Digital Media

Photobucket’s Tom Munro on The Art of Storytelling

The_Makegood_Tom_MunroTom Munro is CEO of Photobucket, one of the world’s leading dedicated photo and video sharing services. The Makegood recently spoke with Tom about ‘Photobucket Stories’ and how it transforms the act of photosharing into the art of storytelling.

The Makegood: Billions of photos are shared every day via Photobucket. What drives people to upload their pictures on your platform?

Photobucket was designed from the ground up to enable easy storing and sharing of photos and videos, from anywhere and to everywhere.  Originally this helped people easily post and share to blogs, small business sites, ebay, craiglist and many more.  Today we facilitate creativity and sharing across the entire social ecosystem, so you can do anything you want with your photos and videos – edit, create stories, share (anywhere) or keep private.
In addition, we provide simple solutions for consumers to get all of their photos and videos to Photobucket from their desktop, mobile web, and mobile apps.

The Makegood: What opportunities do you provide for marketers?

Photobucket strives to enable the visual web and provide an effective content marketing platform for marketers. We provide a wide array of advertising and marketing solutions, from standard IAB universal ad units, to native ad solutions, sponsorships of galleries and custom content, deep integration into our contest area.  We recently launched the Photobucket Stories platform which integrates photo, video and text to tell a “brand story” and allow the marketers’ brand advocates to engage with and contribute to the narrative arc of the marketing message. Besides residing within the PB ecosystem- the story can be embedded throughout the marketers social graph, websites and blogs PLUS it can be integrated into an expandable rich media unit that allows the Brand Story to be carried throughout the web, within standard IAB units.  We have seen great success and unparalleled engagement with recent campaigns.

The Makegood: You had amazing success with a recent ad campaign for the movie “Parental Guidance”. How did it work and why was it so successful?

In partnering with Fox Studios, we were able to leverage their existing marketing assets and provide a new narrative and perspective on Old School / New School parenting techniques using the Photobucket Stories platform.  These Stories included an inside look at both families featured in the film: Marisa Tomei’s ”new school” family, along with the ”old school” family, featuring her parents played by Billy Crystal and Bette Midler. By incorporating photos, videos and text, we provided Fox a digital canvas to create and share a multimedia introduction to the movies characters and themes.  The Stories were incorporated into the existing social media strategy FOX had planned of the release of the movie, and provided a native ad environment within the Parental Guidance site and  The numbers told the real story though– consumers engaged with this content for nearly 3 minutes (average of 2:47) per visit!

The Makegood: What are the challenges of cross platform campaigns that run on multiple devices and how do you address them?

The greatest challenge that marketers face today is scale – with more established and emerging opportunities across the digital landscape, how do you develop, deploy and measure in a simple and efficient manner?  That is one of the great benefits of the Photobucket Stories platform, enabling marketers to consolidate existing assets onto a multimedia canvas that can be deployed across corporate sites, social networks, embedded in ad units, blogs and more. Rather than introduce another set of specs, Stories leverages and maximizes the existing campaign assets.

The Makegood: Mobile users check their phones every six minutes, take pictures, and share videos. Where is the trend going?

As much of the world already is, the US is fast becoming a mobile-first market with smartphones and tablets becoming the go-to devices. As the cameras in these devices become better and as wi-fi is added to traditional cameras, shooting and sharing photos and videos will become even more “in the moment”.
While this technology is empowering, we’ve heard from consumers that it can also be overwhelming. We now have more photos and videos to manage, edit, and share. At Photobucket, we are strive to provide the one place for all those photos and videos so you can do everything you want, simply and easily, wherever you are and whatever device you are using.

The Makegood: Thanks, Tom.