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Tuesday, June 19, 2007

500 Things You Can Learn From A Supermodel

I2m_fordmodels_1 Chances are, the idea of learning anything from a supermodel is probably not an easy idea to accept.  Yet despite your initial skepticism, consider for a moment the fact that the job of a model is to look good.  We all know that part of this look can be due to creative photoshop artistry and "post-production" - as Dove's Evolution video brilliantly pointed out.  What few of us are willing to admit is that we all engage in our own forms of "photoshoppery" on a daily basis--whether it is selecting a certain kind of makeup, or taking that week long vacation to get tan for the summer, or starting a summer workout regimen to get those washboard abs.  These are things we all do ... and more importantly, these are things that models are uniquely qualified to tell us about.  They have the personal trainers, they work with the hair stylists and they see the tricks of the makeup artists.  In many ways, a model is the person most qualified to teach you about beauty.

I2m_fordmodels_2 This is the brilliant concept behind Ford Models TV, a site run by Ford Models - one of the premier modeling agencies in the world.  Through their site, they have created nearly 500 unique videos that are each nearing 100,000 views just over the past year.  Do the math and they may very well have quietly been amassing the largest number of views for branded short videos of any company online.  Someone will be sure to correct me on that, but there is no arguing that their videos are very popular and are driving a large amount of brand interaction.  You might expect the main reason to be that they all feature hot people - and that is certainly part of it.  But no one gets naked and instead the videos cover topics ranging from how to use blush and bronzer (whatever that is) to how to do pushups properly (video embedded below).  Johnny Lavoy - one of Ford's hairstylists has a series of popular videos showing how to achieve certain looks with your hair.  Particularly interesting is the smart strategy the site has of also distributing their videos through just about every large video sharing site online. 

The result is an archive of content that has multiple distribution points, engages viewers, and positions Ford Agency very well for new talent looking to get started in modeling (which seems to be the goal of the effort).  Following through to their recruiting page, they encourage aspiring models to take real photos and position the agency as representing the "most beautiful people in the world."  Their models may not have a crush on Obama - but the way Ford Models is using online video to promote their brand goes beyond viral.  Trying to create the next viral hit is not the only strategy for using online video for marketing.  Just take a look at Ford Model TV to see how one marketer is doing it right.  Now we all just have to hope this success can be duplicated even if we don't happen to have an arsenal of the most beautiful people in the world to use as our spokespeople.

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