Epson Canada connects holiday season with video marketing campaign

Watch Epson Canada’s latest video entry to its Youtube channel and you’d never think it was anything but a holiday season-themed vignette about winter activities and surprise gift giving. But it didn’t start out that way.

When Epson’s corporate marketing program produced the original video south of the border, it was almost three times longer and had no clear Christmas-season theme. So Epson partner and video marketing agency VMG Cinematic chopped the footage down to a lean 62 seconds, recorded a new holiday-themed voiceover (in French and English), and embedded the video in a graphical frame with red ribbon and green wrapping paper. VMG even reshot a couple of takes to add an extra festive touch.

We marked up Epson Canada’s video with annotation to show what was tweaked from the US version.

Repackaging video marketing content from the U.S. is a cost savings strategy for the smaller Epson Canada team. Trimming it to be shorter makes sense when putting money behind a video in the form of Youtube advertising to get eyeballs on it, says Karen Rowden, marketing manager of Epson Canada.

“We want to make sure we’re serving up relevant content to the consumer in a clear and concise manner,” she says. “You want to keep the sound bites clear so they don’t have to spend a lot of time going through a longer video to get the information they need.”

The strategy is paying off, according to VMG, because on average viewers of the holiday video are watching 90 per cent of the length before clicking off – an accomplishment in the distraction-filled online forum. Plus the click-through rate on the video to visit a printer product page was measured at 6.5 per cent, about twice the usual click-through-rate of about three or four per cent that VMG is used to seeing, says Mark Campbell, account director at VMG.

Video marketing makes a lot of sense for a company like Epson that is looking to boost sales of a physical product, he says. More than half of consumers will watch a product video to make them feel more confident about a purchase, Campbell says, and consumers watch an average of two minutes of product video online before making a purchase. Plus, for a company that is releasing new products only once every few months or so, the video will have a long shelf life.

“It’s easy to rewatch and to share the content and it boosts your credibility,” Campbell says. “There’s a continual shift of brands going to online video in comparison to television.”

VMG charges $3,000 to $10,000 for a video reshoot and repackage depending on how much work is needed, Campbell says. It charges $10,000 to $30,000 for a video make from scratch, depending on how much production is required to create it.

A survey conducted by BrightRoll Inc. in June coincides with Campbell’s view. It found 37 per cent of Canadian advertising executives named video as the top medium for spending in the online advertising category and 69 per cent found it at least as effective as TV, if not more so. Canadians also have a reputation as being eager online video consumers, leading the world in the activity according to the Interactive Advertising Bureau.

Rowden knows that. “We do plan on continuing with this,” she says.

Putting video on Epson’s Canadian-specific Youtube channel allows for precision geo-targeting when budget is invested in pushing the video out. Epson’s strategy is a honed one, targeting a 7 km-wide radius around retail stores that specifically sell the products being marketed in the video. As Rowden puts it, the focus is on where the most opportunity exists.

“We want to make sure we’re promoting what’s on the shelf,” she says. “Doing the video marketing through Youtube helps us target where different retailers have different SKUs.”

As of time of publishing, Epson’s “Create Holiday memories with Epson Connect” video has 70,855 views. It has attracted 25 subscribers to its video channel, which contains 46 videos in total.

If you find a new printer under the tree this Christmas, you can bet someone was targeted by this video.

Here’s the original Epson Canada video:

Here’s a 54 second video on the Epson US Youtube channel that uses much of the same footage:

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Brian Jackson
Brian Jackson
Editorial director of IT World Canada. Covering technology as it applies to business users. Multiple COPA award winner and now judge. Paddles a canoe as much as possible.

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