Jazzed-up Capitol Records Video Ad Campaign Strikes a Chord

Adding more interactivity to video ads for Capitol Records country music artist Trace Adkins significantly boosted the online campaign’s results when compared to prior ads.

In the recent campaign, overlaid and clickable video pitches by Adkins appeared on 25 country music station Web sites in 14 U.S. markets. The effort featured marked upgrades to a prior Innovate Ads “Video Spokesperson” campaign that lacked the same level of graphics and interactivity.

The prior campaign had a clickable video of Adkins walking onto the screen. Users that clicked the avatar were taken to a page where they could order the star’s latest CD.

The new package went much further. Adkins sauntered onto the bottom left corner of the page, sat in front of a red Valentine and spoke. Viewers that scrolled over a Flash overlay were presented with a toolbar that allowed them to cancel the singer’s spiel. Those who clicked were taken to another page that allowed them to watch Adkins’ new music video, register for a trip to Paris and buy the new album.

Adding the extra bells and whistles proved worthwhile, according to Innovate Ads President John Cecil.. He said the new ads generated a 25 percent click-through rate while the earlier version managed to get 11 percent.

The new ads ran for six weeks and were viewed approximately 193,000 times, according to Innovate Ads. The company reported that 43,000 viewers clicked through to Adkins’ site and more than 10,000 people filled out an entry form for the Paris trip.

The prior campaign ran for two months and garnered 295,000 views. About 57,000 people clicked on the Adkins video and were taken to the “buy page,” said Cecil. “The other [earlier] one was just a request to buy… We didn’t have the conversion rate of how many clicked to buy with the first one.”

For the Video Spokesperson campaigns, Innovate Ads acts as a “middle man” between Capitol Records and the radio stations, said Cecil. It sent a production team to Nashville and recorded 25 individual videos with each having Adkins mention a different country station.

For the ads to run on the stations’ Web sites, the stations’ Webmasters needed to insert a line of code. The code directed browsers to launch the Video Spokesperson overlays which were hosted on Innovate’s servers and did not impact the stations’ bandwidth.

Cecil said he was happy to see that the Webmasters reported few problems. “Everything went very smoothly,” he said. “There were very few technical problems associated with implementing the video… This really helps a company like Capitol records to follow-through on its commitment to provide promotions and [make] sure they are very easily integrated.”

Shane Allen, VP of radio strategies and field marketing for Capitol Records, said the record company was “very pleased” with the results of the campaign. “From what I understand, the click-through rates were apparently way above the norm for a feature or contest like this,” said Allen.

He said he got good feedback from the participating stations’ managers, who were happy about the way the videos were individually recorded so they could include comments specific to their station. Although the system required the station Webmasters to insert the new code, Allen said the process didn’t seem to ruffle any feathers. “I didn’t hear any complaints,” he said. “Any time a question came up, Innovate’s highly-trained staff answered it quickly and to each station’s satisfaction.”

While Allen said there are no immediate plans to do more Video Spokesperson ads, he stressed “that could always change in a matter of hours,” and he said the record company would likely stick to using Innovate if it did. “We would definitely come to Innovate first for anything in the arena of Web host technology,” said Allen. “They’ve been incredible to work with and their product is always of superior quality.”

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