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TheGrill NYC: Vimeo Is Empowering Filmmakers to Benefit Brands (Video)

The video network’s Greg Clayman talks with TheWrap about their unique approach to advertisers

Vimeo has become many filmmakers’ favorite platform for its high quality player and community — and now the company is using those advantages to recruit brands for sponsored content.

Greg Clayman, the IAC-owned platform’s general manager for audience networks, joined TheWrap‘s Tim Molloy at the New York edition of TheGrill for a conversation about how the company integrates brands into the site.

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Simply put, instead of product placement or straight advertising, Vimeo recruits the budding filmmakers that upload to the site and empowers them to work with brands on themed campaigns. It’s different than what, say, YouTube networks do, and it works to the company’s strengths.

“We’ve never had pre-rolls or advertising in that sense,” Clayman said. “YouTube is an amazing business, a giant business, but that’s theirs. That’s never been our aspiration. We work with brands and creators, we work with advertisers and the creative community to create original content. That original content can and does live in Vimeo and we also have advertisers who will put it on their own sites and put it on YouTube.”

Clayman pinpointed a campaign that Vimeo recently did with Charles Schwab centered on their “Own Your Tomorrow” campaign, focused on the theme of “Why I Left.”

“The idea was the notion of positive change,” he said. “What thing did you leave and how did that affect you in a positive way?  They were very very open to lots and lots of different types of films around that theme of things you left to affect that positive change. There’s animation, there’s documentary, there’s scripted content.”

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They are often able to tap the filmmakers because they have dozens of full-time video curators, who work to find the best stuff uploaded to Vimeo and award them “Staff Pick” designation.

“Curators are an amazing group of people,” he said, marveling at his team. “These are people who are filmmakers and editors of film blogs, and they spend all day every day to find the best stuff. They spend all day creating and nurturing relationship with creators. Eight thousand titles have been staff-picked. filmmakers upload shorts when they’re at school, it caught the eye of staffers, and that gets noticed by filmmakers and agents.”