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Vimeo gets weird to solve your video production problems

CMO Harris Beber talks about why the platform still needs to let people know it’s much more than a place to watch video.

Vimeo gets weird to solve your video production problems
[Screenshot: Vimeo]

Founded a year before YouTube in 2004, Vimeo has long been the Google video giant’s artsy, ad-free alternative. Over the years, however, as YouTube devoured the online video market, Vimeo evolved beyond just a video distribution platform and into developing tools and software to help filmmakers both create and evaluate their work.

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Two years ago, CEO Anjali Sud decided to put even more focus on the company’s software-as-a-service tools, that include things like a new stock video service launched last September, and the ability to publish work straight to social platforms and monitor analytics through Vimeo. After huge growth last year, with revenues skyrocketing by 54%, the brand decided to launch its first-ever brand campaign to remind the world of this new focus. And troll YouTube just a wee bit in the process.

[Photo: courtesy of Vimeo]
Created by agency Fig, the $10 million to $15 million campaign includes TV, cinema, billboard, and outdoor ads, including a YouTube pre-roll that says, “This is an ad before your video. Vimeo doesn’t have these.”

“So many people know us still as a viewing destination where you host your videos and come for inspiration, and we will always be that,” says Vimeo chief marketing officer Harris Beber, in explaining why now is a perfect opportunity to let more of the world know what the brand stands for and how it serves creators and filmmakers. “But the broader audience of people trying to solve video problems is enormous, and they don’t know the role Vimeo could play in helping them, that’s central to this campaign.”

Of course, the brand hasn’t given up its artsy image, enlisting director Alex Prager to make a series of delightfully weird spots that highlight all the life problems beyond video that Vimeo can’t help you with.

Beber says it was important to maintain Vimeo’s quirky, creative voice and to make sure the work was up to its own creators’ standards. They also had to get the message across quickly. “Our biggest value is our biggest challenge: We offer so many tools and services to creators, across so many different use cases,” says Beber, citing clients that run the gamut from yoga studios and coffee shops to brands like Walmart and Warby Parker. “That’s very difficult to convey in a world where you have three seconds to capture someone’s attention. We can’t speak to all of that in one campaign, so the simplicity of ‘Vimeo Can Help With Your Videos’ cuts through all that, no matter what your needs are.”

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About the author

Jeff Beer is a staff editor at Fast Company, covering advertising, marketing, and brand creativity. He lives in Toronto.

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