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August 22, 2006

Paris Hilton on YouTube--New Advertising Concepts

YouTube is continuing its innovative output in both providing interesting video content on the Web while also experimenting with interesting new partnerships and advertising formats. The newest is the idea of placing video spots on the site that are marked as paid advertising while providing some of the same participatory content of other YouTube video content.

The first example was the Paris Hilton advertisements posted on the site. A video pormoting the new album, entitled Paris, was featured on the site beginning today, complementing the album's release. The video clip will be sponsored by FOX's Prison Break, featuring an original introduction from Hilton and one of the album's songs.

The video is part of a new advertising partnership between FOX, Warner Brothers Records, and the Weinstein Company film studio concerning YouTube content. And, according to YouTube management, the intiative is the first of many new forms of advertising the site plans to experiment with, trying to find new profit sources that remains true to YouTube's participatory nature.

According to Daisy Whitney with TelevisionWeek, the almost 4,000 fans who had rated the video at this point gave it a "nothing special" vote, two stars out of five possible. Does such participatory ads work against a company? Not if the product is good. And, in Hilton's case, the producers may have just wanted to prove the album was passable, since the main objective is to sell it based on her celebrity.

My wife, for reasons I've not yet to figure out, has followed Hilton's career closely and has already purchased the album, so my prediction is that, in this case, the two-star rating won't serve to discourage any potential buyers and is probably about two stars more than the anti-Hiltons would expect. In this case, "nothing special" may be a good promotion for the album and is certainly an innovative attempt at online advertising by YouTube and the other parties involved.

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