YouTube is 10 years old: the evolution of online video

YouTube is 10 years old: the evolution of online video

Love Is In the Air

By Alison Lukin

It’s Valentine’s Day again. We all seem to have a love/hate relationship with this bewitching holiday. Whether you’re attached or flying solo, doesn’t the grass always seem greener?

Well, before we jump in, how about this lucky teacher?  One of her students hired a quartet to come sing to her today!  And the action was caught on Vine:

Not everyone can be that lucky.

Are you single? You either sit home alone fantasizing about all the happy couples soaking up the love (which is kind of an exaggeration of reality anyway;). Or partying with your other single compadres livin’ up the single life (a way better option)!

In a relationship? Oh the pressures of finding the perfect gift/restaurant/expression of love! What an unnecessary amount of pressure?! Simply show your love throughout the year and throw in a little extra on V-Day. Sounds easy.

Does anyone really celebrate this silly day, anyway? You’d better believe they do. According to Eater, Americans will spend a whopping $18.9 billion dollars on Valentines Day in 2015! We will purchase:

-58 million pounds of chocolate
-In 36 million heart-shaped boxes
-AND spend $8.6 million dollars on wine!

If you’re not the standard chocolate and roses type, there are plenty of creative ways to woo your sweetie. And there’s only one place to go for such inspiration.

Social media! It’s no surprise that social media has become our new #1 source of ideas for the big day of love. Crowdtap did a survey and found that social media continues to influence shoppers at Valentines Day at the increasing rate of 25% per year. Even more so, 68% of those surveyed said that they look to friends on social media for gift ideas.


Which social media platform had the largest influence? You guessed it. Facebook.

Not only are we comparing notes with our peers for what to buy, but those ever-popular online influencers are at it again. The megastar YouTuber Michelle Phan has posted her thoughts on unique Valentine’s Day gifts. And the beauty Carli Bybel has your smokey-eye tutorial ready to go. Chef Hannah Hart has several Valentine’s Day videos on her channel ranging from easy recipes to affordable gift ideas. Want to DIY a crafty concoction? Your favorite Pinterest celebs will have you wielding your glue gun in no time.

What could a website that dishes out 6 second videos have to offer for Valentine’s Day? A ton! Vine content creators go all out creating #Valenvines and are doing their best to top their creations from last year. Brands like Samsung, Welsh’s, and even MLB are creating cute clips that have massive appeal.

So what are you waiting for? The clock is ticking! Log on, cozy up to your favorite platform and get creative. No pressure;)


Vine Tips featuring top creators from the 6-second social video platform.  In this week’s episode we learn another story-telling tip from the Eh Bee family.  The advice:  How to Pack a Punch

Social Media In Skateboarding – Sell-Out Or Sensation?

By Alison Lukin

If you Google, “How much money is the skateboarding industry worth?” Results will come up ranging from $4.8 billion dollars upwards to $7billion. When the sport of skateboarding began on the streets of southernCalifornia in the 1960’s, we can assume that those numbers would have never
been imagined.


Can you fathom how the stars of such an underground sport
got their names out before social media? At first, the only option was touring
around skate parks in hopes to grab the attention of Skateboarder Magazine, which was first published in 1964. Not much
changed until the 80’s with the birth of videos and the cult standard Thrasher Magazine.

Pro skateboarder Joey Brezinski reminisced, “when I picked
up a skate mag when I was a kid, seeing Rick Howard nollie backside flip on the
burrow banks, I liked the hell out of it, but there was no way to express how
much I liked it other than putting it on my wall.”

My how times have changed!

Brezinski, age 33, is one of many pros that is reaping the
benefits of present day social media. With 122K followers on Instagram and over
266K on Facebook, he is making his dream a reality.

His popularity has allowed him to become a brand ambassador
for Puma. One of Brezinski’s favorite parts of his Puma gig is the “Tricks for
Kicks” campaign where he gets to go to local skate parks and hand out a free
pairs of trainers to kids who can do skateboard tricks. The campaign is
featured in the Red Bull documentary series, “Pushing Forward.”

While Felix Löchel, a 27-year-old skater and filmmaker from
Ravensburg, Germany largely supports social media; he sees two sides of the
coin. “Skate shops used to be the social centre of a skate scene. That is a
part I see dying. You met there, watched skate videos in real life with
friends, learned the lore from the older guys… you afforded the videos a
little bit more respect.”

Are we trading the camaraderie and subculture of
skateboarding for something else? Perhaps. But the benefits for a new culture
are surely winning out.

Social media opens the door for an unlimited amount of new
faces to create a following and influence their own fans in positive ways. Ryan
Allen Sheckler is a perfect example. At just 24 years old, he’s got a net worth
of $16 million dollars. Some of his sponsors include Red Bull, Oakley, and
Panasonic just to name a few. How did he land such amazing endorsements? His
social following peaks well over 7 million.

Then we have our veterans. You know, the old guys in their forties.
Tony Hawk, who pretty much single-handedly revolutionized the business of
skateboarding, has social media numbers that rival most celebrities. How does
6.3 million Facebook followers sound?


A few years Hawk’s junior we have Rob Dyrdek. He’s taken his
celebrity to a whole new level with endorsements, reality shows, and Guinness
World Records. His combined following is well into the 8-digits. In fact,
FoxWeekly calls him one of the “most influential skateboarders of all time.”

“Social media has given each skateboarder their own voice in
order to create their own brand” says professional skateboarder Jamie Thomas.

It’s all about the interaction. Pros can post videos and get
immediate feedback from their fans. And boy, are they watching. They’re
watching clothing style, skateboarding style, for ways to do new tricks, and
just for kicks. Now not only can they watch, but they can comment and actually
get a response straight from the source!


And it’s proven that the more interactive you are, the more
your fans you accumulate. Social media analyst Fred van Schie did a study
on Twitter
of skateboard shoe companies and found some interesting results. He
found that their percentage of replies greatly affects their number of
followers. Here are some stats:

– 38% (178k followers)

– 22% (16k followers)

– 19% (700 followers)

Pros like Wes Kremer are digging in their heels and aren’t
budging when it comes to social media. He claims, “Your net worth is now based
on the amount of followers you have, taking you away from life because people
are so consumed within their cyber-world.”

But if you want to make money from doing what you love, the
numbers simply don’t lie. According to We Play:

“Facebook has over 1.2 billion monthly users, Twitter has nearly 300 million users and Instagram has more than 20 million active users. Brands and skaters who have not adapted to social media
and have incorporated a digital strategy are therefore missing out on
targeting and growing their global fan base. This is why many skaters and
brands within this community have had to adapt with the times and incorporate
social alongside traditional print ad and video streams.”

Still not sold on social media in skateboarding? As a result
of its inception nearly 10 years ago, the sport has grown by a whopping 166%
each year beating out the figures from any other sport according to the
National Sporting Goods Association.

Those are pretty good odds. I think we’ll stick
with it.


Big week for twitter in the news

Has Social Media Helped or Hurt Skateboarding?

Tomorrow we look at how Social Media has impacted the Skateboard industry; specifically from an influencer advertising standpoint.

Today we offer a sneak peek that includes footage from a Tricks for Kicks Thanksgiving giveaway session.  :54 second mark…whaaaaaaat???



Vine Tips featuring top creators from the 6-second social video platform.  In this week’s episode we learn the first of many story telling tips from the Eh Bee family.  The advice:  Deliver the Unexpected



That’s a lot of social media accounts! But not surprising as various social networks offer very different experiences or cater to specific parts of our (digital) lives.  And, also unsurprisingly, the older the user, the fewer the number of social network used.

5 Ways YOU Can Connect With The Über Cool Teenage Market

By Alison Lukin


According to Statistic Brain there are over 26.8 million teens in the U.S. Their total spending last year (products bought by and for teens) totaled a whopping $258.7 BILLION dollars! WOW!

Clearly today’s marketers would be foolish to ignore this demographic. But marketing to teens is quite a challenge for they’re a fickle bunch. If they smell even the slightest scent of uncool, they’re out the door and nearly impossible to get back. If another friend they think is cool thinks you’re cool…then you’ll LOL all the way to the bank. So how do you get this age group’s attention?


Tracking teen trends definitely shows specific patterns of what they go for. Want to get on their radar? Here are 5 foolproof tips for marketing to minors in a major way.

1. It’s All About That Instagram: Teen blogger Andrew Watts made major waves with his take on teens and social networking. According to Watts, Instagram is where it’s at when it comes to his peers:

“Instagram is by far the most used social media outlet for my age group. Please note the verbiage there—it is the most used social media outlet. Meaning, although the most people are on Facebook, we actually post stuff on Instagram. It’s always fascinating to me to see a friend with 1500 friends on Facebook only get 25 likes on a photo yet on Instagram (where she has 800 followers) she gets 253.”

That being said, this leaves a huge opening for marketers to access this large group of active followers. But the challenge is two-fold. Companies need to let teens know they’re on Instagram and entice them to follow. Then, post relevant content that will keep them following and sharing across other social networks.

Still not convinced? According to Media Post brands are having great success marketing creatively to teens through Instagram:

“…it is the fastest-growing social network among 14- to 17-year-olds, with 59% saying they’re using it more than they did a year ago, according to the Cassandra Report. As long as brands stick with ethos of the network as an inspiring communication venue, teens welcome their involvement. To date, brands have found creative ways to use the site to offer games, innovate stagnant online product catalogs, and spark “flashtagrams.” Keep an eye out for more companies giving their followers fun and unique experiences on the platform.”

2. Relatable Influencers: When it comes to “who teenagers are listening to” gone are the days of the traditional celebrity. Online influencers have way more pull when it comes to who they’re watching for the next cool product.

Let’s take a look at the top 3 most followed stars on Vine according to

  1. Nash Grier: He’s only 16 years old and has over 10 million followers making 6 second videos no one over the age of 20 would (or should) find funny. But companies will offer him anywhere between $25,000 and $100,000 to create a video and endorse their product. Who’s laughing now?
  2. KingBach: aka Andrew B. Bachelor is a twenty-something who also boasts over 10 million followers. His comedy-packed snippets have landed him several major TV roles and collaborations with other Vine stars.
  3. Brittany Furlan: This 28 year old has over 8 million followers who thrive on her comedic clips. How much will a company pay to be featured in one? Anywhere between $7,000 and $20,000 dollars.

Who’s watching all these shenanigans?? You guessed it. And these Viners don’t have millions of views they have BILLIONS.

So when a company is going to choose the next famous face to represent their company, there are many more options than the traditional celebrity endorsement. Add to the mix the notion that there is considerable value in long-tail influencers, a topic we will discuss in an upcoming blog.

3. Keepin’ It Real: There is nothing, I repeat, NOTHING that a teenager can see through faster than someone being fake. That’s why these everyday influencers are so effective. They are REAL. Kids want authenticity, relatability, and to really identify with not only the person they’re watching, but the company that is vying for their attention.

Top Rank Blog surveyed top online marketers and asked them their predictions for 2015. An insight from DJ Waldow, Digital Marketing Evangelist, Marketo, relates directly to the youth-driven market:

“2015 will be the year of HUMAN for digital marketers. Gone are the days of corporate-speak messaging and dull, boring campaigns. Instead, we’ll begin to see more marketers incorporate human-speak into their messaging – videos, pictures, humor, and human!”


4. Funny or Die: Google “top viral videos” and the results that come up are virtually all funny. Stupid humor in particular. Why? People love to laugh! Especially teenagers.

The reason why a video goes viral is because people want to share that chuckle with others. Teenagers are good at sharing?? It gives all us parents of small children hope for the future. At least they get it eventually!

The soda brand, Fanta, recently started their wildly popular social media campaign, “Fanta For The Funny.” It’s a weekly digital comedy series consisting only of 6 second Vine videos. Not only are the videos on Fanta’s social media channels, but also on The Vine clips depict “gags and pratfalls” featuring some of the most popular faces on Vine like AlliCattt and Jason Mendez.

Companies like Fanta are clearly getting it right. All hail the funny!!

5. Mobile Medium: Teens may use their computers when it comes to doing homework or blogging, but when it comes to social media, it’s pretty obvious they’re on a smartphone. Constantly!

With that in mind, marketers are creating ads with as little barrier as possible between the viewer and the sale. Tom Webster, VP of Edison Research, reinforces the importance of ads being mobile friendly:

“Consider this—I’m walking around town, listening to online radio over my phone, and I hear an audio ad for a product that might interest me. In the past, were I to hear that ad, I’d have to remember the name of the company, then go home and use a search engine to learn more about the company before an eventual purchase. But the continual removal of barriers between message and action that mobile gives us will begin to restore the balance of the Force for attribution, and digital marketers can start to get away from channel-based thinking and move towards a more human behavior-centered model, with mobile serving as the unifying principle to unite offline and offline marketing.”

Let’s review young students! Staying cool with the young crowd is easier than you think. Go where they go (Instagram) and feature who they like (relatable influencers). Don’t be phony, be funny! And do it all on your phone. Class is dismissed;)