Their job was to generate opportunities for sponsors to interact with the audience, creating videos that featured the best-dressed people and interviews with candidates for a VJ contest. The content was posted online, where people could vote, watch the videos and share them.
“We saw it could bring to the table tools to engage people more than just coming to an event and seeing a show,” said Jackson, a Brooklyn resident. “I think of what we did as the prelude to YouTube for companies.”
Jackson recalls an instance in which he asked a concertgoer in New York to describe Seagram’s gin and the respondent compared the product to Viagra.
“It was getting the kind of advertising you can’t buy because it was coming from the consumers and it was genuine,” said Jackson with a laugh.
The company was recently renamed RDZ Media Group because the company now does so much more than video. In addition to using traditional media (television, print), RDZ also specializes in new media (YouTube, blogging), social networking (Facebook, Twitter), and private label social media (online communities for companies).
RDZ also works with local non-profit organizations and union groups, including the unions that represent traffic enforcement agents and NYC sanitation enforcement agents.
“Our client base really keeps us on our toes. They require us to be ahead of the curve so we can help them fulfill their goals and missions,” he said, particularly via social networking.
Jackson pointed to the power of social media, particularly Twitter, in the aftermath of the earthquake in Haiti. For example, just that morning he read that the Harlem Brunch Club was collecting clothing to send to Haiti, something he’d never have known about without Twitter.
“Watching something on TV, we feel very helpless. When we’re on social media, we’re exchanging information, and social media does it so fast,” said Jackson. “Instead of watching and feeling helpess, we’re able to help, and that’s empowering.”