hot idea: podcast commercials

Watching American Inventor tonight sparked 1 idea (among many) that I’ll share here. I love innovation and new ideas, not as much into new products in terms of creating them, but I do like new strategies, new services, and new ways of doing things. I’ve heard radio commercials on my commute for upcoming TV shows. In mainstream advertising, they call it a cross channel promotion.

How about a video podcast of commercials for upcoming TV shows? I know there are people out there who are fanatical about their TV shows, be it Lost, 24, American Idol, CSI, Desparate Housewives, etc. Even when a commercial comes on for the next show, they’d want to see that. Take the already produced 30-second commercial, encode it into podcast-friendly formats, wrap it in RSS, put it on a server. It’s a low-cost low-risk test, let the numbers dictate what to provide for the frenzied fans.

And while the editing team is cutting up highlights, save a 60-second length promo too, not to be aired on TV or radio, but distributed via Internet-powered video podcast feeds. Increased viewer loyalty and who knows where else it can grow.

The idea is easily transferrable to other businesses and even nonprofits. Advertising is telling a compelling story and sharing it on as many channel as possible. Let the response provide that feedback loop on what works and what doesn’t. And now, video podcasting makes it easy and cheaply to distribute. Of course, don’t limit it to only podcast feeds, make those expensively-produced videos streamed on the web for on-demand play. You read it here first.

[update 4/11/06: Even better, put the whole episode online for TV viewers! NYT comments on the news in Soon, Catch ‘Lost’ Online, a Day Later: ABC’s popular program “Lost” will be among several prime-time shows to be shown online the day after the episode is broadcast on TV. I don’t know if the TV execs or advertisers were reading this blog entry, and took that next logical step, but kudos for them for thinking of a multichannel distribution that includes the Internet!]

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  1. Bumble says:

    but aren’t you supposed to broadcast your commercials instead of narrrowcast them? I thought the purpose was “spread the word” and not “count the respond”….

  2. djchuang says:

    Technology is democratizing more than ever, and I think the lines between broadcasting and narrowcasting should be blurred. Commercials can be broadcast and narrowcast both at the same time, worth a try, and results are what matters to most (all?) for-profit and non-profit ventures. Best case in point is the Super Bowl commercials.