Coming clean about what Vooza's up to and why

Big reveal on Vooza (the show about startups I've been making) at TechCrunch, a popular tech blog: "Spoof ‘Startup’ Vooza Gets Serious About What It’s Really Up To — A New Kind Of Web Advertising."

Startups and other advertisers have been paying Vooza to include them in videos that take the piss out of the whole “startup” scene...It’s something that’s been pretty darn successful. So far, Vooza’s clients have included email newsletter startup MailChimp, app analytics platform Tapstream, branding firm Eat My Words and others. The companies pay to have their brand worked into a segment written by Vooza’s writers and featuring its cast of characters — the video then goes out to Vooza’s own audience, and can also be used by the company in any way they wish.

It’s a business model that can be classified as branded content or sponsored product placement, but Ruby says that he thinks of it more as “a throwback to the old school TV advertising model when the stars of a show would do the ads, like Johnny and Ed schilling for Alpo."

It’s a fresh angle that could be hitting at a good time for its niche…Founders nowadays know it’s good for business to be funny. It’ll be fun to see what comes out of Vooza in the future.

And some more press at Young Entrepreneur: "Embrace Your Zany Side: Offbeat Ways Startups Win Over Hard-to-Reach VCs."

Nothing has generated interest among the VC (and entrepreneur) community like a series of about 30 mockumentary videos about a company called Vooza...The weekly videos surfaced in 2012. Rife with subtle sarcasm, the two-minute clips provide "insights" that actually lampoon startup culture — particularly the culture surrounding technology startups.

Also, Gründerszene said Vooza is “Absolut sehenswert!” I think that's good?

More info about Vooza at the site. And here's the latest video, featuring one of Vooza's designers (played excellently by Sarah Tollemache) explaining how she draws inspiration from nature.

You can get notified when new videos come out by signing up for the Vooza email list.


Rich said...

Did you start Vooza with the goal of doing these types of ads or did you start getting requests from companies and run with it? Are you worried about the advertising taking away from the content?

Matt Ruby said...

Hey Rich. Yeah, the idea out of the gate was to make something fun for a specific audience and then figure out a way to sell ads on it (or make money off it some other way).

We do worry about keeping the ads fun/interesting and try to keep the same vibe in 'em as we have in the "regular" episodes. So far people are enjoying the videos that are ads just as much as other ones so that feels good.

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