menu

Beer Money to Board Meetings at PSFK Conference New York 2008

Advertising
Jeff Squires
  • 22 may 2008

Topline transcription:

RICKY: I’m the editor in chief of collegehumor.com. Going to use the colleghumor story to show how we built the world’s biggest comedy website. Will finish up on how I think traditional and new media will collide. This is the first iteration of the site. Best friend and I started it in January 2000. Used to DJ bar mitzvahs, parties. We were DJ’s at Xmas party, and did this. Originally it was for friends to post videos, then people on our hall, then respective schools. By the end of the semester, but AIM and IM, it had become the place for college students to put their stuff.

Here’s a little sizzle reel (SHOWS REEL). Base layer comes from the user. CollegeHumor was built on user generated content. This guy built 3 days building a transformer costume that actually transformed. The age of our staff average is 24, and we skew even younger with our interns. We’re all people that grew up on the internet, understand what it wants and how it responds. Piers talked about Muckscape – launched by one of our developers. A quote I love from Fred Wilson, Facebook is unlike anything we’ve seen to date, first mega company built by people who had not yet had sex. They know the market better than anyone else. How do we stay relevant as we get older? I’ve been asking since I graduated the answer comes in the form of our farm system. We’ll take a freshman, get out staff to work with them. Intern when they’re a junior and work with us when they’re a senior. Bear it in mind as we expand to TV, film, and books. Want to show how we’re different from Comedy Central. We’re modeling on today’s young person. It all has to come back to our online center, that’s what’s in the kid’s face eerie day. When a kid comes home, the first thing he does is go straight on his computer, straight to the internet. You have to base your company around where the kids are centered. We know what applications our kids are using and we’ve leveraged those applications. Don’t try to build your own. Harness what’s already out there. Like a business things of accredit card company. Shoe company accepts Visa and MC, and concentrate on shoes. Talking to a girl who was part of a startup, it has the best of Flicker and MySpace – I wanted to say, get out. No one wants to join 10 social networks. You want to take what you have and leverage that. We use Facebook’s API and out our 7million users, many come through that. Our editorial voice and personality, we have a lot. That’s ok to pull back the curtain a little bit. Not the mark of an amateur stop like people thought. Even though a weekly site is more official, and Perez Hilton’s site does that. I encourage people to take pictures around the office and post them on the site. We create our own stars.

The downside is the number of fans who apply to be interns. Here’s a product of that mentality. It’s called prank war, writers go back and forth and play pranks on each other. (SHOWS VIDEO.) Where are we headed? Original content. So far it’s been working really well. We have the highest rate of return for original content. Why can’t others replicate it? We have a shit strategy. We shoot for 9’s and 10’s – anything less, they’re not gonna get seen at all. No one goes to a 30-second dig.com to find the most popular page of the day. We know what works. Videos on two different minutes do well, the hook should come in the first 20 seconds. Certain sweet spots that work well for people to pass it along. One is topical humor. This time last year there was an agency that did gorilla advertising, put up blinking lights all over the city, they thought they were under terrorist attack. We made this video, cost $300, and we turned it around in 36 hours. (SHOWS VIDEO.) Same situation – in the writers room, talking about how many of these video games theaters were turning into high octane blockbuster hits – what’s gonna happen when they hit the bottom of the barrel. They’re gonna do Minesweeper, the movie (SHOWS VIDEO).

These are really fun to make and put online. But how do we monetize this. In our dorm rooms, we created bustedkeys, and we became our own product. Now it’s a separate entity and continues to do really well. After that we met advertisers and started to work with brands. We do brands a lot differently. We’re pro-user, that’s why they’ stuck with us over the years, even with YouTube and other young male video sites. I mean everything we do is transparent. If DreamWorks gives us DVD’s to give away, we’ll say, hey, DreamWorks gave us these DVD’s. It’s important with our media saturated generation. They can see through. We only do custom things on the site that we wouldn’t have done already with the sponsor. If you force something unnatural on a website, they’ll ignore it. I was talking to a marketing exec last summer about these widgets she’s making for a kid’s website. I was thinking who would install this thing that’s basically an ad? I asked how many would put it on their pages, she said, none, but the client is really happy. Can’t placate them anymore because they read it in the NYT last Sunday. We don’t believe there’s a benefit to have the ad displayed in an annoying way. 85% flee at the site of preroll video.

One thing advertisers forget when selling to the couch potato is the couch. Viewing on the computer is an active activity, mouse in hand; you want to go on to the next thing. These are page skins, site takeovers that blend in without interrupting the experience. Kids multitask. You don’t need their undivided attention. They can watch a video while they see an ad in the background. The idea of a captive eyeball is bullshit now. You’re got to be in context with what’s being consumed while it’s being consumed. Editorial integration, allowing them to piggyback on our strong editorial voice. Used to be the value ad on top of the media buy. Now it’s the opposite. As a result, we have to make our integration scalable. This is my favorite, America’s hottest college girl.

Where is the internet content world headed? You’d be led to believe that traditional entertainment is dissolving. That’s not the case. Our goal is to get off the web and into TV and film. When will the internet be the end game for content creators? When will they collide? Depends on 2 key factors. The migration of advertising budgets, and big talent. Most haven’t figured out how to monetize video, and big talent isn’t going to get paid until they figure it out. The ad budgets aren’t there yet. Won’t be for a few more years but it’ll happen eventually, and recession won’t speed it up. When they do come, big stars will join high school kids with video cameras, and it will be easier to get their material seen. Access to national stage is important but shouldn’t overshadow the brand. Then the internet will not only be a place to create stars, but a place to retain them. Websites without brand and talent will find it hard to keep up with those who have it. Because of the vast information generated on line – TV and film will be complimentary to them, not replaced by it. Everything is going to convert, just as kids now can’t tell the difference between cable and network TV. When that happens we expect CollegeHumor to be a brand they recognize one way or the other.

Trending

Genetics Startup Is Working To Create A Completely Personalized, DNA-Based Range Of Products

Health
Travel Yesterday

United Airlines Launches An Updated Business Class Program

The new Polaris product prioritizes customer service and updated modern amenities

Design & Architecture Yesterday

Video Explores Complex Museum Architecture

A mini video gives a quick overview of the most beautiful cultural buildings built

Trending

Get PSFK's Related Report: Future of Automotive

See All
Sustainability Yesterday

Smog Vacuum Turns Pollution Particulates Into Unique Jewelry

A large device was installed in Beijing that sucks up smog and compresses it into small centerpieces atop jewelry

Experiential Marketing Yesterday

PSA Fashion Line Shines A Light On Victim Blaming

YWCA Canada is using fashion and sexist tweets to highlight how often we as a society blame the victim in cases of abuse

Syndicated Yesterday

What PSX 2016 Tells Us About The Modern Games Industry

Nostalgia and big brands are defining how the console market is being shaped

Op-Ed Yesterday

VP: Why Messaging Apps Are Issuing In A New Era Of Commerce

Matt Johnson discusses how mobile messaging commerce is creating a different modality for interaction between retailers and consumers

Technology Yesterday

The PSFK Holiday Gift Guide 2016

Based on a year of research by PSFK Labs, we curated a list of innovative and unique holiday gifts

PSFK LABS REPORT

Future Of Retail 2017
Transformation Strategies For Customer-First Business
NEW

PSFK Op-Ed Yesterday

Store Technology Expert: Why Retailers Must Invest In Store Associates

Jan Kotowski, Head of Product at Tulip Retail, shares his thoughts on how retailers should be preparing for the future

PSFK Labs december 1, 2016

Retail Spotlight: Home Depot Reimagines How Employees Conduct Tasks

The home improvement retailer puts the customer first by initiating local fulfillment centers and simplifying freight-to-shelf inventory management

Food Yesterday

Minute Maid Opens A Store That Sells Nothing

The beverage company opened a pop-up shop that encourages customers to write letters to their parents instead of buying a gift

Entertainment Yesterday

Samsung And Viceland Partner For A Virtual Reality Documentary On The Syrian War

The White Helmets film uses VR to immerse viewers in the everyday conditions of the war-torn country

Design & Architecture Yesterday

These Designs Bring Modern Architecture To The Humble Birdhouse

Artist Douglas Barnhard has imagined a series of designs emulating the work of architects such as Frank Lloyd Wright and Joseph Eichler

AI Yesterday

Nine Technologies To Invest In When It Comes To Retail [Future Of Retail]

Retailers are leveraging assistive technology to help employees in their daily tasks and customers on the sales floor

Travel Yesterday

Acura Cockpit Envisions The Future Of Autonomous Travel

The car brand has built a proof that offers a sneak peek of the self-driving vehicle experience

PSFK EVENT

FUTURE OF RETAIL 2017
Conference Built Around Our Report Launch
BUY TICKETS

Retail Yesterday

How Artificial Intelligence Is Enabling Anytime Shopping & On-Demand Support

Retailers are leveraging advanced technology to relieve associates from mundane tasks, while better assisting customers

Cities Yesterday

NYC Map Calculates Economic Benefits Of Every Tree

TreesCount! maps all the greenery in the five boroughs and even figures out how much money it saves the city

Design Yesterday

Create A Perfectly Tailored Shirt Using Just Your Phone

UKYS has created an application to get accurate measurements of buyers through a few simple pictures for custom shirts

No search results found.