Seoul, where Shakr’s headquarters is located, is so covered with electronic billboards that you could be forgiven for mistaking some of the city’s “quiet” areas for Times Square.
Screens range from garage door sized LED billboards on the sides of buildings to phone-sized displays at point of purchase. Every coffee shop, subway platform and flower shop is frosted with a heavy coating of televisions, playing a steady stream of video ads.
With such pixel proliferation, you’d think that advertisers here would have a scientifically sound method for formulating perfect video ads. That turns out not to be the case.
The big companies tend to run their TV ads on the giant billboards, sans sound. Everyone loves to stop and read subtitles for 30 seconds, right? Smaller brands (and their agencies) use PowerPoint, paired with templates circa 1998, to produce severely static scenes. Few advertisers – very few – make video ads specifically for electronic billboards.
The reasons are many. Most advertisers don’t understand that billboard ads should be different. They don’t consider the average four-second length of lingering. They don’t consider whether fourteen-point fonts will be readable from forty meters away. They don’t consider what calls to action (if any) will work for the matriculating masses.
As part of our mission to democratise video advertising, we want to show companies, big and small that video ads can be right and be done affordably with Shakr.
Since May 14, we’ve been running ads for some of our favourite customers on a 12-meter by 9-meter (40-foot by 30-foot) electronic billboard in the middle of Gangnam. (Yep, THAT Gangnam.)
We’re going to revolutionize video ads for electronic billboards, for the web and for TV. And we’re not going to start with the big guys who have enough money to do it right on their own. We’re starting with small businesses that need a better solution so they can become big.
Here’s our initial round of small business customers, going up on the billboard:
New York Brick Oven Pizza
BIF Ready Personal Training
Le Jardin Floral
We’re putting these businesses in front of more than 200,000 people every day.
We’re not doing this out of a sense of charity. We want to prove that this model can work and can work affordably for small companies. The average Shakr video style used by our customers costs between $10 and $50 and produces a professional-quality video ad in a matter of minutes.
We spent $3,000 to buy surplus inventory on one of the biggest electronic billboards in the country, in the busiest area of Seoul. That gets us 100 impressions a day, split among our small business customers.
Small businesses can afford this. They can do this on their own. They can reap the benefits.
We’re just getting started.
Small businesses that make a free video with Shakr in the month of May can win the opportunity to appear on this billboard. All you have to do is make a video with Shakr and share it on Twitter with the hashtag #ShakrStyle and mention @ShakrMedia. On May 31 we’ll pick three small businesses to go up on the billboard. Make sure to ask your friends to retweet you, as retweets will factor into our decision.