Poptent, a firm that connects quality videographers with advertisers, has opened its first office outside the U.S. to accommodate growing international demand for its services and to accelerate recruitment efforts of local videographers. The company provides a cheaper way for brands like Yamaha and Dell to get video content from a range of potential new sources, and sometimes see their own products in new lights.
Poptent's new office in Sao Paulo, Brazil will launch with five employees, according to CEO Andy Jedynak. Poptent selected Brazil in part because it is "an extremely vibrant and creative marketplace," and the company wants to harness some of that energy, he said. Poptent is also interested in finding creators who have Portuguese language skills.
The company connects brands to its base of more than 33,000 videographers in more than 120 countries. According to Jedynak, more than a dozen Poptent clients have subsidiaries in Latin America - including Coca-Cola - and about 1,000 of its videographers are based in the region.
Poptent's clients are mainly looking for online videos. About 80 percent of its video content is deployed on Facebook, YouTube, dedicated microsites and elsewhere on the Internet, said Jedynak.
Poptent clients are able to review videos from numerous sources before choosing the one they want to use. Such was the case with Yamaha WaterCraft Group, whose National Marketing Manager Bryan Seti was looking for a nontraditional campaign when it went to Poptent.
"[Poptent] allowed us to have 50 plus different 'agencies' present ideas, view our brand from many different prisms and create video content that was memorable, unique and strikes a chord with our consumers," Seti said.
According to Seti, the key in working with these nontraditional videographers is giving enough information so that the creative will achieve results, but not so much that "you handcuff the creative juices."
The sentiment is echoed by Vince Phelan, marketing director at paper company Boise Inc., who said his company knew that typical biases would be in play if it commissioned a video through a traditional agency.
"Our category - office paper - is something that most people encounter at work or at home, but not a lot of people think [about] why it matters that it needs to work effectively," Phelan said. "We wanted to tap into people who had never really worked on paper or thought about multipurpose paper before."
In doing so, Phelan said Boise Paper hoped to see its product and category through a different lens, and, as it turned out, the messaging was more appealing to its audience.
Jedynak suggested Poptent's costs are appealing for brands that are looking for online-specific content. "The days of repurposing standard 30- and 60-second ads are pretty well over, so brand marketers are looking for a creative and effective way to get really high quality work done quickly and at a reasonable price," he said. "At the same time, they're generally not willing to pony up $350,000 to create an online ad unit. By coming in at around 10 percent of that cost, Poptent has found a sweet spot."
Some ads created through Poptent have ended up on TV, though, such as one developed for the American Cancer Society. Jedynak said a Poptent creator whose parents are cancer survivors recently developed a public service announcement that is airing on national TV.
Founded in 2007, Poptent's principal offices are in Southern California and Philadelphia.
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Lisa Lacy is senior staff writer at ClickZ. In addition to ClickZ, her work has appeared in The Huffington Post, The Luxury Spot, LearnVest, MarthaStewart.com, GoodHousekeeping.com, amNewYork, and The Wall Street Journal. She's a graduate of Columbia's School of Journalism.
March 19, 2014