Earlier this year, the Daily Reel had a post about the U.S. Navy’s use of YouTube. The author of the post, Anthony Kaufman, cited a post that I wrote here at the D-Ring encouraging the Navy to define themselves before others defined them.
Kaufman went on to blast the Navy, saying that the videos didn’t fit with the style of YouTube, that most of the videos the Navy has posted haven’t been viewed much, and the ones that were were hotly debated.
After a bit of digging, it appears that the Navy’s YouTube tactics came from their advertising agency, Campbell-Ewald (which, for being a firm that advises the U.S. Navy on “interactive” technology, might want to re-think its Web site. It is horribly cumbersome to navigate and doesn’t yield great information.)
Perhaps I should have clarified my original recommendation to the Navy.
Online media, to be successful, cannot just be about repurposing advertisements, commercials and documentaries for an online forum. You need to know and understand the audience and develop the content to fit that audience. Perhaps that is why Campbell-Ewald’s efforts were met with (at best) resistance and (at worst) a thud.
It doesn’t need to be this way.
Freedom Defended posted a great piece from Navy Times about some truly viral videos that caught on on YouTube. And these great videos show the morale, camraderie, excitement and fun that can come from the U.S. Navy.
To Campbell-Ewald: take a step back, take a look at the medium, and take a lesson from what sailors are already doing. They have the right idea.