Hype It Up: How Video Built the New Product Launch

If the brand new 2016 American Girl doll Lea Clark were to be driving in a 2016 Ford Focus RS -- my household would explode. We couldn't handle that sort of energy. My seven-year-old daughter wants the new 2016 American Girl doll so bad she can hardly speak about it. Likewise, I want the new 2016 Ford Focus RS so bad I spend my evenings on the forums discussing actual release dates, features, and allotment numbers to dealers. My channeling of enthusiasm is nerdy enough I shouldn't speak about it.

The point of the prior is that in our house a seven-year-old and a 39-year-old are both potential customers who underwent the enthusiastic viewing of a series of captivating product launch videos, released sequentially, which cultivated us both into diehard supporters.

My daughter spent the entirety of last week captivated by the newest American Girl 2016 video launch sequence. Every morning was the same: She woke up and asked to watch a video providing the latest clues (on the American Girl site) which helped her to figure out who, what, when and where the new doll Lea Clark's history would be situated. We purchased Lea Clark at 1:04AM EST on January 1st -- four minutes after it was available. The video perhaps wasn't an essential for a die-hard 7-year-old customer -- but it kept the idea, and more importantly the brand -- at the forefront of our household conversations.

In a similar vein to my daughter, I spent the last two months waiting patiently for new weekly videos, released by Ford, featuring rally driver Ken Block, documentary style, which shows the crafting, testing, and approving of a ridiculously fast and aggressive Ford Focus RS (0-60 in 4.6 seconds/top seed of 165). From the videos, my interest in the long history of the Rally Sport (RS) badge as it related to earlier iteration of Ford products grew. I am now quite knowledgeable not just on the 2016 model -- but on the long history of the special vehicle line.

What these two releases have in common is multiple segments of video working together to increase the brand appeal -- and it works across a large demographic of customer bases. Consecutive video segments foster and grow a dedicated fan base much differently than that of static advertisement. The sequential releases of a desired product build the intrinsic interest of customers. And intrinsic interest increases loyalty. This all increases a supportive customer base. And a supportive customer base is much more likely to diffuse what they like on their own social networks. The snowball effect continues to gain viewership and promote further messaging as it rolls down the hill.

The sequentially released segments also have a secondary appeal for brands. The releases keep the brands in the top of a scroll down news environment. Every new Ford video placed the Focus RS back at the top of news worthy conversation, excited the associated automotive forum environment with new posts about the weekly released information--and the more people who see the message on top of news feeds and forum conversations-the more people who again share and diffuse the message.

Video it is

The new push toward sequential video segments to ramp up brand products directly relate to the growing acceptance of the heavy use of online social media video content. Facebook perhaps punctuates the push toward video better than any source in the 2015 calendar year. In April 2015 Facebook had 4 billion video views per day -- and by November (seven months later) the platform was recording 8 billion video views per day. Doubling video viewership in the billions doesn't signify an increased interest -- it indicates a paradigm shift for the media.

We now live in a world where 760 years of video watch time are consumed each day by Facebook users alone. YouTube has 1 billion users and 300 hours of video uploaded to the site every minute. Snapchat is building its ever increasing business around video. And Twitter, although historically not the go-to source for brand video, has recently launched its Amplify feature which according to Twitter "enables media companies and brands to capture the excitement on TV and distribute it to fans and audiences across Twitter, beyond their followers."

As 2016 begins its course we can be sure the increase of sequential video segments will be a growing strategy to turn viewers into loyal customers. In many ways, this is the ultimate form of advertisement -- everybody is happy. The consumer is captivated by exciting videos, the brand drives sales, and social media platforms have even more ammunition for our video laden social media streams. In fact, it could be the start of a perfect storm.