Many good things were spawned by Salesforce’s Super Bowl ads. The ads themselves left us curious and wanting to know more, and that was their job. Salesforce placed some compelling videos on YouTube, one at five minutes and another at two. Find them here. For me, the longer video, “Chatter.com: The Making of Do Impossible Things as a Team,” is where Chatter became a star and the videos were where you could find the real information and messaging.
What I am left with is the notion that Super Bowl ads are so expensive that only companies selling beer and pretzels can make something that tells a story adequately because we already know how to use them. Trying to introduce a new idea and trying to explain it in thirty seconds is nearly impossible. Another notion, though, is how powerful and inexpensive YouTube is and what a big market there is for Internet TV.
Many people have aspects of Internet TV already with devices like Apple TV or whole PCs plugged into their conventional HDTVs. A new generation of hardware with all the components integrated will surely appeal to a waiting audience. Once that happens we’ll see more short ads that are not much more than inducements to get viewers to check out a Website or a video. Possibly, the ads will be simple stubs of the videos.
If anything, Salesforce’s Super Bowl ads yesterday were a harbinger of that future just as the Beatles videos on Ed Sullivan presaged the appearance and widespread use of music videos.
As for the ads themselves, they were good animations and powerful incentives for people to learn more about Chatter, so they achieved their purpose. I would have preferred having the ads connect to the YouTube videos though. Close to fifteen thousand people have already viewed the longer Chatter videos on YouTube and that number will only grow. That number, while considerably smaller than for the game, represents the real audience for this new form of collaboration software.