Goafest 2012: Lucas Watson: Embrace the 'Power of Video'

By Ashwini Gangal , afaqs!, Goa | In Digital | April 21, 2012
YouTube's Lucas Watson spoke about the 'Power of video' on Day Two at Goafest 2012.

Kick-starting Day Two at Goafest 2012, Lucas Watson, global vice-president, YouTube delivered a presentation titled 'Magical ideas come when you harness the power of many'. His talk was all about the importance of building brands in today's digital age.

Lucas Watson

Before he began his talk, there was a memorable dance performance, wherein a group of youngsters moved their bodies to choreographed steps, as the viral hit Kolaveri Di played in the background. The objective, evidently, was to reiterate the reality of how the song owes its success to YouTube.

"This video was viewed on YouTube more than the original Old Spice commercial," indulged Watson, after the dance performance. He went on to share some examples of how brands are doing phenomenal things on YouTube by getting people to participate in the creation of magical ideas. And, his examples weren't restricted to the inanimate. "Lady Gaga," mused Watson, "spends barely any money on marketing herself but she has the amazing sense of building a community." She has a passionate group of fans (of about 50 million) that actively participate in building 'brand Lady Gaga' on Facebook.

Another brand that successfully mobilised the power of the internet, said Watson, is Dollarshaveclub.com. The razor brand, essentially a start-up, created a low budget YouTube video that positioned it as competition for Gillette. In a matter of 14 days, the ad received four million views. The consequence: P&G was forced to lower the price of Gillette! "You don't have to be big to use the persuasive power of video," said Watson.

Towards the end, Airtel's N Rajaram led Watson through a quick Q&A round.

Rajaram asked whether the power of video advertising will make traditional advertising more exciting. Watson replied in the affirmative, reasoning that unlike TV ad slots that come with a stringent upper limit (20 or 30 seconds), YouTube videos and viral videos have no such time pressure.

All through his presentation, Watson kept going back to the concept of 'TrueView' on YouTube, wherein the person who puts up the video advertisement gets paid only when people watch the video. "So, in this manner, creativity can generate a lot of value," he stated.

Rajaram then asked him whether YouTube presents good opportunities for local e-commerce and small brands to leverage the online medium for their businesses, to which Watson went back to the example of Dollarshaveclub.com, insisting that YouTube indeed makes it possible for newbie brands to compete with established giants.

After briefly stating that the mobile screen is the medium of the future, Watson, an ex-P&G hand, ended on a personal note. "P&G taught me strategic thinking and Google (YouTube) taught me to be agile and opportunistic. There's healthy tension between the two; try and capture this very tension," he said.

Click here to see videos and pictures of Goafest 2012.

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