How many times have you clicked on a youtube video to find an advertisement that you could
choose to skip in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1? How many times did you actually watch the video all the way through? How many times did you click on “Skip Ad” almost immediately. Well, as a marketing professional our goal is for people to be so enamored with the video right off the bat, that they will watch it all the way through. Even if they aren’t the demographic for that product or service.
This may seem hard to do, but I believe there are a couple of key factors in creating videos that will engage people immediately. Hence the title “Don’t give away what you’re talking about so quickly”.
I think back on some of the most powerful commercials I’ve ever seen. The ones that made me say,
“Wow, that was a powerful ad!” The ones that raised the bar in my mind to the company represented in the ad. Take for example Dodge. Dodge took a risk on the 2013 Superbowl ad. It was a whopping 2 minute commercial. Paul Harvey’s voiceover with nothing but photos, very good photos shot by photographers with credentials. Some from National Geographic. Some merely edited in 2 1/2 D.
The commercial had me riveted. I watched with tears in my eyes when he talked about the son
wanting to follow in his father’s footsteps. All the while I was saying, “What is this commercial for?” It was for Dodge?!!?! Well, kudos to Dodge, they’re image was just raised in my mind 10 times! They never said “Dodge” one time in the Ad. They didn’t give it away right from the start.
They played with your emotions in a very powerful way. They maximized on curiosity initially, then nostalgia, then personal family ties.
My favorite quote from a friend of mine who is a pastor of a church said. “People do what they want to do.” So why do we barrage people with facts to make them move instead of causing them to feel why they should move. People begin to move once they are touched at their deeper levels of feeling.
So that’s the job of a powerful director/writer; know what makes people move, then create that piece.
Don’t be fooled by all high end production companies. Sometimes creativity is lost in all the people involved in a project. Just because it’s expensive doesn’t make it good. I’ve seen lot’s of well shot, well lit, well paid for commercials that made me click on “skip ad” within 2 seconds. They all lacked one key component initially. (Grab-you-by-the-throat curiosity creating content) These commercials instantly let me know what they were selling before I even cared. They didn’t compel me to care.
We all know the phrase “Curiosity killed the cat” Curiosity is such a strong emotion and we need to learn to as writers, directors, and marketing content producers maximize on curiosity.
Had the above mentioned commercial started with the Dodge logo, I would have turned it off.
Instead they took a risk and bet you would watch all the way through before you knew what it was about. It turned out to be pretty smart.
So the first element I mentioned was curiosity. Another element we might want to consider is
surrealism. Why don’t we like watching other peoples home videos? It’s because it looks like boring real life. Someone else s boring, real life. We tune out the “normal” very quickly so it’s important our videos have an element of “another world”. Be it through colors, camera movement, time manipulation, or whatever you can think of that is outside the box, there should be some of this within our works to compel the viewer to KEEP WATCHING.
I’m currently working on a project that the client wants to be a national campaign to compel people to understand the value of water. We’re in pre-production phase so there is a lot of brainstorming happening. How to get people interested in something so normal as water. I have some ideas…
See you next time.