David Parker is one of those rockstar entrepreneurs that has successfully woven together his personal passions and education into a truly marketable and profitable product. His company, Tadcast is riding the modern video trend and taking product placement to the next level.
Parker was studying at Columbia’s engineering school, but wasn’t satisfied, so he decided to pursue his passion and become a filmmaker. Then like so many talented entrepreneurial minds, he wound up at Harvard Business School. In business school, he started TadCast which fused all three of his passions together- engineering, filmmaking and business.
While Tadcast was conceived in 2008, he didn’t incorporate until 2009. Teaming up with two major feature producers from Hollywood including Nancy Tenenbaum (Meet the Parents) and Guy Riedel (Wedding Crashers), Tadcast integrates big-name and small-scale brands into some of the most viral videos circulating the Internet, reaching over 40 million branded video views. Unike Tadcast’s competitors Zadby, Poptent and Hitviews, Tadcast arranges deals on a case-by-case basis with online video stars and brands. Parker believes that featuring brands in popular online videos is one of the best tricks in Internet marketing.
Brands can choose from light integration to more overt integration and pay a CPM with no upfront cost. This video below is one of Tadcast’s recent product placement videos for the brand “Wonderful Pistachios” with Mystery Guitarman that has received over 1.5 million views and features a strong integration.
The next video below titled Online Gamer has received nearly 3 million views and is an example of really light product placement. “It’s a bit blue, but some brands like being edgy,” says Parker, “The fans loved the video and it drove significant traffic to the brand’s website. Plus I think it’s hilarious.”
We caught up with CEO David Parker yesterday for the Tadcast inside story.
CBM: What was the inspiration behind your pursuit of Tadcast?
DP: As a filmmaker I’ve always wanted to do product placement in my films thinking that it would legitizmize the movie by having brands in it and that brands want to be a part of the content, but it’s tough to do this with film. With the burgeoning market for online video, it seemed like a natural outlet to help out both filmmakers and brands.
CBM: How are you measuring Tadcast’s success?
DP: Were measuring our success in two ways. One, by how happy the video creators are that we’re doing this. The spine of our business is to help online video creators. And two, we want to help brands and ad agencies get into social media without banner ads, overlays and pre-rolls.
CBM: So, in effect, Tadcast acts like a video-ad match up service?
DP: Yes, Tadcast is a niche agency that helps larger agencies and brands. We get their products and brands into the stories of popular online videos and we offer sponsorships for web series. Using online video, we help them drive traffic to their websites.
And video creators need to live, so we offer them ways of making serious money. But we’re very passionate about doing this and it’s very important for us to work with video creators to make sure branding is infused into the video.
CBM: And what are you doing to help musicians?
DP: Helping musicians is a sub-businesses that we’ve begun to develop. New artists have a tough time getting on TV and distinguishing themselves from the millions of other videos out there. We think online video is going to be the right way to showcase new talent going forward. When we get a band into a video, like we did recently with a band called The Shake, the band immediately saw a huge spike in their other YouTube video views and in their iTunes sales.
CBM: What are Tadcast Points?
DP: Currently, we haven’t allowed very many video creators to know about Tadcast music yet… but video creators who promote songs by independent musicians can earn Tadcast points for doing things like getting over 100K views on a video or for receiving good reviews from an artist. And at the end of the day, we’re going to try to have a marketplace to exchange their Tadcast points for things like Amazon gift cards and other online discounts.
Trivia Fact: The name Tadcast was originally just a phonetic placeholder. The Tad part is an amalgam of product placement (the t) and ad. But when the company started picking up success and subsequently, press, the name stuck.