Reel Summit 2014 Key Learnings

knowledge box category:

When it comes to continuing your education in the world of video marketing, there isn’t a better conference to attend than Reel Summit.

Over the two days of the summit I listened to hours of insightful, enlightening speakers, watched a ton of engaging and often emotional video content, and met, mixed, and mingled with hundreds of wicked-smart people….all who were engaged with and interested in creating, delivering, and measuring useful video marketing content.

After poring over the novel of notes that I took during the two day summit, I pulled what I considered the five most impactful quotes that that were either said or shared during the conference.  They not only inspired and/or enlightened my own thinking, but also served as a catalyst to double-down on finding ways to be relentlessly useful to our current and future clients.

“All marketing videos should lift the brand, create demand, increase sales, and diminish the impact of competitive voices.”

      – Rob Davis, Ogilvy

I don’t recall if Rob Davis said this was a mission statement, mantra, or directive at Ogilvy, but I don’t care.  This should be the rallying cry for ALL creators and users of video for marketing purposes.  Achieving this ideal for every piece of video content would prove to be extremely difficult, but if achieved, would certainly propel companies and brands to sales and marketing heights they would otherwise never dream of seeing.

Rob shares personal insights about video marketing and other topics at  He’s not only wicked-smart, but was also an incredible speaker and genuinely nice person to visit with… spite of the fact that he’s missing a “b” in his name.

“If your video sucks, you can fiddle with the dials all you want and not much will happen.”

     – Greg Jarboe, SEO PR

Oh, the irony.  I saw Greg speak a couple of years ago at Ad:Tech San Francisco, and remember being extremely upset over the fact that Greg ascertained that the “quality” of the video was of little importance as long as the metadata was properly optimized for YouTube and Google search.  (aka, “Fiddling with the dials.”)

He has clearly changed his tune.

Greg was humble in his presentation at Reel Summit, and was quick to point out that EVERY YEAR, 33% of “what works” in video marketing changes.  So, in effect, every three years, there is a completely new set of rules to follow when it comes to optimizing for a “perfect” video marketing campaign.

Greg is a fixture in the video marketing circuit.  Everyone who is anyone in the industry knows Greg.  He wrote the book, “YouTube and Video Marketing: An Hour a Day.” but warned the audience NOT to read it, because the last revision was made in 2011, and and a lot of the information just simply isn’t relevant any more.  (If you’re interested in video marketing, you should probably read it anyway…..)


“Planning your business around viral video is like planning your retirement around lottery tickets.”

     – Rob Ciampa, Pixability

Too often, business think they need a “viral video” to propel their company to super-stardom.  Videos like Dollar Shave Club and Orabrush, launched two obscure companies in to the stratosphere, and thousands of others tried to copy that formula……with zero success.  Rather than wasting money trying to catch lighting in a bottle, those business’ would have been better served listening to the questions that were being asked by their target audience.  From those insights, they could have then created relevant video content to both answer the questions and build brand preference in the viewers.

An incredible example of this came later in the Summit from Rob Davis at Ogilvy.  He shared with us the campaign that was launched less than a few weeks ago for Gerber (the baby food company).  The campaign consists of a library of 40+ videos that answers the questions that parents are literally asking in the search engines.  It doesn’t have millions of views, but this “evergreen content” will be as useful to parents five years from now as it is today.  It will generate views, likes, shares, and ultimately sales for Gerber.  As a baseball analogy, this campaign represents 40+ singles for Gerber.  And while it won’t be a “home run” on Buzzfeed or Daily Motion, I’d bet my hat that it will deliver way more runs for the company than even a “Grand Slam” viral video every could.

“Brands can matter more than ever because we are human.  If you can create a piece of content that elicits emotion, you can connect with your customer.” 

     – John Klaff, Google

This is Flawsome.  Or, rather, represents what I perceive as key to communicating with clients and viewers….aka “real people.”  Brands that embrace their customers as “people” rather than “transactions” will win in the marketplace.  If you can create authentic, compelling content that speaks “with” the viewer, rather than “at” them, they will grow to like, respect, trust, and even defend your brand.

I talk often about the need to embrace who you are as a company/brand and person.  “Flawsome,” means simply being awesome not in spite of your flaws, but because of them.  NOTHING is secret anymore in this always-on, ever-connected world.  As a company or brand, It does you no good to try and hide real, or even perceived, imperfections or weakness.  Embrace them instead and speak candidly about them with your audience.

People don’t trust perfect.  They trust imperfect.  They trust real.  Be real.


“True innovation comes when you jump curves, not when you duke it out with existing competitors.”

    – Guy Kawasaki

This quote was shared by John Klaff of Google.  It was inspiring to me in two ways.  First, as a reminder to myself, that Funnelbox needs to continue to evolve and change; Just a quickly as the video marketing industry does.  We can’t get wrapped-up in what worked last year or even last month.  We must always be looking for ways to “jump the curve” in regards to offering more value and delivering better results to our clients, relative not only to our direct competition, but also to the plethora of other marketing related vendors our clients can utilize.

The quote was also a reminder that our clients don’t have time to learn, know, and practice the necessary techniques and strategies they need to utilize in their video marketing efforts to “jump the curve” on their own competitors.  Funnelbox has the opportunity to play an immensely important role in our clients continued future success.  Often times, our clients don’t even know how important a role we play in their business.  They don’t know how incredibly powerful our insight, expertise and talent is and how it can benefit their organization.  It’s up to the team at Funnelbox to do a better job of communicating this to them in the future.

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