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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Seeing Past the French Maids

I started French Maid TV as a vehicle to create new integrated advertising models for online video distribution where products and services appealing to young men would be explained by hot sexy women dressed as French Maids. It continues to be a working business model but I'm tired of being a one trick pony. I'm tired of people not being able to see past the French Maids. I'm tired of being the "French Maid Guy."

Sure it's fun. It's the most fun I've ever had in my professional life although I do miss having a Gold Football parking pass to Disney World sometimes.

It took about a month to get listed on the iTunes store, 3 days later French Maid TV was the number one podcast on the iTunes store but it still took a little while to get a sponsor.

The first sponsor French Maid TV had was Barter Bee with the episode How To Barter Online. that has had over 5 million views. Next Podtrac brought French Maid TV Go Daddy that episode has had over 2 million views and that led to an episode for iLike.com with over 3 million views. Then a Tubes episode with over 5 million views and now mdialog.

Sponsors are by far the most profitable way to make money in online video right now but they take a long time to build relationships with and finding sponsors that are comfortable with French Maids is even tougher. Many times I have sponsors who really like French Maid TV and the reach of French Maid TV but they don't feel comfortable putting their brand next to French Maids. I think this attitude will change if there is a change in the White House but I'm not hedging my bets on that.

The latest episode of French Maid TV that was posted on YouTube about 2 weeks ago has had over 400,000 views on YouTube and over 90,000 views on the sponsors site mdialog.com . I'm not sure how many of those views have come from the mdialog iPhone video application but I do know my sponsor is very happy with the results so far and is also happy with the amount of new users French Maid TV is bringing to the mdialog site.

I know French Maid TV is a very fun and effective way for brands that appeal to young males to get their message out and to drive a targeted audience to take action. What I don't know is how to get invited to the Maxim Magazine's or Spike TV's advertisers appreciation party where I can work the room and find more sponsor's for French Maid TV. I'm sure I'll figure that out soon (let me know if you know of any brands that would be interested in French Maid TV) but in the meantime I'm planning on leveraging relationships that I have discovered through French Maid TV and launching some new projects that will be a little more friendly to sponsors and that don't have French Maids in them.

Don't worry, I'm not ditching the French Maids, in fact I was casting yesterday for a new French Maid TV DVD that I'm working on, "French Maid TV's Official Guide To Lingerie Vol 1." I hope to have it ready for the holidays and to promote it I'm creating a French Maid TV stage show that I hope to get on Late Nite TV during November Sweeps to promote the release of the DVD.

As for the new non French Maid projects, I'm talking with other content producers about how we can work together on co-productions and I'm looking for distribution partnerships that will play a key role in launching my new shows. I'm also talking with sponsors ahead of time about sponsoring my new shows before they launch because I think I have enough of a proven track record of getting views that I don't need to throw away views to get a sponsor.

In the past, I've created upfront presentations for TV pilots that were never shot and watched new TV networks take those trailers to advertisers and get upfront ad sales money for shows that didn't yet exist. If TV advertisers can see past a trailer for a show that hasn't been created yet then I'm sure I can find new sponsors who can see past the French Maids and sponsor my new shows before they launch.

One of the pioneers of video web casting, Leo Laporte, with the help of Podtrac has sold out his advertising inventory in advance and I think this is going to be a trend.

At the New Media Expo Leo also had some very nice things to say about me when I came on his show. Leo is a visionary and it makes be feel good to know that he sees beyond the French Maids.

If you can see past the French Maids and are interested in sponsoring a new show or are interested in partnering on a project or even doing a link exchange please contact me and let me know. Short to the point emails are best.

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