Big Advertisers Chase Small Video Bloggers

  |  September 25, 2006   |  Comments

Amanda Congdon and Ze Frank score separate sponsorship deals with Ford Motor Company and GoDaddy.com, respectively.

The fledgling video blogging space is starting to attract the attention of mainstream Web advertisers.

Two prominent video bloggers -- former Rocketboom host Amanda Congdon and digital and performance artist Ze Frank -- have scored separate sponsorship deals with Ford Motor Company and GoDaddy.com, respectively, a clear suggestion that marketers are targeting new forms of online media in search of eyeballs.

Congdon, a Connecticut native who recently left the Rocketboom video blog under controversial circumstances, has inked a deal with Ford, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and Environmental Countdown to sponsor a “road trip” aimed at raising awareness for environmental issues.

In “Amanda Congdon's Trip Across America,” Congdon and a crew armed with video cameras will interview environmentalists and members of interesting communities along the way.

The project, which includes a wiki-based, user-generated content component, will be expanded later this fall with a full Web site that allows anyone to submit videos about what they're doing in their cities and towns across the United States. New York-based blip.tv, a video sharing start-up, will host and distribute the Web-based video blogs.

Ford is using the sponsorship to showcase its new Escape Hybrid, an energy efficient vehicle that touts the value of reduced fuel usage

In Ze Frank’s case, a sponsor came knocking on his door less than 24 hours after he casually mentioned that it would be nice to have a sponsor for his video show, titled “the show with zefrank.”

The following day, Frank’s show opened with a brief promo for domain reseller GoDaddy.com. Frank said the sponsorship was for one day only but the speed in which the Brooklyn native signed up a sponsor that is known for major ad purchases points to the growing value of the audience for non-traditional content.

Earlier this year, Rocketboom used an eBay auction to test the market for advertising on its video blog and scored a $40,000 winning bid for a minimum of one million impressions on its popular site.

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