Tomorrow on Monday we will be launching a new sponsorship model on Rocketboom!
Just over a year ago, we ran out money for Rocketboom. We were not mature enough to consider investments and so I decided Rocketboom had to go forward with an E-bay auction. The plan had materialized months prior but I never wanted to take the risk. I certainly was into the excitement, but what if no one bid? What if the bid was too low? What if our reserve was too high? The immediacy of a check in the bank was an important part of the decision too.
I'll never forget the fear of failure that buit up to 5 seconds before the auction ended a loser, followed by a final refresh click with just 2 seconds to go that suddenly showed a $40,000 winner. To this day, I had never publicized that $40,000 was actually our reserve, helping to set the high market value.
When people went on to write about the sale, they broke it down to a CPM comparison, though most people didn't take into account that the $40,000 for a week of advertising on Rocketboom included not only airing the commercials, but also creating 5 of them! Also, managing an account like this while working to appease the advertiser is a very difficult feat in and of itself.
A few months later, Rocketboom went through a bit of internal turmoil that required me to set all of the business aside for awhile to devote %100 of my energies on just the production. While we would go on to bring in a total of $210k from creative advertising for the year, the amount of energy and conviction we had to put into each piece ultimately put us further behind.
To our suprise, during the process, we learned that companies weren't really interested in us having complete conviction in them anyway. Ultimately, they really were big fans of Rocketboom and they wanted us (and our audience) to know that. *They* had the conviction in *us*.
So that's why we took that original model and flipped it. Our relationship to the sponsor now starts off with a sign of gratitude for their support.
In return, we have a great, critical audience that a sponsor can leverage to provide feedback and insight into their situation. While the system may not be right for many other environments, I think it will be extremely effective on Rocketboom. The entire program was designed to match Rocketboom as it already is.
I'm extremely proud to kick off this Monday with YouTube as our first sponsor. Regarding the broad topic of "video online", in my personal opinion, there is not a single other group in the world that has done more to democratize the moving image. We finally got a Rocketboom YouTube account up and running as well. It's amazing to think we have made it this far without any flash distributions. YouTube will make Rocketboom much easier to share, obviously.
Clean, simple and to the point. This looks great Andrew. It's nice to see a bit more of the history as well. Would you mind dropping a clue or two here of what you call the "creative advertising" that you used last year?