Latest Trends in Marketing: Short Branded Films

October 10, 2014

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Posted By: Mindbenders Media
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Starting with this first series, the Mindbenders team of thinkers, dreamers, and doers will begin discussing and analyzing the latest trends in marketing. Our first series looks at the current marketing trend of longer length YouTube spots (also known as short films) put forth by brands. These videos are reminiscent of the recent 18-inning playoff baseball game in that they may be as long, but they are also twice as good.

If brands are willing to invest the time and money into a lengthier YouTube video, you can bet more often than not they are going to be damn good and worth your time. Brands are releasing these short films online with multiple versions driving home the same theme. A viewer has the option of watching a short film that is often around five minutes or so in length, a shorter feature that runs anywhere from one to two minutes, or a short 30-second spot. The latter two are the spots you’ll typically see on television when watching a football game or one of the new TV shows set to debut this fall.

There are a few reasons that brands take the time and invest the money into developing longer length videos and placing them on their YouTube page. The end goal for most of the larger brands is for the video to go viral similar to how American Greetings’ “World’s Toughest Job” took off this past spring or how Gatorade’s “I’ll Walk From Here” coincided with Derek Jeter’s retirement.

While most branded videos don’t go viral, there are still a number of benefits that these short films offer. These videos have the opportunity to:

1)   Build an emotional connection: It’s the buildup and anticipation that make these longer length videos work. The viewer becomes invested in the characters and the video similar to the reaction of someone watching a movie or television show. Simply put, these videos connect the viewer emotionally to the brand in a way that shorter videos do not.

2)   Influence the viewer: Whether it’s purchasing a product or changing a mindset, the longer a video is, the longer the brand has a chance to influence the viewer. In this case, the video aims to influence the viewer to act. This is the place for brands to differentiate themselves from not only their competitors, but for consumers to differentiate one brand from another.

3)   Tell a story: Every brand has a story that needs to be told. Short films are able to do what shorter videos cannot: effectively tell a story. They are able to highlight things such as the brand’s history and values that otherwise may have been missed in a short one-minute spot. More importantly, these videos are not limited to a specific time frame, which gives brands the opportunity to tell the whole story.

This isn’t to say that short videos aren’t beneficial or don’t make sense for certain brands. Or that micro-video such as Vine and Instagram won’t continue to be used by brands to instantly connect with consumers and generate quick engagement. The point of this series is to highlight that what some forecasted for 2014 isn’t necessarily playing out. Lengthier YouTube videos or short films are having their day in the sun and brands are soaking it up. All you have to do is review Adweek’s Top 10 Branded Videos to see the type of impact they are having in the digital realm.

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