I’ve just come from a two day session at OMMA (Online Media, Marketing & Advertising Conference) in New York. It was astounding at how much of the focus was on online video. There was great discussion on metrics & measurement, standards, viral marketing & behavioral targeting, but the focus was clearly video.Driven by the success of User Generated sites like YouTube, Revver, Yahoo, Google Video, AOL UnCut Video, Jumpcut, Grouper, Eyespot, Wallop, Clipshack…the list is becoming endless. Most content is amateur content, some of it is pro-am. All of it is drawing millions of eyeballs. As a result,more marketers are using video in place of simple banner ads and Google is making a big push toward the technology from both a video display and media buying standpoint. Adoption is growing and the shift of content viewer-ship has just tipped over to the internet with the 18-24 demographic watching more video content online than on TV. The 18-34 demographic is not far behind. The statistics are showing that online video is more engaging, memorable & measurable, giving marketers a better bang for their buck. Those on the cutting edge are getting in early in order to seat themselves before the internet convergence completes itself within the next 3- 5 years. The focus for brands is on bringing value to their customers. Videos that bring value and are viewed as authentic are the most requested, watched, and are ultimately the ones being passed around. Viewers are watching the videos all the way through and they have the highest recall…Repurposed television spots running within a banner are bombing in comparison. Watch two guys from the midwest as they film their discovery of what happens to a bottle of Diet Coke when you drop in a few Mentos. Irreverent & funny. The combined videos have been viewed 6 million times & counting. The combined media value of this to both brands was in the millions and they got it all for free. http://one.revver.com/browse/Most+Watched#_show_video_27335 As a brand, there is NO WAY that you can afford to not be a part of this right now. Those that are participating are reaping huge rewards by creating their own valuable content that consumers are asking for. But brands beware, this is now a two way dialogue, and you are no longer in control. So, be honest, laugh at yourself, act with humility and you may win renewed respect.