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The 24th participant is Adimade

Co-founded by Jake Lawton and Nat Graf in 2008, Adimade - is a video-sharing website focused on User Generated Advertising or UGA. Put simply, Adimade is YouTube for brands. Adimade brings together the talent of the YouTube community with businesses seeking a new way to interact with young consumers.

Nat describes:
Adimade runs ad creation projects on behalf of our project partners. Users create videos; submit those videos to Adimade, then users share and vote for the best clips. The project partner selects the best clip from the finalist’s videos, and is free to use that video for any advertising and promotional purposes.

Adimade gives the amateur video creator the chance to get paid for the entertaining and clever videos they create. By submitting an entry to one of Adimade’s ad creation projects, video creators have the opportunity of getting paid for their work, funding their next film project and getting their work seen by the people who count.

For brands and project sponsors, Adimade provides the prospect to interact with video creators and consumers in a deep interactive way, with the added advantage of obtaining entertaining authentic video content for their brand at a fraction of the cost they would have to pay tradition profession media agencies.
Let us learn more about Adimade and how it is progressing:

How it started?
We had been discussing how, for years, companies have been paying marketing companies massive amounts of money to make ads people hate watching. Not only that, now consumers can avoid watching TV-style commercials with technology such as TiVO and BitTorrent.

This is happening in conjunction with declining TV audiences and a rapid increase in alternate entertainment formats such as social networks, gaming and social media. It seemed to us, that the traditional 30-second ad was not being utilised in any creative or innovative way to combat these trends.

At the same time, we were noticing how the YouTube community had been producing brilliant, entertaining videos on a shoestring budget that people couldn’t get enough of.

It really wasn’t much more complicated than putting these 2 ideas together to come up with Adimade. The YouTube community has the talent. They need a way to get fairly rewarded for the work that they are already doing. Brands need a new way to connect with audiences, both utilising existing and emerging online communities and technologies by revamping their traditional conversational efforts, the TV ad.

The founders behind Adimade are:
  • Jake Lawton: Currently working in the HR sector, Jake kicked off his IT career working for some of Australia's largest ISPs during the .com bubble of the late 90's.
  • Nat Graf: After obtaining a Master's in Economics, Nat has worked as a consultant in the FMCG and IT&T industry for the past 4 years.
How long it took before it was up and running?
We first started talking about Adimade in May of 2007. After abandoning another start-up we were working at the time, we decided to bootstrap the Adimade idea and see how it would work.
Development of the website began in September of 2007 and was ready to be deployed in November 2007, however, we held back on the launch until mid-January 2008.

What stage of your start-up is, stealth mode, beta mode or fully functional?
Adimade is currently in the Beta stage. We are, at this stage, completely self-funded and in the process of finalising the details for the first client-sponsored projects to be run on Adimade.

What is the main objective/mission behind your venture?
The main objectives behind Adimade are to provide a viable platform for the following 3 outcomes:
  • An alternate way for Amateur filmmakers to monetise their creative skills or fund future projects is by turning their hand to making ads and getting rewarded fairly for their efforts.
  • An alternative way for Brands to acquire unique video content that is authentic, edgy and clever at a reasonable price.
  • A new way for brands to enter into a dialogue with consumers, where consumers actively participate and direct the course of that conversation.
What services does it provide for consumer or customers?
Services provided by Adimade are divided into the services we provide our user community and the services that we provide for our Client/ Project Sponsors.

  • Available projects that they can enter to monetise their creative content
  • A simple platform for users to display and share their creative endeavours.
  • A Community environment that enables Users:
  • The ability to review and rate their peer's work.
  • Comments and discussion forums so users can discuss each other’s work, ideas and techniques.
  • The chance to get their work seen by industry professionals in the creative advertising, marketing and film industries.
Clients / Project Sponsors:
  • A low-cost and low-risk alternative to engage interactively with consumers online.
  • A video contest platform that is immediately ready to be deployed or tailored in a white-label format to meet client-specific requirements.
  • Strategic advice and collaboration with Project Sponsors regarding the plan for their brand's project drawing on our first-hand experiences of what video creators get excited about.
  • Adimade hosts and promotes the project to its members, the online video community and amateur/independent video/film-makers.
  • Manages the project from start to finish. Staying actively involved as entries are voted on, promoted and discussed.
  • Ongoing monitoring of created content. We monitor submissions, comments and voting to ensure project content is not inappropriate.
  • Adimade gives the client the final decision. At the close of the project, the client selects the finalists that they think deserve to be rewarded.
  • The Copyrights to the winning submissions, and the ability to negotiate with other content creators for the rights to their content.
  • Adimade provides Clients with measurable results. A project on Adimade provides clients with rich qualitative and quantitative data. Hard data on page and video views, content popularity, track-backs and links. Soft data regarding how people view the client’s brand by the video content they create and the comments they make.
What is unique about your venture?
  • Adimade is an environment that puts the power of the conversation in the hands of the consumer.
  • For years, brands have been advertising AT consumers, TV-style commercials that are essentially a one-way dialogue. With Adimade, consumers and video creators get to actively participate in what the brand's advertising message should be. Users dictate to brands how THEY want to be advertised to.
  • Adimade additionally provides an alternative and unique way for video creators can monetise their content, fund future projects and build a portfolio to get noticed by industry insiders.
  • Adimade provides Brands with an alternative way to source creative promotional content for their brand. Rather than paying Marketing/Ads who are not directly connected with their brand, Brand marketers can source this content from the people that count – their consumers.
  • Brands are continually finding that Co-creating leads to more successful outcomes. A report from Mackenzie found that when brands collaborated with consumers concerning new product development and product refinements, that product was successful 75% of the time, whereas when the company did not crowd-source the success rate dropped to as low as 15%.
  • Adimade gives Brands the chance to crowd-source one of its most important functions. It's Advertising.
  • Open platform – utilizing existing tech platforms
  • Utilising YouTube – or any other video-embedded technology.
What market segment verticals you are targeting for?
At this stage, we are targeting the SME and medium-sized organizations. Although we are not excluding particular market segments, the main segments we see to gain the most benefit from our services are:
  • Web 2.0 businesses
  • FMCG and consumable goods
  • Advertising/marketing (as a sell-on service for their clients)
What type of customers you are targeting?
  • Creatives
  • Heavy Internet users.
  • Youtube video community.
  • Amateur filmmakers.
  • University film student.
  • University advertising/marketing students.
  • Brand consumers and brand devotees.
Clients/ Project Sponsors:
  • New businesses requiring cost-effective creative promotional content.
  • Businesses/brands need to engage with consumers online.
  • Brands looking to explore creative ways to engage with consumers through new media.
What age group of people will benefit most?
In regards to the user community, the core of online video creators would be in the range of the 14 – 35-year-old demographic. So this would be the logical targeted demographic for Adimade.

The target demographic may change depending on the nature of the Brand that is sponsoring the project to include the consumer market segments that use, or potentially use, that product.

For Clients, newer brands seeking low-cost exposure and existing brands seeking to revitalise their interactions with consumers would be the main targets.

How many users are using your services?
In the month since launching we have had about 2500 visitors to the site, 50 registered users and 15 video entries.

We are in the process of finalising the details for the first client-sponsored projects to be run on Adimade.

What sort of marketing you are using to spread the word?
We have implemented a “bleed” approach to the marketing launch. Rather than launching the website with a Client-sponsored project, we decided to put up some of our own cash to run a mock competition. This has allowed us to build a base of users, and a stock of original content so that when we launch our first client-sponsored project, there is an existing community base ready to participate with that brand.

The ongoing marketing of Adimade and Adimade projects can be broken down into online and offline efforts:
  • A presence on video sites, mostly YouTube.
  • A blog so we can talk to our users and clients.
  • A presence on a video promotional site that lists video competitions open to the public
  • Getting feedback from users and people involved in the video creating community.
  • Sending out our Press Release to online networks
  • Participating in the blogging community
  • Having a presence on social networks such as Facebook.
  • Contacting Video creators individually to secure their interest and feedback on the website.
  • Engaging clients, both directly and through agencies.
  • Engaging users through targeted campaigns at universities.
  • Utilising existing industry contacts in the video and marketing/ad industry.
  • Press and press release.
How are you measuring the success of your venture? Are there any special mechanisms/tools in place to monitor the progress?

The main metric of success for Adimade is profitability. This is the key headline stat we will use to ensure we are focused on delivering services that people want.

Concerning measuring ongoing success and progress of projects, we continue to measure and review:
  • Site stats such as – Visitors, Registered users, number of videos, comments etc.
  • Monitoring of press and online exposure of Adimade.
  • User feedback.
What is the monetising/revenue model? Is there any new model, which is being tried?
The revenue model for Adimade is to charge project sponsors a fee to run and host their project on the Adimade site. This model is segmented into two service-based areas:
  • Basic vanilla solution. This is the model where brands deploy their project on the existing Adimade site and requires little rework to accommodate their brands project.
  • White-label solution. For this model, the Adimade technology is configured to suit the Project sponsor as a stand-alone website.
  • Adimade also consults with brands on how they can utilise online video for their brand and marketing activities.
Which are the main competitors or major players in this market segment?
The main competitors for Adimade currently operating in this space are:
  • XlntAds (USA based)
  • Zooppa (USA/Italy based)
  • Genius Rocket (USA-based)
  • Ad candy (USA based)
  • Ad Bakery (USA based)
  • ViTrue (USA based)
  • CurrentTV (USA-based)
  • meme-labs (USA based)
  • YouTube
  • Supervirals (Australian based)
User Generated Advertising is certainly not a new concept and whilst a few companies in the US and Europe are doing similar things, we believe we have an edge over these offshore competitors. We like what they are trying to do, but sometimes it comes across as a little too advertiser-focused. We're working more from the video creators' perspective, helping them boost their profile and get paid for their work.

What are the main technologies used behind this start-up?
It’s pretty straight forward. PHP-based page with some propriety code going into managing the database of users and videos. Some Ajax is also involved.

What has been the easiest to use, out of the box and most helpful technology?
Adimade is set up more as a business model than a stand-alone piece of technology.

Are you using a lot of open-source tool sets for this?
We have used various open-source tools throughout the development and implementation of Adimade.

What is your operating environment (operating system) and what type of database you are using?
PHP-based page and utilising MySQL.

How much money is needed upfront to start a venture?
Our view of capital required to fund a start-up is that it can range from zero to millions of dollars. It all depends on the specifics of the industry and the nature of the business model.

In this day and age, it is possible for a start-up to kick off for a couple of thousand dollars. Site development can be so easy, that market testing can essentially be done in Beta Phases. You have to make it stretch and clearly define the spending and time priorities.

What are the main barriers in general for people to start their venture in Australia?
Main barriers for Start-Up ventures:
  • Being Australian you are faced with a smaller, and at times, less adventurous potential market. If you are seeking to go beyond an Australian core audience, you are then facing the prospect of competing with overseas-based organizations that have better opportunities to raise capital and investment.
  • Reduced general interest in start-up and entrepreneurial culture by investors and the media.
  • Small opportunity to invest capital.
Positives for being Australian-based:
  • You have an already pre-defined niche that many overseas competitors may have overlooked and may not be able to service as proficiently as a local-based venture.
  • A growing web start-up and new media community. Organizations and events like this and MODM, run by Cameron Reilly and TPN, are great ways for this community to develop.
  • Great local skills and knowledge base in a community of people who are more than often willing to help you out.
What are your thoughts on the future trends of your service and the market segment you are in?
Online Video is a segment that is going to grow significantly in general terms. UGC Video is already quite a mature process, however, the monetisation from a creativity aspect is relatively immature.

The potential for this market segment lies in Business acceptance and willingness to explore new frontiers to engage with consumers. Branded entertainment, which UGA is a subset of, is tipped to grow by 14% in 2008 (PQ Media, 2007). Sponsored websites and video content are tipped to rise by 45% as brands seek to capture the online attention of the younger demographic.

The role that YouTube plays in this market will be significant. Although not an old company, it could be argued that YouTube has not been at the forefront in helping their community monetise their content.

The companies that are going to do well in the future in terms of building successful brands are the brands that utilise emerging technology to build brand value. Brands that make a greater effort to engage the consumer and relinquish control of the conversation and their brand, from product development right down to marketing functions.

Do you have any advice for people who want to start their venture?
It takes one second to start something. It is most likely that you are not the only person to conceive a similar idea. However, being the one person who follows that idea with passion and tenacity will separate you from the pack.

Thanks to the founders of Adimade, Jake and Nat, for sharing their thoughts. We look forward to hearing from them in future on the progress of Adimade. All the best for Adimade and the competition in this carnival.


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