Thursday 23 October 2008

Exploiting a Video Viral

For a long time now I've been fascinated with viral marketing campaigns and the way advertisers use these to promote their products. What's really interesting about them is the advertisers ability to come up with really novel and original ideas to capture our attention and make us want to share with others. My Fame Star is a great example of this and one that we can use to create lesson materials.
What it does, is enable you to upload a photograph and then create a story around it.

It then converts this story into a small video report. Here's an example I created called 'How my past caught up with me.' (You'll have to watch a short advertisement first)

Example: Click here if the video doesn't play

How to use it with students
  • Create a video about yourself or a fictional character and ask your students to watch it and make notes about your life story.
  • Get your students to create their own stories then put them in pairs to listen to each others' story and make notes of the variations / differences.
  • Use it as a prompt for students to write a newspaper story. You could get the students to watch the video clip and then convert the story into a newspaper clipping. You could add some realism to this by asking your students to use the Newspaper clip generator from one of my previous postings (Animated EFL ESL Writing Prompts)
  • Ask students if they can think of any real celebrities whose story is similar to this. Get them to tell the class or write the story of a similar celebrity.
  • Do they think it's useful?
  • Do they know of other viral marketing examples?
  • Does it have an influence on their impressions of the company / product?
Have a look at an article I wrote here to find a out a bit more about viral marketing

What I like about it
  • It can really personalise the lesson and materials
  • It's fun and free (despite the advertising)
  • It's easy to use
  • Great stimulation for the imagination
  • It has an embed code so you can embed the video into a blog or wiki
What I'm not so sure about
  • Shame about the advertising, but I guess everyone has to make a living
  • If you email it to someone the default is to accept promotions of the company's products (I deselected it)
  • Sometimes the embed code doesn't work so well but can be improved with a bit of code editing.
Well I hope you and your students enjoy this and by all means post links or comment about any other ideas or materials you create with this tool.

Related links:


Nik Peachey


Anonymous said...

One thing that always worries me about these kinds of sites is their terms of use.

This states that "You hereby grant to TWC, the Affiliated Entities and their respective service providers and designees a worldwide, non-exclusive, transferable, sublicensable (through multiple tiers), royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license, without compensation to you, to use, reproduce, distribute, adapt (including without limitation edit, modify, translate, and reformat), create derivative works of, transmit, publicly display and publicly perform each Submission (including without limitation as incorporated into any Composite), in any media now known or hereafter developed."

That sounds to me as if they can do pretty much whatever they like with the photo that you upload. That would be quite a neat way of building up a royalty free photo library, which could come in quite handy for advertising purposes.

Or am I just paranoid?

Nik Peachey said...

Hi Pete

I don't think you are being paranoid at all. I think we have to be very careful to read terms of use and to protect our own and our students' privacy. In this case I felt that the trade off between what I had to give (a pretty bad picture of me) and what the company could do with it was a fair exchange or the ability to create a personalised movie. Yes they could use the images to create an advertising image bank, but that wouldn't be so bad.

I think the Web 2.0 age has led many of us to believe there are loads of free tools, created by generous companies, out there just waiting for us to use. This isn't really the case. Every company has to make a living somehow and there is usually some kind of trade off involved with using any Web 2.0 website, whether it's expossure to advertising or data mining etc. I think we have to be aware of this and make sure we (and our students) are prepared to be part of that transaction.

I don't think you're being paranoid at all. It makes good sense to think these thngs through and to make those decissions.

Thanks for the comment



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