The Makegood: Brian, you have been working in business development and sales for 15+ years at start-ups and leading media companies including Alloy Media + Marketing, Viacom’s mtvU, and ChaCha. What is it about the space that keeps you there?
BL: Besides keeping me young at heart, I love shiny new things and the challenge of building something from scratch. The digital industry feels like the wild wild west. Over the years, I’ve help introduce some of the most innovative new media opportunities to the advertising marketplace including social networks, social gaming, virtual worlds, custom applications, mobile search and branded entertainment all before they became industry buzzwords. It’s very rewarding introducing new technologies to advertisers and watching them become must buys.
The Makegood: Can you explain your current role as VP, Ad Sales at Oovoo?
BL: I was brought onboard ooVoo a year ago to develop their advertising strategy and build a national sales team. As we position ourselves as the ad supported group video chat service, my team has taken center stage. It’s an exciting opportunity because the video chat space has exploded over the last year. Being the nimble challenger brand enables us the freedom to creatively integrate advertisers into the conversations our users are having. It’s been really fun to sit at the table with a brand and explore how we can help power fan/potential consumer interaction.
The Makegood: The use of social video is becoming increasingly popular. ooVoo users are making 14 calls per month spending a total of 200 minutes chatting with their friends. Can you tell us about some trends that you are seeing?
BL: Over the last year to 18 months we’ve seen our service go from being embraced primarily by techie’s because of our quality, to young, early influencers who gravitated towards our free group video chat offering. We saw the trend of larger groups of people wanting to come together to do what they would normally do in real life…actually socialize. Our users are watching TV, listening to music, and playing video games together. We are seeing a fascinating shift in communications by a new generation of users who see video chat as improving their social lives. Now, no matter where they are, they can see the person they are communicating with to really share a moment. The evolution in social media of connecting to people based on their social graph to connecting based on common interests is quickly moving into video chat. Users are expanding their social circles and bridging the gap between entertainment and social commentary by meeting and discovering new friends of friends. We’ve got some really exciting releases coming up that are sure to please our users.
The Makegood: How can advertisers take advantage of ooVoo’s offering?
BL: The changing behavior of communicating via video chat is precisely what’s driving the opportunity for brands to leverage the technology to participate in the conversation and create unique experiences. Unlike our competitors, we offer IAB standard ad units, rich media, video and mobile opportunities. ooVoo has also worked with a number of advertisers to help amplify their marketing initiatives through live events. We recently hosted a group video chat with the cast of Universal Pictures American Reunion which was broadcast on a custom branded landing page www.oovoo.com/americanreunion for anyone to participate. Vizio used our service to extend a sponsorship of the KROQ House at Coachella where users who visited their custom landing page www.oovoo.com/vizio could call one of five tablets to see if an artist, DJ or reveler picked up. As video chat continues to occupy more and more of consumers’ time, advertisers should be thinking about how they can be a part of those conversations.
The Makegood: Thanks, Brian.