15 minutes with Loranc Sparsi, Senior Licensing Manager at Jukin Media

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Authenticity is in vogue for advertisers.

In recent years, brands have been increasingly drawn to user-generated video content for their ad campaigns, as consumers often find ads with “real people” to be more authentic than ads with actors.

That’s where Jukin Media comes in. Jukin is a leading digital media company that helps advertisers leverage user-generated video content. The company works with brands and creative agencies across the globe to use organic user-generated video - videos captured by regular people on their personal devices - for innovative storytelling. The company is also one of the leading digital video publishers in the world, and currently, own Facebook’s most viewed video of all time.

In line with Jukin’s partnership with Creativepool to launch the first UGC-powered video competition – inviting creatives to submit social media campaigns using the incredible Jukin Media catalogue – we asked Loranc Sparsi, Senior Licensing Manager, EMEA, to really shed some light on user-generated video as a creative resource.

Hi Loranc! Tell us a little about your role at Jukin Media?

I work with our agency and brand-direct clients in Europe. In a nutshell, I help facilitate the commercial use of organic user-generated video content in our client's marketing and advertising campaigns.  

Jukin Media is the 7th most viewed online digital property in the world. Our content and programming last month generated in the region of 3 billion organic views and tens of millions of interactions on social media. Brands are trying to figure out how they can utilise and integrate this medium into their creative storytelling to tap into the power, reach and engagement of UGC. My job is to help our clients find the best content to do that!

The term ‘UGC’ is a broad term, what is your definition of UGC and what is the difference between organic UGC vs influencer, collaborative UGC…

There are different types of user-generated content for sure and most people already know the difference, that’s because we can actually feel it, how incredible is that?!  The simplest way I can explain this is let's say for example you’re watching a video on Facebook and it’s an emotional ‘reunion’ or a funny ‘fail’. Most of us know instantly if it’s a genuine moment or if it’s being exaggerated or faked.  That’s what sets Jukin Media and our organic UGC apart, for me, it’s that authenticity that keeps the viewer highly engaged to the point where they’ll watch the full video, share it, tag friends and family or even shed a tear!

"The moment we feel it’s staged or fake we become unengaged and instantly move on."

We hear all the time that brands need to engage with their consumers and that traditional advertising isn’t as effective as it used to be. I think that’s because we see through the charade, especially when those pieces of content sit side by side the real moments that instantly make us feel what advertisers try so hard to recreate.  How can a staged moment compete with real life genuine moments of intimacy and humour, there’s no comparison.

Another clear difference is organic UGC vs influencer marketing.  In my opinion, the influencer phenomenon is losing its steam. Once upon a time influencers were real relatable people being themselves, giving their honest opinion good or bad.  That isn’t the case anymore in most cases now that brands search out influencers and micro-influencers and pay them huge amounts of money to promote their brands. I don’t think influencers are a trusted source anymore.  Their audience, formerly known as ‘fans’ are very aware they’re being paid to promote products and services, they’ve cashed in and have lost that trust, that authenticity.

What’s the difference between user-generated, trending and viral video content?

User-generated content is content that is created by a consumer or end-user of an online system or service - all of us are making user-generated content all day, every day. Trending is the term given to content that is rapidly being shared across social media generating a high level of engagement i.e. likes, shares, comments... Every once in a while though a piece of content will go VIRAL. The term viral is given to a piece of content that has gone national, international or even global -  it’s like breaking news basically, it’s everywhere.

It’s tough to say exactly why something goes viral but there are definitely correlations. Catching something incredibly rare on camera, an unbelievable moment i.e. escaping death, making the most unlikely ‘win’, an insane ‘fail’, an incredibly intimate or special moment… almost all are ‘lightning in a bottle moments’ caught on camera - they’re real, authentic, genuine and shareable moments that capture the attention and imagination of tens or hundreds of millions of people around the world in a matter of days, usually within 72 hours!

How are advertisers and marketers adopting this medium?

Social, OOH, TV…

We’re starting to see more and more UGC-led initiatives across all of these verticals. Video and organic UGC is outpacing traditional advertising.  UGC is a great way to engage and connect with audiences online, branded content is also incredibly effective at building and entertaining an audience while driving sales and brand visibility.  As always though it comes down to how agencies and brands choose to use the content. We all know it’s an incredibly powerful medium but that doesn’t guarantee success.

A great example of a project that we’ve worked on with WCRS for Santander

Santander adopted organic user-generated video content for their 2017-2018 multi-channel UGC campaign series: TV, online/social, DOOH and POS.

Santander’s 123 account had been so successful that the bank decided not to launch a new product last year.  With no shiny new offering, Santander chose organic user-generated video content to connect with their consumers by turn traditional banking terms like ‘investment’, ‘asset’ & ‘statement’ on their head in an attempt to demonstrate that ‘prosperity isn’t always measured by numbers’.  Santander has seen a tremendously positive reaction - high levels of engagement and positive sentiment across social media by successfully putting their consumer at the heart of their campaign in a first for a UK bank. VCCP have done something similar for Nationwide with their ‘Voices Nationwide’ Campaign.  This is a great comparison – it’s clear that both had the idea of working with their consumers in this context, everyone featured in both strategies are ‘real people’ but Santander’s choice to work with hundreds of organic user-generated video assets of real moments over Nationwide’s choice to feature real people in their campaigns reciting short stories and poems have garnered very different reaction.  While Santander’s has been overwhelmingly positive due to the authenticity of these moments, the reaction to Nationwide’s ‘Voices Nationwide’ and inauthenticity has been shall we say, mixed.

Where is it most effective and why?

I’d say organic user-generated video content is effective across all mediums.  It performs on TV in the same way it does on social media by instantly grabbing and holding your attention. All of a sudden the viewer is seeing the type of content they enjoy and engage with on a daily basis on social media on TV. It’s a very clever way of putting your consumer at the centre of a campaign – real relationships, real laughs, real emotion.

"According to Tubular UGC is 50% more trusted and 35% more memorable than other media."

This is a medium that consumers are using to communicate with each other, it’s a new social language and a great way to communicate with your consumer with.

What makes UG video such an effective and compelling medium?

Over 500 hours of user-generated video content is uploaded to YouTube alone every minute making UGC one of the worlds most abundant and diverse creative resources. Jukin Media discovers and acquires the world’s most engaging and compelling organic user-generated videos and stories.

We all hear a lot of buzz words being banded around, the one I hear most from my clients is that brands are seeking authenticity in their creative storytelling.  

"You can't get more authentic than organic user-generated video."

These are real moments, real sentiment, authentic reactions and interactions with people, products, technology, animals, services....

Our content and programming last month generated over 3bn organic views making Jukin the seventh largest video destination in the world.  That is an incredible accolade and a testament to our experience, expertise and skill at identifying the most compelling and engaging pieces of UGC, and the power of UGC.  The future (and present) of storytelling is user-generated.


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