Firms Ride on UCC/PPL Video Boom

Firms Ride on UCC/PPL Video Boom

LG Electronics has featured its MP3 player on a series of yoga video clips made by Kim Jin-hee this month. Kim, a Sookmyung Women’s University student, wears an MP3 player around her neck throughout the 3-minute clips. She has become a popular figure in the Internet community as her videos are frequently viewed at video sharing sites such as Mgoon and Tag Story.

Some other companies are more outright in exploring the new marketing tactic. Interpark, a major online shopping mall, produced video guidebooks for shoppers and posted them on several Web sites, though it doesn’t get as much attention as the yoga video.

“As user-created contents are becoming extremely popular, more companies are trying to use it as a new marketing tool,’’ said Kim Young-hoon, manager of Tag Story. “The video clips are inexpensive to create and can draw big attention online. They will get more of the spotlight.’’

Known as product placement (PPL), it is a long-standing marketing tactic used by marketers to use a real commercial product in media such as movies, TV soap operas and music videos. Usually, PPL occurs under the premise that it will be featured as a natural part of the work.

Most recently, computer and video games have joined in the field of PPL. The Internet is also being experimented with using in-site product placement as a revenue model.

Video-sharing Web sites have become highly popular globally over the past two years. Often called video UCC (user-created contents), those sites, such Tag Story, Pandora TV and Gom TV in Korea and YouTube in the United States, allow users to upload a few minutes of video clips on a server and show them to anonymous users without charging them. All big portals such as Naver, Daum and Empas are also into the business.

According to Korean click, an Internet research firm, Daum’s video sharing service “TV Pot’’ drew 6.7 million viewers in August, and Naver’s “Play’’ had 5.6 million.

Some portals, however, are not favorable to PPL on the Internet. NHN, the largest portal site in South Korea, said that it does not allow people to use the video UCC for commercial purposes.

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