ReelSEO writers Jeremy Scott and Chris Atkinson are not only thought leaders in the Chicago production companies industry, evidently, they are also friends. A few days ago, Scott published a conversation the two had about the future of online video production, predicting an industry landscape where advertising and branded entertainment are basically indistinguishable. Below are some excerpts from their conversation.
Chris: In many ways, product placement and entertainment is becoming indistinguishable. I think of just last year, where we had ads for movies that seemed just like any other YouTube video, like “Ape With AK-47,” which was an ad for Rise of the Planet of the Apes. What advertisers are realizing is that traditional commercials are losing their impact more than ever before. We’re in the era of DVR, On Demand, and streaming, and we don’t pay attention to commercials much anymore, and the ones that we do pay attention to are getting more and more ridiculous. Advertisers know now that they have to make compelling video production content, something that stands on its own as entertainment, and still advertises the product
Jeremy: … ads are getting weird. And the only explanation is they’re (Chicago production companies) desperate to get your attention. That trend of increasingly ridiculous ads… that can’t last forever. There’s a cap at some point where the weirdness will lose any and all effectiveness at creating a memorable viewing experience. And even with the weird stuff that works… it only works once, right? How many wanna-be Old Spice men have we seen in the last year? They’re nowhere near as funny or memorable… because they’re not original. The only thing that’s original is… well, originality. Like original content.
Chris: Yeah, how are ads going to get our attention and sell the product anymore? They are clearly the most important thing funding entertainment, and we’re rejecting traditional video production ads as viewers. So now there’s only one solution. Force people to watch by enriching our lives with something compelling/amazing.
This is something I think GoPro has absolutely crushed recently. Their ads focus on dynamic, free-as-a-bird, risk-takers, and they shoot some of the most breathtaking video production ever. And now, almost, they don’t even have to make their own ads because the camera is so popular, people are using them in their own videos and they have a product that basically keeps selling itself.
Jeremy: I think local Chicago production companies will become like local television–only with better content. They’ll make original video content that is not traditional ad content… but it will be viewed by a lot fewer people than the Coke content will. But success for a local business video isn’t defined the same way success is defined for Coke–a lot fewer viewers can still translate into a huge boost.
But they’ll face the same thing big brands face with traditional TV ads… viewer apathy. If they viewers are turned off on traditional TV ads, then they’re turned off on the concept… not the individual advertisers.
Think about how many local Chicago production companies still advertise on television. Sooner or later, they’ll lose their power just like branded TV ads are. So even local businesses will begin to move into the creation of original content. And thankfully the technology is affordable now for them to do that.
Chris: I think there’s no doubt Chicago production companies and brands are going to be their own studios. They’ll always have to remind themselves, though, that content comes first, which is what the Coke strategy in the videos Greg posted appears to lay out. What I think we might see is, long-form content (episodes) on a particular brand’s website/channel, and short-form content (ads) on traditional TV directing people to the website/channel. That’s nothing new, but I think we’re going to see more of it. The short-form content will be the length of regular commercials, but there will be a cinematic quality, or story, that will make people want to see the longer version. The ultimate goal is to make it so that people don’t think they are just getting a reminder to buy a product. The idea will always be to use the product in such a way that an emotional connection is made with the story.
Although there are at least a couple years before these predictions become a reality, the business which adopt these practices today will be seen as forward thinking brands tomorrow. Maybe instead of buying that TV spot, you should start penning a script?
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