As video continues to gain in popularity on the web, it certainly makes for one way to make your ad stand out from the pack. But if you have a budget of hundreds rather than thousands of dollars, it can be difficult to know where to start.
Certainly you could try to hire yourself a viral video star or buy yourself some product placement in a successful video podcast or web tv show, but it will likely cost you a fair amount of money.
Aditall offers a cheaper solution by offering stock footage explicitly made for the purposes of advertising, and giving you a non-exclusive rights purchase of this footage, sound effects, and even soundtrack material from an easy, wizard-style interface.
Furthermore, Aditall makes it easy for you to take your chosen video clip and quickly add your logo, message, or voice over using a simple online editing application.
From there you can download the results for your own use, or have Aditall begin an advertising campaign for you. In this sense, Aditall offers an end-to-end solution from the selection of your clip right through to its final delivery to your potential audience.
The simplest way to get started is by making use of the selection of pre-packaged clips on offer at Aditall. These clips come with a soundtrack, video clip, text for you to easily customize, and even a voice over for a generic message pertaining to your industry.
You can search for a clip by keyword, check out featured clips on the frontpage of the Aditall website, or search by means of industry specific categories to narrow down what you're looking for. If you like the look of one of the clips, you simply pay the bundled price of the different components - the video, soundtrack, voice over and so on - and can then set about adding your personal details to the video before downloading or launching your campaign.
The examples on the Aditall frontpage at the time of writing this review range from $300 to $360, which is significantly less than you'd expect to pay a professional or Internet TV producer to create content for you. And while the footage won't be yours exclusively, you can apparently contact Aditall to get a list of area zlpcodes for anyone that has previously purchased the clip you're interested in.
As the messages are necessarily generic, the clips obviously don't feature your product as such, but instead try to convey a message that will connect to the industry category they are placed within. Many of the clips currently on offer aim at a slightly offbeat, humorous approach to marketing that may or may not suit your service, with a focus on live action over motion graphics content in evidence.
Start From Scratch Clips
If you prefer to have a little more control over the final production, you can instead purchase "start from scratch clips", music files and sound effects from the Aditall library. If you decide to take this approach, you search for a clip first of all, and then, using the simple wizard software, choose and purchase a soundtrack, add your titles and logo, and upload or record your voice over. The Aditall wizard allows you to record your voice over right from the Aditall console, or you can alternatively use your own mp3 file.
At the time of writing there are a lot more clips available in the "start from scratch" section of the library than the pre-packaged section, but this is most likely due to the fact that Aditall is only a few weeks old. As the community grows, I expect to see more of a balance between the two, especially given that producers can create templates using the existing footage and sound files on offer individually from Aditall.
In addition to being able to search for clips by industry and keyword, it's also possible to check out all of the clips created by a particular producer, as each Aditall producer has their own gallery for you to browse.
The Ad Request System
If you still haven't found some video content you think might be useful for advertising your product or service, you can put out an ad request to the community of Aditall producers. This is effectively like posting a job, and Aditall suggests that you should be as specific as possible in your request to make sure you have a better chance of getting what you hoped for.
Producers can then put together templates from existing material, or else upload fresh video content and offer it as a solution to your request.
Thankfully there is no obligation to buy any of the clips offered to you if they don't appeal. The slight downside is that once you put out your request you relinquish all rights to your concept - if someone decides to make a video fitting your specs, they are free to sell it to several users. Likewise, other advertisers can pick up on your idea and commission or create their own ads based on what you've outlined.
For some people this will be a deal-breaker, and the point at which they set about hiring a production company or independent producer to create the ad they have in mind, rather than putting their idea in the public domain. For others, the idea may not be so important as trying to secure a cost-effective deal for having it put into production.
Customizing Your Clips
Once you have a clip that you think will work for your message, whether a pre-packaged template or a start-from-scratch clip of (quite often silent) footage, you can make use of the simple Aditall wizard to customize the content to suit your needs.
Using the wizard, you can trim down the running time of your video in the simple timeline editor, and add different elements to make it fit your message. In short these are:
- Text - The ability to add and overlay text onto your video clip
- Slides - The option to insert a slide with text, images and a background color to suit your tastes
- Soundtrack - The option to purchase and insert a musical score into your video, selected from the Aditall music library
- Narration - The option to either record your own voice over right from the browser window, or else upload your own mp3 file
- Sound effects - the ability to purchase and insert sound effects into your video
The text editing function lets you choose from a range of fonts, select a color for your text from your system color picker tool, resize, set alignment for and position the text on screen. You can also select the length of time that the text will appear on screen, and can adjust when it will appear by simply moving the position of the text "bar" in your video editing timeline. Creating text in this mode gives you a transparent background, allowing you to overlay your message directly onto the video.
Slides also allow you to add text, but this time with a resizable background of any color you choose. This feature also allows you to upload and insert images, providing you with a means to get your logo into the video.
The soundtrack option will open a new window for you to select from an impressive range of musical scores, available for purchase. You can search by keyword, by genre, or a combination of the two and there are a lot of good quality audio clips to choose from. Prices ranged from about $12 to $125 in the sample of clips I took a look at.
As is the case with video files, you can also browse sound clips by producer, giving you a chance to focus on a particular composers work if you like what you hear.
You can sample any of the audio clips on offer, as you'd expect, using a small flash mp3 player before making your selection and importing your chosen clip or clips into the Aditall wizard, at which point you can position the soundtrack in the timeline, trim to taste, and change the in-point, out-point and volume accordingly.
Narration is very straightforward and makes use of either a standard upload form for your mp3 file, or a built-in recorder that allows you to create a voiceover using your own mic, preview it, and re-record as necessary, before bringing it into the editor and positioning it at the right spot of the video.
Finally, sound effects work in a very similar way to the soundtrack files, with an audio library providing a nice selection of ambient, foley and impact sounds at $1 each, which is unlikely to bankrupt anybody. The quality of the clips is high, and I was impressed by the range on offer.
It's really very simple to quickly put these elements together and customize your video ad, and each of the elements - the libraries, recording and editing functions - seem well integrated. It would be nice to see transitions for text and slides, even by way of a simple dissolve, and maybe even some basic text animation capabilities, but all in all this is a simple and effective tool for quickly creating your video ad mash-up with a minimum of hassle.
Producing Templates And Clips
If you're interested in producing content to sell through Aditall, you can apply to be an Aditall producer. For the purposes of keeping quality standards high, this isn't available right from the outset for anyone, so instead you have to upload a video, soundtrack file, or create a custom "template", submit it for review, and await the okay.
This makes sense to me, as while opening up a service to user-generated content is a great idea, there needs to be some signal-to-noise threshold for a commercial property like Aditall.
Assuming you are accepted as a producer, you are then given your own gallery, and can track the sales of your media from the Aditall dashboard.
You can set your own prices for the content you sell, although obviously it makes sense to bear in mind what other vendors are charging if you want to see results. You should also consider the fact that Aditall takes 50% of any money made on the sale of your clips, and price accordingly.
While it is unlikely to make you a millionaire, the good news is that you can sell your clips many times over, as they are not exclusive to any single customer.
In addition to being able to upload video, soundtracks and sound effects - which must obviously be yours to sell, and have attached model releases for any actors that appear in your clips - you can also make money by creating templates for people to buy. You do this by selecting existing soundtrack, sound effects and video files from the Aditall Library and editing them together, perhaps adding a voice over or text elements, into a package. The price is calculated by the cost of the bundled clips you have used, along with whatever you choose to charge on top for your voice over and mash-up skills.
Licensing And Pricing
Pricing is very reasonable so far, with complete bundles settled at around the $300 - $600 mark, individual sound clips at $12 - $125, sound effects at a flat $1 and most of the video clips I saw weighing in at somewhere between $80 and $300. This is a lot less than you'd expect to pay for even a single clip from the vast majority of stock video websites, and certainly provides a great entry point for those looking to get their video advertising produced on a very tight budget.
As I have mentioned though, your purchase doesn't ensure you ownership of the footage you buy, but rather a non-exclusive license. With that said, the same applies to any of the much higher priced stock footage companies selling their content online, so this shouldn't come as too great a surprise.
Launching a Campaign
Once you have created your video you are free to download it and launch your own advertising campaign by any means you see fit. Alternatively, if you wish to make use of Aditall as a go-between, you can launch and track a campaign right from your account.
Aditall is an Adwords qualified company and can help you to set up video campaigns through Google Adwords video advertising, potentially distributing your content to a large variety of niche-targeted websites.
If you choose to make use of this feature, you decide how much money you'd like to spend on your campaign in the setup process, and within 2-3 days Aditall will have your video on industry-relevant websites. Aditall charges a 10% service charge for setting this up.
Depending on how much you are likely to spend, this may or may not prove a useful feature. It will save you the hassle of uploading content and downloading stats, given that everything is taken care of from the Aditall console. On the other hand if you are already familiar with AdWords you may decide to take care of this part of the business yourself.
Room For Improvement
At the time of writing Aditall is just a few weeks old, and as such the biggest improvement it needs is a greater selection of stock. I'm sure that as the service matures there will be a great many more producers taking part, especially given how easy it is to put together template packages and sell them on for a small profit.
That aside it would be nice to see slightly more advanced editing functionality - in the form of text animation, transitions, and perhaps the ability to edit more than one clip together as a consumer, which isn't possible at this point.
It would also be great to see the inclusion of stock images or more motion graphics elements in future also, making it easy to compose logos that have a decent looking motion background, or being able to add in high impact graphic elements. With that said, it is possible to bring in your own images, so the scope is there.
Were it possible to make use of basic animation features for these visual elements, on par with something like the SPresent online presentation tool, the resulting video ads might look a little more polished in the end.
These are small details, however, and I think that while they would certainly improve the current tools offered by Aditall, they are by no means essential. Aditall has managed to make the process of creating an ad a very simple one, and as such may not wish to complicate matters unduly for the average user.
Aditall provides an easy-to-use web-based solution for companies looking to produce (or sell) video advertising content on a shoestring budget. Essentially the service offers a collection of short stock video clips, soundtracks and sound effects that you can mix and match, add captions, voice over or your logo to, and then license the work for use in your video advertising campaign.
While the results might not necessarily compete with those from a professional production house, all Aditall producers are screened before being accepted into the program, so you won't see any shaky camera YouTube-style footage on offer. Given that the average price of a complete Aditall package - video, sound effects, music and even voiceover work - runs between $300 and $700 you are unlikely to find a cheaper alternative on the market.
Another thing that may well appeal about Aditall to potential advertisers is the end-to-end solution offered by the service. You can choose, purchase and customize your content from a single destination, and Aditall will even launch your campaign for you if you decide not to do so yourself. This is a great way of getting started in web video advertising, without having to invest in expensive equipment, software or contractors to put your ad together for you.
On the downside the content is necessarily generic, and at times even slightly corny. It's also worth bearing in mind that any content you purchase will be available for others to make use of, although it's surprising how much difference chopping and changing soundtrack, video and sound effects elements can produce a different effect.
In short, Aditall is a relatively cheap way for small businesses and independent publishers to produce professional video advertising at a fraction of the cost of directly commissioned work, and also serves as another potential avenue for independent video producers to sell their content.
If you'd like to read more about Aditall, you might like to check out the following links:
Originally written by Michael Pick for Master New Media and titled "Online Video Advertising Made Easy - Create, Buy And Sell Video Ads Online With Aditall"