Take your time. You’ve got 15 seconds!

You don’t make a billion dollar investment, without taking measures to protect it!

Just days after Twitter‘s video platform Vine, attained more linked tweets in a day than Instagram, Facebook has moved to recapture video market share with the launch of 15 second videos on Instagram.

This was clearly a well-planned initiative. That Video on Instagram was made available simultaneously on the web, and as an app on the App Store for iPhone and iPad, and on Google Play for Android, indicates considerable preparation.

In addition to the longer duration, features such as selecting the thumbnail to represent the film, deleting frames and even image-stabilisation, are all sure to be popular with smartphone video-makers worldwide.

Is 15 seconds a practical duration for advertising?

Advertisers in some countries have been able to produce and broadcast 15 second television commercials for many years. Greater discipline and ingenuity is required than for a conventional 30 second spot, but the impact of the message is the same. A clear, strong story can be conveyed in 15 seconds, just as it can be in 30, 45, 60, 90 or 120 seconds. Success is not ensured by duration, but by the strength of the idea.

The six-second Vine format is sufficient for advertising, as Samsung and Target have demonstrated.

The Internet has dramatically expanded the scope of commercial films, as it has correspondingly reduced the cost. Investment in broadcast television airtime, has had at its pinnacle the annual US SuperBowl, during which a single 0’30” spot has (for decades) cost over a million dollars.

In order to justify this investment and maximise impact from very few screenings, advertisers had to invest even more heavily in concept and production, resulting in ever-more substantial budgets.

In contrast to this, a long running and interactive online campaign, can be achieved for a fraction of the cost. Who doesn’t remember Old Spice Man saying: “I’m on a horse”?

Upon launch in February 2010, Old Spice Man moved rapidly from a single spot into a mass awareness campaign via social media. The minds behind “Old Spice Man” comprehended and capitalised on the level of social media interest, by progressively more offbeat and quirky direct responses to online enquiries and requests, which nevertheless maintained a constant tone and inextricably promoted the brand name.

On the box. On the desk. In the hand?

Production of video primarily or exclusively for the Internet, has had a significant negative effect upon television advertising revenues, just as it has liberated advertisers from the confines of traditional advertising. Targeting can be far more specific. Interaction can be considerable. Proprietary involvement in increasingly in the hands of brand stewards, previously known by the more passive term, ‘customers’.

Social media now ensures that consumers have a far stronger voice than any brand. The brand reputation is managed by the consumers. A good story results in trusted referrals to friends (and anyone else listening). A bad story results in negative coverage to an ever widening cascade of potential consumers, who may now eschew one product or service provider while flocking to a competitor.

Incidents like the air traveller who tweeted about his guitar being damaged by an airline, causing a cavalcade of complaints against the airline, are evidence of this economic power.

The growth of online video

Vine only launched in January, so its growth has been astronomical. It comes as time spent watching video on mobile devices has doubled, and year on year, the volume of video viewed on handheld devices (relative to desktops) is also doubling.

Tablets have outstripped smartphones as a video viewing platform. Handheld devices are now the platform for more than 10 percent of all online videos viewed. Consumers are watching more and longer, live video on handhelds, in preference to watching television.

In a year, (which we at  Digital Tsunami consider to be the Year of Video, Mobile and Social), the constantly accelerating rate of change is becoming ever more visibly apparent.

With the expertise to produce a global video, 15 second story or 6 second ‘blipvert’, Digital Tsunami enables you to maximise the exceptional ROI of online video. Contact Digital Tsunami today.

 

About Instagram

Instagram, the online photo-sharing and social networking service that was launched on October 2010, and within 18 months, was acquired by Facebook for approximately $1 billion in cash and stock.

About Digital Tsunami

Founded in 1996, Digital Tsunami is an agile digital agency, delivering effective marketing communications across mutliple media to recognised brands around the globe, including Abbott, Cathay Pacific, Citizen, Merck and Mercedes-Benz.

About Andrew W Morse

Before founding Digital Tsunami, Andrew W Morse was a Director and Producer of television commercials and Investor’s Representative on feature films in Hong Kong, and Production Manager of feature films and major mini-series in Australia. He has worked in film and video since 1979.

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