Five seconds. That’s the time some pieces of video content have to gain a viewer’s attention. It’s not a lot. You’ve got to create something pretty captivating to keep viewers from clicking on to their desired destination. Evian’s ‘Baby & Me’ did it well…
Are we in an era of short term attention spans? Can we really only cope with reading 140 characters? Viewing five seconds of video before deciding it’s not for us? Well, yes and no. It’s more about options.
We now have a plethora of choice, both in terms of what content we want to watch and where we want to watch it, so even if we’re vaguely intrigued, the grass could always be greener somewhere else.
Ad agencies need to think of ways to engage a passive audience
We don’t all say ‘Stop, the commercials are on!’ – we have other things to do, we can explore other less intrusive avenues of content if our curiosity is not piqued.
So as content viewing options increase exponentially, the need to create quality, innovative content is more vital than ever. Otherwise it won’t be watched- be it a five second ad or a two hour movie – and it certainly won’t be remembered.
So how do brands create elusive video content that commands attention and lingers in the memory?
First off, and this is a tricky one for all brands to hear: The brand is secondary to the content
Viewers know when they are being sold to, so it’s vital to make them feel like they’re getting something for free. It must be entertainment first at all costs (or at least a decent investment!) and the brand must be hidden within the compelling content.
Second: Aim to generate the emotion in the viewer that you want associated with your brand.
With Red Bull it is awe and exhilaration, with Dove it is warmth and comfort, with Nike it is energy and inspiration. When a brand doesn’t know what reaction they want to generate from their audience, they aren’t aware of their own identity and it’s unlikely the content or the brand will be remembered for the right reasons.
Third: The idea that scares you the most is probably the right one.
If you’re looking to jolt your audience, the idea needs to jolt you too. Let’s use an Irish brand as St. Patrick’s Day has just been and gone, leaving behind pavements, rivers and buildings coated with a green tinge – memories that don’t particularly linger. But how can we forget what is possibly Guinness’ best advertisement ever?
Eyebrows must have been raised in that creative pitch. Horses and a surfer? Where’s the beer? Well, it’s absent. But they have created a piece of shareable, memorable content that connects with the brand and captures audience attention almost instantly.
It is that courage to take creative risks, knowing their brand and how they want to be perceived and then investing in bold content that has made Guinness and similar brands successful. It’s one of the only ways to capture the attention of the modern day consumer.
Then once you’ve got their attention, you’re in a better place to sell your products…