Sharethrough has landed in an interesting position, locating itself in that fertile land between ad agencies and big brands. After launching as a project in the “Facebook Class” at Stanford University, their initial aim was to share branded videos and commercials that their friends would like. Pretty basic stuff. Except the sharing picked up enough that Sharethrough’s creators quit school to focus on the project.
“Conceptually, social platforms are very attractive to the brand, but you have to know that it’s working,” says Sharethrough CMO Chris Schreiber, with the hopes of offering up “deeper video analytics for big brands.”
This is Sharethrough’s next step in social sharing of adverts – every ad exec’s dream of monitoring video analytics on Twitter’s Promoted Videos. It’s well-timed too with Twitter launching new forms of embeddable content to help drive traffic to content that isn’t just videos and cat photos. Given the right moves, they stand the chance to lead the way pulling useful ad statistics from all Twitter content.
Sharethrough’s analytics will measure the success of promoted videos on Twitter by measuring the viewership and reach, as well as whether or not the video was watched in entirety – and if not, where it was cut short. This should be pretty big for advertisers, where the successful reach across social media is hazy at best. Now advertisers will know what works for video content in its native environment.
The video sharing site has already signed on Toyota, McDonald’s, Activision Publishing, and Jarritos to their Promoted Video Analytics with the hopes of attracting more soon. Even with the current analytics offered up through Twitter’s data, Schreiber says, “I can’t really understand how many people click on the video or how long they watch.”
Sharethrough is hoping to change the entire advertising model. Instead of pre-roll or mid-roll commercials that interrupt the viewers original entertainment, where Chris admits that most ad revenue is made, they hope to etch out a residence on the Web for well shot, creative videos – that just also happen to be created by ad agencies and linked to brands. They’ve fostered this goal with their recently launched Sharethrough.tv, a social sharing site for commercials. Yeah, it sounds like purgatory, until you realize it’s a collection the most creative commercials around. Honestly, it’s like falling into the cat-hole on YouTube, but with advertisements (and what the hell Wreckless Eric, you did a McDonald’s commercial?). Their plan is to make you want to watch commercials, and they succeed, because they’re heavily reliant on top quality creative agencies that produce the content. Otherwise who would really buy a Surface tablet without that sleek video.
Being an aggregator of interesting and eye-catching commercials and being able to pull insights from their viewership means that they’re in the unique position to act as a strategic consultative agency for large brands looking to penetrate the social media market.
So what do you get out of this? Well, more beautifully produced commercials tailored to what you’ve been wasting your time on, so eventually we can all just watch commercials.
If brands use their analytics wisely, and they usually do, we’ll all be watching two minute-long videos of cats playing Rebecca Black’s Friday on piano against a background of things exploding all gently massaging our limbic system into a McDonald’s-fueled frenzy.
[Image courtesy yhancik]