Are You Trying New Formats for Your Videos?

When I started French Maid TV it was my goal to create a series of "PG-13" type videos about anything that would be on regular television except the video would have French Maids in them. At that time many industry trade magazines were talking about how the 18-34 year old male was hard to reach on regular TV and I thought FMTV would be the perfect way solve an advertising problem and give young men some entertaining content. During that period I was producing television specials, interstitial programming and promos for cable networks. The work was fun but it was also stupid. I remember one interstitial we did for a cable network where the copy was something like, " It's hot outside drink water. - This message brought to you by...(Insert corporate bottled water company here)." Now I shouldn't complain because I was getting paid $20K to $40K to shoot these little spots. That's right they were spending tens of thousands of dollars on the production of these videos and that didn't include what they were spending on the media buy at the cable network. About the same time on a Friday afternoon around 5PM I got a call from an old buddy of mine who use to work at Nickelodeon but was now at SPIKE TV. He asked me if I could shoot something the next day which was Saturday. Thinking it was something like a red carpet event in Hollywood that he needed me to cover I looked at my watch and said, " Yes." Then I asked, " What do you need? " He said he needed me to shoot some hot sexy girls in lingerie reading the latest cheat codes to video games for a segment on Spike TV's Video Game Awards. I said, "That sounds fun. Where are we shooting?" He said, "Well, we were hoping you could find a place." I said, "Alright, Who are the girls?" He said, "Well, we were hoping you could find some girls." I said, "It's Five O'clock on a Friday." He said, "Yes it is. Can you do it?" I asked, "Do you at least have the cheat codes for the videos games?" He said he did, I hung up the phone and went to work. The next day we were building a set in my office, lighting it as we built it and casting hot sexy lingerie models while we worked. Now we had gotten these girls from a casting director who did work for Playboy so these girls weren't shy. Even though we had a bathroom for them to change in they would come in and just change right into their lingerie in front of us. My sound guy looked at me and said, "This is the best job I've ever worked on." I had to agree. It was fun and it was funny to see these young women in lingerie reading cheat codes to video games and the segment was a big hit on the Video Game Awards. That shoot got me to thinking about integrated advertising, product placement and what marketing opportunities there might be in online video and video podcasting with iTunes and the video iPod. It wasn't long after that, that French Maid TV was born. The first two episodes of French Maid TV were proof of concept pilots: How To Video Podcast and How To Give CPR. It took us about a month to get listed on the iTunes Store but three days later we were number one. Since then I've tried different formats with French Maid TV. The One Minute Maid, French Maid Magic and now because of a communication error on my part with a sponsor I've got a new episode of 2 Hot Girls Pranking a Sleeping French Maid. It's not a How To video like other episodes of French Maid TV but it will be interesting to see how it performs and if it becomes a viral video.