Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Four Eyed Monsters and What We Can Learn From Failure

Recently two young film makers took a "gamble" and posted their entire film "Four Eyed Monsters" on YouTube. It's 70 minutes in length, which is alot to watch online. While I didn't watch the entire thing, I did sit throug the intro, which was the impetus to finally get this blog started in the first place. Watch, see, view:

See how one of them was wearing a scarf inside a recording booth? That's how you know they're real filmmakers. Or one of them has pneumonia. Fashion aside, this is a really interesting way to get the word out on Spout, the site sponsoring these two starving artists. It's well positioned - by painting the filmmakers as starving artists, they're not only playing the sympathy card but also appealing to the legions of Scorcese, Speilberg and Lonely Island wannabes that frequent YouTube. And after getting a place on the homepage, this puppy got over 500,000 views. Since they're target number was 100,000 new subscribers, they probably hit that, right?

Wrong. Absolutely wrong. I just went to the site and they're at 25,429 or something like that. Far, far from their goal. Their visibility was high, their sell was interesting, so what happened?
Firstly, the movie was just too damn long. At 70 minutes, nobody is going to watch the whole thing. It'd be interesting to see data on how many people actually watched all the way through. I'd be surprised if that number topped 5 percent. And that's optimistic. Additionally, the filmmakers themselves weren't they best salespeople for their own product. I don't know how they are behind the camera, but in front of it they had as much personality and likeability as an oven mit. And not even one of those fancy embroidered ones. We're talking a standard, grey oven mit, no frills.

And lastly, Spout doesn't do anything to sell it's service when you click through to contribute. It's all about the artists. You gotta keep people hooked, even after the cllick through. The lesson from all this? In one way or another, content is king. Yes, I know "content is king" is cliched by now, but I'm new at this blogging thing so give me a break. (insert lame winking emoticon here)

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