This week ABC launched 9 widgets on the Clearspring platform with a metrics goal that is good for the environment. Their campaign works like this – for every 10 videos watched from an ABC widget beginning April 7 through April 23, ABC and the Arbor Day Foundation will plant a tree sapling. As of this post, ABC has committed to almost 7,000 trees to be planted.
Counting unique events within a widget, like video plays, is a standard capability with respect to widget analytics. The Flash container that “wraps” the widget captures all of the events that happen within the widget (like mouseovers and clicks), but the categorization of the video play itself is captured via a custom event.
Clearspring’s Tracking API allows widget creators to define any event within their widget, such as a video play, to be measured and tracked. Simply calling the API when the “play” function within your video is selected by the visitor is what it takes.
ABC’s use of widget analytics within their widget is a compelling marketing strategy to get users to not only view the video, but share the video with their friends to drive more video plays. We have seen similar strategies before with Paramount’s Cloverfield widget that were remarkably successful. Incentives to motivate usage will drive engagement and sharing of the widget.
Great content + good cause + good promotion = high interaction/engagement rates.
ABC’s widgets contain great content. They deployed widgets for the following TV shows:
- Dancing with the Stars
- Brothers & Sisters
- Desperate Housewives
- Grey’s Anatomy
- Ugly Betty
- Samantha Who?
The Grey’s Anatomy widget includes trailers for the new episodes (thank God the strike is finally over) and a link back to ABC’s web site to watch full episodes of their shows. One element I found interesting on this widget was the countdown clock. It places a sense of urgency on the user to interact in order to “donate” their video view to the cause. It will be interesting to see what ABC does with these widgets next after the campaign is over. They will be left with an install base of widgets in the wild and will need to migrate it to new content once the timer runs out! Let’s see what they do.
So now that you know about the widget (and the new episodes – yeah, evening TV as returned!), click on one of the images above to go grab the widget and watch the video. Just think, you’ll be contributing to widget analytics and the more people you get to watch the video, the more trees ABC will plant. Let’s shoot for a forest!