of other useful hints and tips. This is exactly the type of videos that I have been pushing for the past year – they are interesting, they educate you on Jamie’s area of expertise, and it promotes Jamie Oliver and all of his initiatives.

Cheers Jamie, keep up the awesome work!

The Nielsen Equation

In an effort to blog more and more often, I have set a goal for myself to watch one TED video every morning, and write a short blog post about it. So… let’s kick this off shall we?

There was one particular point that struck me in this video:

If you’ve got an elementary particle and you shine a light on it, then the photon of light has momentum, which knocks the particle, so you don’t know where it was before you looked at it. By measuring it, the act of measurement changes it. The act of observation changes it. It’s the same in marketing.

Why? Well, I’m not sure if any of you are aware of the number of television shows are canceled every year, nevermind the number of shows on FOX that have been canned, but they are all determined by one thing: Nielsen ratings. Nielsen ratings are basically a sample of people who statistically represent the nation as a whole. They are what determines the fate of a show. Basically, the better a show fares on Nielsen tests, the better ad dollars it can pull in, and everyone on the show can get paid.

I am not a huge fan of Nielsen ratings; they cannot accurately measure everything about television shows, which is evident because a large number of very well made shows have been canceled in the past. Of course, set top boxes are unreliable for data; all they can do is tell whether it is turned on or off.

I offer two alternatives:

  • Make the set top boxes measure actual data. Sure, demographics may not be able to be measured accurately, but you can certainly give it a shot.
  • Measure your shows online. Give people access to your shows, make them sign up on your website, and track their watching patterns, anonymously of course. This kind of information would be invaluable, but possibly limited to the younger generations.

The biggest problem behind television is that all of this is being done because they need to sell advertising on these time slots, and that’s exactly why I dislike it. Commercials are a nuisance, and I would love for the entire model to change.

If only!

I would love to get your thoughts on the matter: Nielsen ratings, television shows, commercials, anything and everything in between! Comment down below.

MarketResearchbook

I guess since Facebook is winning the social networking wars (Sorry MySpace) they are continuing to find ways to find out more about me, so they can continue to tell me some douchbag makes $75 an hour.

WARNING: Picture may not be accurate. Only douchebaggery remains true.

WARNING: Picture may not be accurate. Only douchebaggery remains true.

So I guess they’re trying to expand their advertising game and I’ve recently started noticing they put up polls regarding different things. Here’s one I got today:

Sweet, I'm in the majority.

Sweet, I'm in the majority.

Come on Facebook, if you’re going to use my profile to harvest information about me, and then perform market research on my habits and behaviours, at least PAY me for it.

It’s the least you could do in this tough economy.

When Logic is Left Out

Meet Hydra Vodka Water.

Hydra Vodka Water

Hydra Vodka Water was a product created by Vincor, a company that owns many well-respected wines in Canada. It was created as an entry into the alcoholic cooler market, that is extremely fickle, is made up of fad drinks, and has several heavy hitters in the industry.

Vincor had five choices for their new cooler:

1. Fresh Fruit Juice
2. Gin-based
3. Spring Water-based
4. Tequila-based
5. Energy Drink-based

To make a long story short, Vincor decided to go with the Spring Water-based alcoholic cooler, due to the rising popularity of Spring Water, apparently very much so in the target market. The cooler was priced at a premium, priced similarly to Smirnoff Ice.

Apparently, the cooler did fantastically well in its first year, and then promptly fell off. Which leads me to this question:

Who in their right mind thought that diluting vodka with “spring water” and selling it $9.45 for a 4-pack was a good idea? Why wouldn’t you try drinking vodka and water before you sell it? It tastes like water that’s been tainted.

Hydra Vodka Water serves as a good example of coming up with an idea, going through all the market research motions and thinking it will be popular, and selling it without stopping to think:

Why would anyone pay a premium for diluted vodka?

Pandering to the Masses

I stumbled upon this article from Digg. It discusses DC Comics and their decision to kill off Bruce Wayne in the coming issues of the Batman comics. It cites the following reason in its decision:

Comic book companies, like record labels, have found that the death of a big star is great for sales. When Superman was killed by Doomsday in 1992, DC saw a Cobain-like surge in sales, and the issue was the best-selling in franchise history. However, unlike Biggie Smalls (but very much like Tupac) the character was resurrected. Captain America saw a similar bump after a sniper shot him down in New York last year.

I think this is a horrible marketing ploy, but I guess if it’s going to generate sales for you, I can’t really complain. But then again, if they gave Batman enough time to plan, it would be discovered that he never really died and it was just a decoy.

Kind of a shame that they’re only doing this to appeal to the masses, rather than creating a meaningful and memorable story arc. Shame on you DC Comics.