Cleve Gibbon

content management, content modelling, digital ecosystems, technology evangelist.

To Video and Beyond

A couple months ago I met Lujza.  She’s into video. Big time.

We all know video is important.  Some already citing video as the most important type of content for truly engaging with consumers.  But what steps can we take to really understand how effective video is at doing that.  Well, that’s where Lujza’s story is really interesting. Over to you.

Lujza Bubanova, Co-founder of YouFirst & Divano

Lujza Bubanova

Lujza Bubanova of Divano and YouFirst – Video

Hi! Before co-founding Divano I was a professional golfer. I got into media tech while studying for a Masters of Digital Marketing at Hult International Business School in San Francisco. As a student, I started a conference called Startupism.  That led to me securing a spot at the Stanford Persuasive Technology Labs as an intern studying behavioural patterns and then media consumption of contemporary viewers. So what did I find?

We can gauge the ability of viewers to consume two sources of entertainment at a time and at the same quality level as if consumed from just one source.  Think TV and mobile.  Not only can be do both but the sum of the two parts is drives superior engagement.  This finding now serves as the fundamental hypothesis for Divano’s value creation model during ad breaks (more on Divano later).

I’m also tapping into the new area of emotion metrics focusing on youtubers and Mulit-Channel Networks (MCNs) allowing them to pre-test content before release.  With YouFirst, you can do what the big movie/tv productions having been doing for years but a fraction of the cost using technology.

How did your career journey lead you to video?

Video is the most engaging form of storytelling.  Videos capture moments that create deep personal experiences and grow relationships. Our devices, mobile or otherwise, allow us to consume and share video easily.  So it’s not surprising that the media industry is focusing on experimenting with video. Timing, formats, distribution channels, livestreams are the hot topics for producers and marketers alike.

Video is an executive level agenda item. I was born into a media family – mum running an ad agency and dad a pop singer – I was always intrigued by television and programming. The art side in me.  Now with the technology side providing the science, I live at the intersection between the two.  Divano tackling complimentary video timing and YouFirst focussing on pre-release testing.

Tell us about YouFirst

YouFirst started at Startup Weekend where three developers were working on emotion tracking software with no particular vision of a product.  We were just excited about machine learning technology. I fell in love all the adjacent possibilities.  So we started to talk more and brought more people into the conversation. We added an angel investor to board.  Next, we hired the best CEO this region could offer who had a PhD in psychology with years of advertising experience working at Leo Burnett; theory and practice.

At first we used the tech as a simple API for research agencies to pretest tv commercials.  This was the most common bread and butter use case that paid the bills. But how could we scale this for the masses and differentiate ourselves in the market? Emotions.  Emotions are the universal language and our faces speak the unbiased truth effortlessly. Can we scale that?

Let’s go back to the customer and their problem.  How do the creators of short digital videos know if their content will resonate with their target audience across Youtube, Facebook, or any video platforms? You’re not going to employ a research agency. Way too expensive. The process too long.  Also, given that video creators typically already have an excited fan base, why would you swap this out for a research agency that would only seek to assemble disengaged online panel of respondents.

Our answer is to provide a DIY pre-release platform. Youfirst that targets the 30% CAGR growing industry of short form online video creation. We cut out the middle man to bring emotion metrics to everyone.  We make it affordable and fast to test the effectiveness of your videos, on your target audience, in a pre-release environment.

What is Divano?

Divano is a second screen platform that helps TV broadcasters reduce ad break drop off.  It also creates a social experience around any show to engage viewers during ads.  Divano is unique in its business model. It creates incremental revenues to its partners (broadcasters) and satisfies the needs of TV clients by offering high value for the users at the same time.

So what’s the problem? People watch a lot of TV but channel surf, fast forward, remove ads or just get up and leave the room during ad breaks. Ads are a time to do other stuff.  This leads to a handful of bad effects:

  • Broken TV entertainment causes a growing frustration with the audience
  • Viewership drop off strikes broadcasters
  • Lost opportunity for TV clients to engaged consumers

Divano addresses these negative consequences by showcasing relevant content during ad breaks. It motivates users to stay engaged and reduce channel surfing. We’ve found that Divano turns 33% of leavers into stayers.  Instantly, that means 33% ad break revenue growth for the broadcaster! Divano is a selfstanding brand that is promoted and content-filled by TV broadcasters, probably the biggest differentiation against our competitors.

Divano’s app is backed by sophisticated sound synchronisation technology, Shazam style on your mobile device.  The magic is where the Divano app detects an ad break and control seamlessly switches over to your mobile app.  Divano aggregates all show-relevant posts from social networks, letting users chat in dedicated rooms.  As the TV programme approaches the ad break, special locked content is teasing people to stay tuned. The start of the ad break is considered as an access key to unique content, unlocking it and letting users enjoy exclusive videos, pictures, or special functions (voting, polls, quizzes or games).  With Divano, ad breaks are now opportunities to further engage with consumers on their second screen.

Are they any marketing technology innovations that you’re particularly excited about these days?

Virtual Reality(VR). VR is a deeper video experience and an important trend to follow for both Divano and Youfirst. However, I have doubts about wearables that isolate us from our real surrounding and make us look funny and unsexy. Today, that limits our everyday usage of VR in social B2C settings. Less so in B2B.

Personally, I am excited about the application of technology in solving human conflicts. At Stanford’s Peace Lab the mission was to look for real causes of violence at the intersection of interest between conflicted parties.  By studying the differences in behaviour and analysing big data about the studied subjects the aim is to really understand and target the influences at the source.

For example, it was found that Buenos Aires violence level was mainly caused by local rap songs. Using accessible technology such as Facebook social graphs we can highlight friendships created between members of conflicted parties. I believe we are going to be exposed to even more mixing of cultures that is very often hand in hand with conflict. Technologies may help us prevent, understand and challenge the conflicters. One of those that I like to follow is Mike Butcher who’s very active in this space with initiatives such as techfugees.

Any advice you would give to people trying to better engage with their consumers using video?

I believe it is very important to look at consumers and their natural behaviours. Just like Snapchat caught the problem of teens – “I want to send you this pic but I don’t want you to keep it” – try to catch the problem of the video consumers that are your target audience. What time of the day do they consume? How do they make choice? What distribution channel are using? What are their limitations (length, silent unless clicked on, etc.)?  Basically, what rocks their boat? Fun? Surprise? If you’re not sure, make sure you test your content on Youfirst before you release it- we’ll give you the insights, for better ideas, that will deliver real business impact 🙂


Well thanks for that Lujza.  Video is definitely on the up.  If you want to get in touch with Lujza she’s on twitter and email

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About Cleve Gibbon

I'm a technologist passionate about enabling consumers, employees, and clients do more with less, whilst having fun at the same time.

My sort of up-to-date cv tells you my past, linked in shows you my professional network and on twitter you can find out what I'm currently doing.