Posts Tagged ‘advertising’

There’s a movement right now where people are publicly shaming advertisers on Breitbart.com, the alt-right website. People are being urged to Tweet to businesses telling them to take down their advertising, unless they want to be associated with the website that once used the headline: “Gabby Giffords: The Gun Control Movement’s Human Shield.”

Here’s the problem: a lot of companies don’t know they are advertising there.

They advertise through Adwords, a Google platform. Like anything Google does, it is focused on the big reach. They want to find as many possible customers for your business as possible. So, they place ads everywhere. You want to advertise your national shoe company? It might wind up on Breitbart. You want to advertise your local lawn maintenance company? It might also wind up on Breitbart.

Adwords lets advertisers choose what websites they don’t want to appear on. However, it is a lot to ask of companies to scour the web and write down every site they disagree with.

Chances are, they just don’t realize their ads are there. So, don’t publicly shame them for something they had no idea about.

I went over to Breitbart when I heard about this public shaming movement. I wanted to see who was advertising there. So, to my surprise, there was a company I do a fair amount of business with. Its founder is of Middle Eastern descent, so I was a bit shocked to see that.

Instead of adding to the Twitstorm, I went to this company’s website and used “Contact Us” to send a quick e-mail letting them know where their ads were, and that it was probably an Adwords issue. I also warned them of the ill-informed backlash that some other companies are getting because of this. They responded in person within hours letting me know they wanted nothing to do with Breitbart and would inform their advertising director right away to fix this.

I understand the desire to fight inflammatory words with other inflammatory words, but in this case, you’d be hurting innocent advertisers in the crossfire. And besides, as the Red Dragon in Bone said, “Never play an ace if a 2 will do.”

Advertisements

Megan McCafferty, an of young adult novels, was speaking today to students at Central Regional High School, where she graduated. She said that she came up with what she thought was a great idea for a picture book.

Her agent declined it because there wasn’t enough potential for a stuffed animal to come out of it.

“Wow,” said an English teacher behind me, sadly.

Christopher Nolan was told by the film studio to make his Batman movies more “Toyetic.” Now, I suppose, books need to be.

This should come as no great shock, really. Everything is merchandised.

But two things make this worse. The first is that here’s this New York Times bestselling novelist, and she doesn’t have the muscle to get a non-toy book published. Secondly, marketing toys to children when you’re trying to get them to read is a downward slope. Reading should open doors to more reading, not to buying commercial products.

My wife and I were in Toys R Us and were surprised to see Fancy Nancy and Pinkalicious dolls. Reading is a very private thing, most of the time. And despite the popularity of these series, we just never thought of the idea that hundreds of thousands of kids read them. Hundreds of thousands of potential customers.

I saw a Splat the Cat at Barnes and Noble. I almost got it, but I didn’t because:

  1. I’m cheap
  2. My daughter has enough stuffed animals already
  3. I don’t think she’d play with him the way she’d play with her other toys. Maybe I’m wrong about this.

 

This is depressing. But I guess you have to think of it in terms of children’s TV shows. There isn’t any children’s program on TV right now that isn’t trying to sell you something. Except maybe the public broadcasting shows. But if Sesame Street is any indication, with Elmo’s face on everything, the other shows will have marketing potential too. A quick Google turned up Word Girl (My favorite PBS show) costumes.

So, I guess we just have to live with it. Books aren’t just for education or entertainment anymore. The main thing they teach us is how to be a consumer.

I’ve been fortunate enough to start making money off of my YouTube videos. Small ads pop up on the bottom from Google AdSense. Mind you, it’s very little money. I’m up to $3.41. (Edit: There’s some potential for much more-check out Entire Channel at the bottom) The reason for this is that my videos shoot up in popularity, then drop into obscurity. It’ll get a few hundred or a few thousand views in one day and then nothing the next.

This is the chronology of events that takes place over the course of a few days:

  1. The video gets popular (a few hundred to a few thousand views)
  2. YouTube sends an e-mail asking if I want to sell ads
  3. I apply for the program
  4. Ads go up

I wanted to share how this happens, and hopefully help people make some money from their videos.

First, here’s a video detailing how to make a video suitable for ads, and then how to publicize it.

How to promote

I have a word file where I write the name of the video, the date it’s uploaded, it’s address and embed code.

Then, there’s a chart with all the different places I tend to send them: Stumbleupon, Tosh, etc. I don’t send every video to every place. There are some sites, like www.iheartchaos.com, that are monitored by human beings and they probably won’t appreciate me spam submitting things every week. There are some videos that work on their site, and some that don’t. I only submit the ones that do. When it comes to someplace like Reddit or Digg, no human has to approve it going up. It just goes up. So I send everything to these places.

Here’s some videos of mine that have started to make money, and how it happened (Some of them have really inappropriate humor):

Smooth Randy and The Socky Show

Smooth Randy and The Socky Show: This was my first video that I started making money off of. It was uploaded 3/4/11. It got 2,700 views in one day! Most of them were from Reddit. 2,700 views is a drop in the bucket in YouTube terms, but still, it got the ball rolling on making money back.

Later in the week, I got an offer from YouTube to start selling ads on it. But by this time, it was already too late. Nobody was watching the video anymore, so no one was watching the ads anymore.

I wound up making 19 cents on Smooth Randy. This post was almost called “How to make 19 cents off YouTube,” but then I got a few other small successes:

Really Big Hole

Really Big Hole was uploaded 6/20/11. It got an invite June 23 after 2,200 views. It received 1,700 views from IheartChaos.com on June 21. About 500 more views on June 22.

I’m not sure when it got the invite. Maybe it was just after the first day’s views of 1,700 on June 21.Who knows?

Parenting: Making Sacrifices

Parenting: Making Sacrifices got an invite at midnight on June 24, after 487 views, 250 of them on June 21, and 150 on June 22. Of these, 420 came from www.buzzfed.com

This is pretty strange because I uploaded it 12/2/10. So this was a case where someone else came upon it – probably from watching Really Big Hole – posted it to buzzfed and it just took off.

A Good Transformer Movie Should Be Easy

A Good Transformer Movie Should Be Easy. This one is safe for work and not offensive. I was very excited that this got chosen so quickly. I put a lot of time and effort into the Transformers movies. The first one is almost up to 10,000 views right now, but it never got invited in. This one did, though. This leads me to believe that after a little bit of success in advertising on other videos, you get invited quicker.

It was uploaded on 7/7/11. I got the e-mail 7/9/11 after 275 views. The views came from all over (because I promoted it all over), but the largest referrer was www.tfw2005.com.

Another video of mine received 270 views in one day a few months earlier, but it was not enough for YouTube to consider ads. So, back then, I figured the magic number must be somewhere between those two. Until the above Transformer movie got an invite after 275. So, either there really is no rhyme or reason or the invites flow more freely if you’ve already got ads on other videos.

Parenting: Testing Boundaries

Parenting: Testing Boundaries. This one was really strange. This video was uploaded June 5, 2011. It got 6,000 views on June 22. It was invited into the AdSense system on 7/10/11. (5,000 views were from I-am-bored, and 1,200 views were from buzzfed.com. I remember logging into my YouTube page and seeing 6,000 views suddenly there and thinking there must have been a mistake.)

I got a big boost on several videos on June 22 and 23. Back then I counted 10 total videos that could get invited into the adsense program. And I waited impatiently for the invites. This is the only straggler. So, maybe they just take a while. I don’t know.

I posted a question to YouTube’s forum about what process YouTube uses to decide what gets invited and what doesn’t. The responses were that there didn’t seem to be any real rules. It just happens.

Elmo Demands Executive Producer Credit On Sesame Street

 

 

By way of comparison, this video, “Elmo Demands Executive Producer Credit,” received 900 views in one day after Katy Perry was cut from Sesame Street, (and later  the Grover Old Spice ad parody aired), and I was sent an offer from YouTube for advertising. However, this was made before I really understood the copyright rules, so I can’t have ads on it.

Entire Channel

Seemingly out of nowhere, the entire channel gets the invite for ads July 27, 2011. This was after 60,000 lifetime views, about 150 a day for two weeks. And about a month after that big hit where I got 20,000 views at the end of June.

Now, I was able to go through every video I had and enter it into the monetization program to get ads.

Even more importantly, I can enable ads the second I upload a video. Therefore, if the video takes off, there will already be ads on it.

Partner Program

YouTube has a partner program that allows for far more money to be made. I don’t qualify for this yet.

Firstly, all your videos have to have no copyright problems. About 8 or so of mine are still made of pictures I didn’t take. I’m working on reshooting these, though.

Secondly, every video has to have thousands of views. I’m nowhere near that yet.

Hopefully, this helps you make some money off your videos. Let me know if it works.

Paging through Marvel’s monster 104-page Amazing Spider-Man #600, there were only 3 ads. The inside covers and the back cover. And they were all for Marvel licensed products. Jackets, toothpaste holders, and statues.

Maybe this was done on purpose. It’s a big, special issue. And a lot of ads would have been needed to reduce that $4.99 cover price. (I was expecting to pay that much anyway. It’s worth it for a milestone issue.)

But where have the advertisers gone? I’ve been reading the original Transformers series from Marvel. In the late 1980s, movie companies advertised for films like “The Last Starfighter” and “The Heavenly Kid.” There were pages broken up, where advertisers bought half page and quarter page ads. Even eighth page! A lot of this space was taken up by people trying to sell comics out of their store or collection. Asking readers to send 50 cents for a catalog.

It could be that comics’ readership is harder to define these days. When you think of the average comic book reader, it’s an adult male. These are not people to whom you would market Reese’s Pieces or Bonkers candy. I think adult readers’ tastes are too different to sum up in any area.

Also, I think the speculation craze in the 1990s hurt this as well. A comic might have sold 200,000 issues, but half of those were bagged and boarded and never read. And maybe advertisers found that out.

A few years back, I looked up DC’s ad rates. They had them broken up by age bracket: All ages, tween, teen and adult. So if Sony was marketing a kid’s video game, they would put it in the all ages books like Batman Adventures.

A little bit of a spiral has taken place. Readership has gotten older. Publishers cater to the larger crowd. Advertisers drop off. Prices go up.