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How Video has Changed the Marketing Landscape

There is no denying that video is a powerful marketing tool. Video marketing has evolved significantly since 1941 when the first black-and-white TV ad aired on WNBT (now WNBC) in the U.S. during a Brooklyn Dodgers and Philadelphia Phillies game. It was a 10 second video from Bulova Watch co. promoting a wristwatch to baseball fans – this short simple video kicked off a multi billion-dollar industry as TV advertising became one of the leading ad formats.


To understand the effectiveness of video as a marketing medium, we must first take a brief look at the history of television. In the U.S, the Federal Communications Commissions issued commercial licenses to 10 stations on May 1941, and WNBT was the only station to air a commercial the day it went into effect on July 1st.. American television stations were available for several years prior to the debut of the first Canadian broadcast television program in September 1952 when CBC launched. Before long, television networks began making substantial profits and television sets became an essential part of most households.

Through video’s power to captivate its audiences’ emotions with visual and auditory storytelling, television caught on in a profound way – it revolutionized how people preferred to consume content. Families were rearranging their living rooms to accommodate the television set, dinners were eaten in front of the television, and watching your favorite program became a new pass-time activity.  

While video is still a leading format for how we consume content, the way we are watching has changed drastically thanks to the dawn of the digital age and the accompanying advancements in technology. It was in 2005 when YouTube was founded and went viral with the channel’s first video: a Nike ad featuring Brazilian soccer player Ronaldinho, the first to receive 1,000,000 views. Soon after Google purchased YouTube in 2006, brands adapted their marketing strategy as they started to see the value of digital video.

With YouTube and the debut of streaming content on Netflix in 2007 (which pioneered the streaming industry, BTW), people have become more accustomed to accessing a vast array of programming on-demand. Video viewing has been steadily diversifying from traditional television sets to over-the-top (OTT) devices, spiking to new levels during the global pandemic; more time spent at home meant increased video time. This trend observed worldwide is expected to have a lasting effect on our viewing habits.  

According to eMarketer, in 2020 the U.S. (62.4%) and Canada (55.9%) were ranked first and second in OTT viewer penetration worldwide. While linear TVs are still kings of the screens, digital video viewership continues to grow and as video viewing evolves, so must brands’ marketing efforts. Video marketing allows brands to leverage the storytelling power of the medium to engage, build awareness and brand loyalty.

To continue leveraging the power of this medium to connect with consumers, at GainShare, we ensure all video plans continue to reach target audiences, regardless of the device. To learn more, visit

About the author

Christina Ly, Senior Account Manager

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