2 impressive examples of YouTube video annotation

I’ve seen a couple of good examples recently where companies or individuals have created interactive videos on YouTube using Video Annotations.  I haven’t tried it myself but the basic principle is that you can overlay speech bubbles, notes, spotlights and hotlinks onto your video to make the YouTube video experience that more interactive. This opens up quite a few exciting possibilities for brands e.g.

  • add background information and commentary to complement the video
  • create stories with multiple possibilities (viewers click to choose the next scene)
  • link to related YouTube videos, channels or search results from within a video

Personally I find some of the annotations a bit invasive and an unnecessary distraction to the content but the following two examples show how it can be done imaginatively and to great effect.


The first example is for an ad agency called BooneOakley. In essence, what they’ve done is incorporate signposting within the video footage and overlayed video annotation on top to make navigation an integral part of the video.  The end result is a mini agency website within a video. Very clever indeed.  Thanks to Adverblog for spotting this.

Boone Oakley

What’s also worth noting is how BooneOakley has hosted this within a YouTube channel so that all the content is aggregated under one roof and  fans have the option to subscribe for future content.  Who needs a website when you can do it all on YouTube!

Bboy Joker

The other example I thought was worth shaing was an interactive breakdance competition where you can choose between Batman or the Joker and the appropriate YouTube video plays accordingly.

Bboy Joker


I have to say I absolutely love this approach, not just for its sheer bravado and creative innovation but for pushing the technical boundaries of YouTube and demonstrating how social media can be utilitised effectively to fulfil traditional marketing objectives.

If you’ve seen any other good examples where brands have used Video Annotation successfully, I’d love to hear from you.  Just leave a comment below.


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