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Communicating the Message : Using Online Video as a Tool

screen shot of YouTube videosRecently I converged with more than 600 other arts marketers in San Jose during the National Arts Marketing Project Conference. We arrived eager to share with one another examples of how we are engaging our audiences, how we are communicating our messages, how we are raising money, and how we are using technology to do it. With YouTube currently ranking as the #2 search engine in the world, this means many of us are using online video as a tool.

Option A. I complain like a sourpuss that most of the NAMP conference presenters referred to their campaigns that used video but few actually showed the videos.


Option B. I take it upon myself, like the ‘put your shoulder to the wheel’ pioneer I was raised to be and spend some time looking up the participating arts organizations using video online.

I went for Option B. As you would guess, there is a wide variety of approaches to online video, from high production HD footage to flipcam footage and irreverent/provocative to sincere/humanizing.  My NAMPC ’10 video playlist is accessible via vodpod collection online.  Please share.

#1. BERKELEY REP: WHAT WILL YOU SEE? Keynote speaker Susan Medak of Berkeley Repertory Theatre in CA was a fantastic follow up to what our opening speaker Chip Heath had primed our creative marketing minds to be thinking about. Berkeley Rep’s promo video “What Will You See?” shows they really get how to communicate identity and mission using video.

#2. SMELL LIKE A F**KING PRESIDENT - Director of Marketing at The Public Theatre in NYC, Nella Vera, @spinstripes for those following the #NAMPC10 Twitter feed, did some incredible ad campaigns for the musical Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, which began at her venue and has since moved to Broadway. The “Smell Like a F**king President” social media video riffs on the Old Spice campaign sweeping the country.

#3. SAN FRANCISCO MUSEUM OF MODERN ART – Presenter Marnie Burke de Guzman from SFMOMA  shared her inspiring 75th anniversary marketing campaign including the ’75 Reasons to Live’ presentation of local artists talking for 7.5 minutes about a specific work from SFMOMA. I selected Michelle Tea talking about Andy Warhol for the playlist but you can visit the SFMOMA youtube channel for all 75.

#4. PILLOWTALKS – Jacob’s Pillow Dance is now distributing extended video excerpts from their PillowTalk series of world-renowned choreographers, dancers, authors, filmmakers, historians, and critics via a channel  and YouTube channel. This is one example of artist/event coverage for online audience engagement (a much discussed topic at the conference). Full Disclosure: @MsRemixt is me, Lisa Niedermeyer, and I work with Jacob’s Pillow.

#5. 32 WAYS TO FALL IN LOVE – Ben Slade from ARTHOUSE in Austin, TX presented on the Micro-Giving Macro-Results panel with me, and his Austin mix of smarts and smartass was hard to not fall in love with. “32 Ways to Fall in Love” is a video from his micro-fundraising campaign “I heart ARTHOUSE”- also check out his campaign micro-site.

#6. CounterPULSE MAY DAY BENEFIT – Presenter Ryan Crowder from CounterPULSE shared a benefit invitation video in which he smeared ________ on his body and danced in yellow stretch pants (now you really have to watch it). CounterPULSE has other great videos including an audience feedback series so take a gander at their YouTube channel as well.

#7. LIVING ARCHIVES – Sara Billman presented on theUniversity Musical Society’s Virtual Lobby project and spoke about her “living archive” video series including two UMS subscribers that were fated to be wed for 60 years after being sat next to each other by the box office staff. The Virtual Lobby project is 100% focused on “turning the megaphone around”, a buzz phrase to be sure but this experiment is worth following the progress of if you work with an established arts org.

#8. POOPTAGGING How-To-Guide – I asked Art Threat Magazine founder Rob Maguire to share an example of personal failure in social media engagement during a conference dine around.  Rob told me about his high concept crowdsourcing geomapping “Pooptagging” campaign, for which he created an online How-To-Guide video.

#9. – #13. Carnegie Museum of Art, Ordway Performing Arts, Woolly Mammoth Theatre, Arena Stage, and Round About Theatre. See Video Playlist for media and details.

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