Each week I get a YouTube newsletter delivered to my inbox of possible channels and videos I might find interesting. Today’s newsletter was titled “YouTube Built Your Own Man Cave” and I just had to click it open to see what types of videos it had inside. As usual, I found myself clicking on several of the videos to channels I’ve never seen before and wasting away a good 20 minutes laughing at some very funny videos that have gone viral.
However that’s not the point of my post today. As one of the last videos played from the newsletter, the usual video advertisement popup started to play beforehand. Now, I am accustomed to those coming up as a YouTube partner. In fact, I run them on several of my own videos to generate a little extra income. I’ll be honest, normally when those ads begin playing, I immediately start to look for the skip ad button and watch the 5 second countdown timer to click on the “skip ad” button and get to what I actually wanted to see.
However, this time as the ad began playing, I noticed the ad starred someone I’m very familiar watching on YouTube. In fact, we had him on our weekly podcast, Social Media Edge before. The video started and on came Chris Pirillo, a popular tech geek/ YouTube vlogger. I actually paused it to see if I had accidentally clicked on the wrong video. That’s when I realized it was actually an advertisement. The video started in his typical vlogging style with him holding the camera on himself talking with his wife Diana. He asks her “Hey Diana, you want to vacuum the bedroom? After she says no, he then goes to the sales pitch side by showing off the iRobot Roomba.
Now, he doesn’t go into this deep sales pitch listing off the specs of the product and price, features etc. Diana picks up one tool that she thinks was super cool to cut hair off the roller, but they then go in to showing it run in the bedroom. In his goofy style, he shows it under the bed, sits the camera on top to go back & forth, and much more. The ad runs for around 3 minutes in which I stayed engaged the whole time and watched to the end.
Here’s the video:
I think what makes this video so wonderful from a marketing perspective is that it takes someone well known in the marketing channel iRobot decided to market to (YouTube) and used them as the star of the advertisement. With almost 295,000 subscribers at the time of writing this post, he’s definitely got a following on YouTube. As of today the video is 11 days old and has over 458,000 views already.
Another reason I find this video so great is from the business expense standpoint. iRobot didn’t invest tons of money on writing a script, hiring a film crew, designing a studio, hiring actors, and more. They simply mailed the products to Chris and sent him a check. My guess is that they were able to cut expenses to under 10% of what they normally spend. Since Chris shot the video in his normal vlogging style that he does every day, I am also guessing that there was a ton of money saved on post editing too since Chris did it himself. Also, he probably did it in a few days versus weeks a studio would spend to do it.
So great job iRobot & Chris! You created a social advertisement that was ready for production faster than a usual advertisement, done for less money, and more effectively for the target audience. Hopefully this is just the beginning of a new trend of social media marketing/advertising. I feel this is a successful formula other brands should start implementing across social networks as the right way to market socially.
P.S. iRobot that new looj 330 looks awesome! I want one!