As Vimeo became known as the high quality destination for the best video creators, brands started to take notice. Even in 2012 the writing was on the wall: traditional advertising was in decline and branded content was an interesting new avenue for brands to share their message. Working with Vimeo’s sales team, a few brand partners, and engineering I helped create a solution for brands to showcase original content on Vimeo. In the process we discovered a way to connect our creators with brands.
Starting around 2012, brands started to reach out to Vimeo to partner, sponsor events, and produce original content. Some wanted to find the best creative minds to work with, some wanted to create branded content, some just wanted to get involved in a growing platform. We were happy to set them up with our creators but once the content was created, there was no way to showcase this content in the way it deserved.
This project spanned several years at Vimeo. In the beginning, I worked with engineers to create a proof of concept and, seeing the success and rising demand from brands, the product evolved. At first, we repurposed channels to create custom destinations where brands could showcase their original content alongside work they commissioned, or just liked. This customization process was manual, working directly with the brand’s agency to create a bespoke destination. This solution wasn’t scalable but cost little more than time. It was a perfect proof of concept. The results were great and soon we had more partners than design resources.
Once we knew working with brands was viable, we did what we always did: figured out a way to scale without any loss in quality and got our creators involved. On the business side, Vimeo created the brand creator fund which was equal parts professional directory and marketplace. Brands in need of content could find creators on the platform to work with. We helped our users find work and showcased the work in a custom brand channel.
Rather than continue to manually style a channel for each brand we created a new page template that was built to be customized. A brand or agency could skin their own page and make it their own. Following our guides a page could be created via moderator settings without the need to involve a designer or engineer. We even integrated color math from [Vimeo On Demand](case study TK) to ensure legibility and beauty in any template.
Customization started with layout. We took the existing channel page as a baseline. Most campaigns had relatively few videos, 3-6 on average. Channels had been built to house an expanding library over time so these new pages could be more of a boutique show room (a lesson we went on to expand in the [profile redesign](profile case study)).
We added sections to showcase the brand and a slideshow with information about the creators. The relative size of these sections was purposeful—the page should focus on the content first. Clicking on the creator name near the main video would bring you to learn more about that creator further down the page, keeping the user immersed in the experience.
Finally, we designed the page to be a blank canvas. Brands could choose colors and header imagery. Using color math we developed for Vimeo On Demand we even skinned the top navigation with brand colors. All the brand had to supply was a background color and an accent. We did the rest. Lightening and desaturating the background color gave us the nav link color which meant everything matched and was legible.
I’m available for full time or contract work and I’d love to help you with your project. Drop me a line and let’s see how we can work together.