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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