I attended my second Digital Hollywood recently in Santa Monica, CA. I was only able to make it out for a day due to a crazy work schedule, but I love events like this that let me geek out and gobble up nuggets of wisdom concerning the ever-evolving digital space.
There was a lot to sift through, though here are some things that stood out and caused me to press "Like," a la Facebook:
Just about everything Paul Santello of Evolve Media had to say clicked for me on the panel "Video Advertising: How New Consumer Habits Are Driving the Advertising Community to Innovate, and the Challenges with Scale". Santello pointed out that we really need to take a step back, look at today's consumer, and see how people are consuming content. On the whole, this isn't being studied enough; thus, it's easy for certain ventures to be construed as failures. In actuality, many endeavors just are not properly activated. An audience has to be built, and money has to be spent in order for things to properly take off.
It was also pointed out on this panel that even though the world is becoming less TV-centric, TV metrics are still the gold standard; and nothing proves a point like having the numbers to back it up. Damn right.
I liked Mark Marvel of msnbc.com's quote during the aforementioned panel discussion: "If you're legitimately funny, people are forgiving that it's advertising." Yes x 10.
On the panel "Media, Entertainment and Brand Ubiquity - Understanding the Content and Commerce Equation", I liked what Jamie Gutfreund of The Intelligence Group had to say regarding curation a lot. She brought to light something I'm sure most of us are thinking in 2010 - there's an overwhelming amount of information. We're all looking for people and companies with perspectives comparable to our own to help guide us through the clutter.
I'll add to this that I'd like to see curators be as brief and efficient as possible when recommending content to us. In an increasingly cluttered world, brevity is key.
My hope is that it becomes easier to discover the content curators that work for you. I wasn't too familiar with Metacafe prior to Digital Hollywood, but now it's bookmarked in my Firefox browser just below YouTube. I like what they're doing a lot in regards to curating the internet's ridiculous amount of video content.
On the "Branded Media Marketing" panel, I liked that Mike Wiese of JWT pointed out that "branded entertainment is all about telling stories."
To me, branded entertainment can't be thought of as merely product placement; it's about the product coming along for an engaging, compelling ride. I spoke to Wiese briefly after the panel, and he mentioned that he's into reading different books on story structure. I don't just "like" that the Director of Branded Entertainment at JWT is reading esoteric screenwriting books (like I read) to better engage audiences, I love this.
I had the chance to meet up with Aaron Meyerson of Coincident TV, who showed me what his company's product is all about. Coincident enables truly interactive video by merging online video with social media platforms, commercial transactions, etc., into one really engaging experience. He showed me a demo of what Coincident did for "Glee", and I couldn't help but think this technology would be amazing for independent filmmakers looking to premiere/screen their films online in the most engaging manner possible. Once beta-testing becomes available, I'm looking to try it out. Coincident TV's platform seemingly offers unlimited potential.