Launches New Video Ads Service

We know that online marketing using video is a win-win for small and medium sized businesses.  It not only complements other advertising forms, but has become cheaper to produce, adds an element of authenticity and video attracts eyeballs. 

So it’s no surprise that UK-based, the directory that anyone can edit has launched a new video ad service targeting small and medium-sized firms.  Partnering with UK-based Friday-Ad, the videos are directed to a style best suited to each individual business.  The services also include story-boarding, on-site filming, editing, production, hosting and placement on Brownbook and Friday-Ad’s sites, as well as online distribution to 50 video and social sites.  These include YouTube, Google Video and MySpace Video to name a few. Here is an example of what a video looks like:

The videos are completed in less than two days and owners can have unlimited rights to their video.  Co-founder of Brownbook–Dave Ingram says– authentic, real videos are the key to making online marketing a success because they’re more likely to be viewed to completion and people trust it more.  Launched initially with over 2.2 million UK business listings, Brownbook now has more than 25 million listings in USA, Canada, and Australia. applies Wikinomics to the Yellow Pages

UK-Born has landed in Canada and they’re building their wiki business directory one entry at a time. I had the pleasure of talking to their Canadian Community Manager, Basil Berntsen, earlier today and he’s excited about their progress across Canada to date. is the free local business directory that anyone can edit. We’re building a global business directory and anyone can participate. You can add business listings, update them, and review businesses free and instantly. It’s an ambitious project and one that you can contribute to. launched initially with over 2.2 million UK business listings and has quickly expanded to add over 25 million listings in USA, Canada, and Australia. According to Berntsen, there are currently 1.2 Million Canadian businesses in the directory.

Wikinomics Blogger Denis Hancock profiled last week and was very impressed after interviewing Founder Marc Lynne for his piece. Of course Hancock is always proud when a wikinomics-enabled company is successful but he seems particularly intereested in their business model and new User Earnings program.

The business model for the company is straight forward. Businesses can pay a small – and I do mean SMALL – annual fee to “claim” their company listing on the site, and thus control the messaging (users can still post their own reviews, etc.). They can also get additional services like notifications when reviews are added, videos, search priority, etc. This fee is many, many, MANY times (I can’t emphasize this enough) lower than what a company would pay to be listed in (say) the Yellow Pages – and could more or less be considered trivial for most companies. But if Brownbook can scale globally, the potential revenue for them is not trivial at all.

FYI… by small, Hancock is referring to a $10/year fee.

Last week the company rolled out their “User Earnings” program. It’s very simple, and quite compelling. Any time a businesses comes and “claims” a listing (i.e. pays for control of it), the last prosumer to have made a significant change is rewarded. This reward is 20% of the lifetime value of that customer. That’s where my clever title of “getting prosumers invested for life” comes from.

Sounds like a pretty compelling way to build up a business. If you’re interested in learning more, check out Berntsen’s recent demo from October’s Montreal NewTech Meetup and Lynne’s launch of their User Earnings program. Brownbook Limited is privately funded and incorporated in the UK.