Video is going live. You can’t have missed it. But is live video really a step forward for digital marketing?
It seems odd to play by linear TV’s rules when there are so still so many video-specific opportunities.
Below are five examples of supercharged video content that wasn’t live streamed:
#1 Sounds of Silence
Whilst video usage has exploded in the past two years, the fact we consume the majority of it through mobile has had a massive impact on audio.
On average 85% of Facebook videos are watched without sound, which means brands need to include subtitles to convey the key points you can’t get across visually.
And unlike the boring text we see on TV, video can use subtitles as an extension of the creative. Check out Sony’s example for The Magnificent 7.
#2 Going Vertical
Mobile usage is also influencing the dimensions of video. If 98% of people use mobiles in a vertical (portrait) mode then surely content should be created in the same way?
This has been proven to work as Snapchat vertical videos deliver 9x higher completion rate than landscape.
The challenge, however is that most brand content is developed for TV and then syndicated through video.
But when video is edited for its own purposes the end result is brilliant – just look at Stork’s as an example
#3 Cold Open
With the fact that humans have a shorter attention span than goldfish it’s important to hook people in early.
The TV tactic of ‘slow builds’ simply don’t work when you have 3 seconds to catch someone in their newsfeed.
Which is why trailers now opens with 5 seconds of highlights before starting the story. The recent Jason Bourne trailer is a nice example of it in practice.
The technique is actually an evolution of a TV trick called the Cold Open. This is when a show begins with a minute of storytelling before the opening sequence (think of Breaking Bad or The Walking Dead.)
Most TV ads only have one cut. Everyone will see the same story play out in the same way.
But with digital you’re able to create multiple edits of the same content, and serve that to people who would find it most interesting.
So an action comedy may dial up the jokes to one audience whilst focusing on the fight scenes for another.
Or long standing franchises (such as Star Wars) may focus on iconic characters like Darth Vader when talking to older audiences, whilst dialling up newer characters like Rey for their younger audiences.
But with any form of targeting, brands must think hard about ethics. Sony became a focus of debate when they targeted different ethnicities to promote Straight Outta Compton.
#5 Looped Frames
GIFs are a huge part of internet culture with more than 25m posted every day.
In many ways they’re the ultimate piece of A/V content, short, memorable and relevant.
Which is why studios are producing them by the bucket load, using offcuts of their main trailer to create gif-style videos.
For brands they’re also the easiest and simplest way to extend the content you already have and make it relevant to any cultural moment.
Check out this celebration GIF for Trainspotting 2 which was taken directly from their ad.
So where does that leave live streaming?
The obvious argument for streaming is when a brand wants to capture unmissable moments and live events – especially ones involving brand ambassadors and celebrities.
Whilst that makes sense, the problem is that most attempts so far have suffered from being overly long, unstructured and difficult to follow. In other words they’re boring.
As a result, it’s still better to invest in a great editing team to sort, stitch and produce snippets of content on the fly rather than broadcasting the whole thing.
The old adage “quality over quantity”, remains as true for digital as it does for everything else.