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Thinking TV ad ? Start online !

Gone are the days when TV commercials ruled advertising. Creating a TV commercial was considered a prestigious assignment for any creative. The madness behind the planning, site visits, talent auditions, pre-production lunch meetings, post-production parties, and at the end of it all the joy of watching your efforts on TV, just for that 30 second duration. Doesn’t sound bad at all, right? Post the digital explosion, the 30 second story-telling mode is almost losing its charm, with respect to production and consumption. Producing a brand/product film is not a big deal anymore. Technology has made us all D.O.P.s, cameramen, editors and directors. And fame hungry friends are more than willing to become ‘professional talent’ in front of the camera. Else, give a speech to your team on pro-activity and you have your production crew, all armed with their smartphones and editing tools raring to make the next big viral video.

Today, one can produce a short film for a brand in a matter of days…wait did I just say short-film? Yes. With NO duration restriction to worry about, one can push a brand film to 300 seconds or more depending on the script. At what cost you may ask? No exorbitant media spends means better budgets available for production. Imagine this, to produce a campaign of 3 or more films will now cost a brand probably just as much a full page newsprint release would cost (or even lesser).

Catching the online films trend early on are numerous production houses who claim to be online video experts. Many are setting up an “online division” within their existing production unit. And if the brand says, “budgets are tight”, they are ready to take it up without even flinching. While all this seems great, online videos has its challenges to face. Online, there are thousands of videos playing at the same time, side by side. The clutter is unbelievably sickening. Much worse than the clutter one sits through during a five minute ad break on TV. But then again, being able to reach millions, in a cost-effective way surely has it’s own downside. Your film might just become another fish in the sea.

All said and done, online commercials are nowhere close to replacing the good old 30 seconder TV spots. Both are here to stay. It’s like this, before we used to make 5, 10, 20 second edits of a 30 second TV commercial and post it online as pre-roll ads. Today, brands make 2 minute films, make a 30 second cut for TV and ask the audience to catch the “full” version online! For sure, online has bitten off a large chunk from the conventional TV commercial world.

What was once a thing of great pride to make a TV commercial, has now been made accessible to all. A 14 year old today can now shoot a film on his fancy smart phone-cam, which boasts of features like slo-mo, time-lapse etc, he can then slice it, dice it, and slap on some supers, throw in a logo and upload it on Youtube. And if he/she has done a good job of it, the film garner millions of views and shares in just days. And all this for FREE! That’s the power of the magic word, ‘upload’. Click on the button, and BOOM! Your brand film can reach millions out there. Of course there are paid media too in the online realm when it comes to targeted marketing and to build engagement/conversion numbers. But here’s the best part, everything online is tracked. From who has seen it? Where from? To whether he/she is interested in the brand. All of it is tracked, real time.

While TV spots are all about reach, online is about reach and engagement. The latter is metrics and the ability to derive insights driven from data. Clients go gaga over these stuff. Plus, brands are connecting with the audience through branded content videos in a more casual, approachable manner. Videos online has allowed brands to gauge audience reactions within minutes of posting them. No more focus groups and spending on business rooms in star hotels and feeding the group biscuits and tea. You draw a lean budget, come up with a brand video and get access to a sea of reactions.

To sum it up, online brand videos have become the client favorite. It’s bang for the buck. The only question need to be, why a campaign of 3 films? Let’s do 8 films of different duration. And while at it, let’s throw in a 4 minute 52 seconder animation film too, just for kicks. Why? Because now we can.

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