Google travel head set to leave to push video with Brit start-up Wooshii

By Travolution
By Travolution
June 13, 2014 01:18 PM GMT

Google head of travel Sarah McDonald is leaving the search giant to join online video production community Wooshii as its first chief marketing officer.

Founded by Brit Fergus Dyer-Smith, the firm is hoping to attract first round funding in the near future and is one of three Google partners in a YouTube pilot being run in the US.

McDonald described Wooshii as the airbnb of the video production sector in that it is able to connect would-be clients to 10,000 animators and video professionals globally.

The site works by allowing firms that need some form of video to set out a brief and invite tenders for the work. The site acts as a matchmaker.

McDonald said she came across Wooshii, among other specialists in video marketing, during her time at Google when she was helping travel clients get to grips with YouTube.

She said travel firms needed the expertise but did not necessarily have huge production budgets, and that Wooshii opens up video production to these companies.

“The more niche your product is the more you need video to tell your story, because actually search gives you three lines of text - you need a bit more of a platform to tell your story.

“Travel companies have traditionally had a lot of product, and content has been very expensive, and they would look to provide the least amount of content to sell their product.

“But now the consumer has an appetite for more. You are now getting product demonstrations online for very basic products on Asos or Appliance Online, so why would you not have the appetite to the same degree for something you spend several thousand pounds on?”

McDonald believed a video is more effective in answering questions that potential customers have when they are asking themselves the crucial questions: Is this product what it says it is and is it right for me?

YouTube’s True View video adverts are growing in popularity and make storytelling accessible to all businesses, McDonald said.

Wooshii has already worked with a number of well known travel brands including rentalcars.com, Lowcost Travel Group, Iglu, Barrhead Travel and Alpharooms.

Also switching from the Google travel team to Wooshii is Anna Tong who will become the firm’s head of marketing.

That will take headcount to seven by the end of this month and Wooshii has recently agreed terms for its first physical base in London’s Charlotte Street.

McDonald said: “It’s all about travel at the moment because that’s what I’ve been living and breathing, but of course this is something for all industries and all products.”

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