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7 Seconds Away: The Rise of Short Form Video

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Short form content appears to be the next “next big thing”, at least until the good folks at Google find a way to plant ads directly into our frontal lobes. With that Social Video looks like it might finally be coming of age.

Since Instagram joined the short form video content party, people have been asking if this will have an effect on traditional video advertising. The short answer is no. These are both new(ish) channels and they’ll have no more of an effect on standard video advertising content than LOL Cats had on full page ads in Vogue.

What this does mean for marketers is that brands are going to have to get better at using short form narrative. There are some great examples of brands using Vine (we particularly like Urban Outfitters) but many are still scrabbling around trying to see how it fits into their overall marketing strategy.

The simple fact is it can’t be treated as a sub-channel, with shortened versions of “long form” adverts being cascaded down. Short form video creates a new dynamic and therefore (unsurprisingly) we yet again need to think differently about how we approach it to attract and engage users.

Principally brands need a very strong reason to get involved in these channels. 15 and 7 second “buy my product” videos aren’t going to cut it, not if brands want to be relevant in the space. Instead it’s going to be a long term investment and strategy that are going to win out. Check out http://brandsonvine.com/ for some interesting ways brands are using Vine. As for Instagram, I guess we’ll see an influx of brands utilising all 15 seconds very soon.

Hang On, I Think This Might Go Viral In A Minute

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Dandelion-ImageYes, there are absolutely exceptions and yes, you should definitely aim high and shoot for the moon, but at the same time you need to be realistic and not convince yourself it’s the end of the world when you land unceremoniously on next doors lawn. Especially, if it’s a nice lawn.

People see big businesses creating virals alongside user generated content of kids biting other kids fingers, or cats pretending to be ninjas and think there must be some secret formula, but their really isn’t.

Simple fact is seeding is absolutely key when it comes to launching a brand viral. It’s all about platform, and the vast majority of businesses don’t have a big enough platform or budget to go globally viral.

Those that are neither unusual user generated content nor big brand virals occupy an exceptionally narrow corridor. There’s some luck and some serendipity to it and absolutely it helps if you have an idea that spreads, but there are plenty of potentially great virals out there that never made it. And there are a lot of disappointed people that expected them to.

We’ve convinced ourselves that ‘going viral’ is about people talking about your film or idea from Watford Gap Services all the way to South of the Mekong Delta. But that doesn’t need to be the case. Instead, ‘going viral’ can take place within a small target audience, specialist group or community. If your client base is 300 CIO’s or 10,000 one legged Hungarian Pole Dancers, then ‘going viral’ just means getting it to spread within the confines of those groups. If it moves outside of them, great, but it’s not the be all and end all. Think in terms of a cold spreading around a nursery and not a global flu pandemic. After all, if every would be viral launched spread globally, we’d get pretty sick of them.

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