We all must have seen the highly-acclaimed short film for Anouk – an apparel brand featuring a Lesbian couple. It got around 1.7 Mn hits on YouTube. It went viral because of its bold approach, lovely storyline, and natural acting. It was welcomed by all and content aggregating websites couldn’t stop raving about it. Shaking the popular notions of ‘short & sweet TVCs are the best’, brands are now banking upon the ‘long; yet sweet’ format and making meaningful short films with a great story and subtle placement of the brand. Storytelling has started gaining a momentum with these short films.
In the digital world, brands have started becoming storytellers and using their digital platforms to share the short films with their audience.
Here’s how short films have an edge over TVCs.
As everywhere else, content is still the king here. More so because of the ‘slice of life’ packaged and presented artistically, forming an emotional bond with the audience. In the digital age, if you cannot grasp the audience’ mind within a few seconds, you lose them. Also, if the user finds the ad even a little boring or spammy, ad block is just a click away. FYI, it’s going to cost about 42Bn $ for the advertisers because if ad blocking in 2016. So the digital media doesn’t give brands an option of being boring. Content has to be enticing and while making short films, many brands make sure it is. Like the Google’s reunion film of the friends distanced because of the partition.
The medium on which the short films are released
It’s a no-brainer that the young audience, the millennials are mostly glued to their smartphones rather than TV. The percentage of people consuming video content through TV has gone down a lot. People are constantly on their phones and it’s in the best interest of the brands to be where their customers are. Thus, social media has become the first priority for the brands to release their short films. It’s great for a brand in the context of tracking the reach and success of the film; whereas for the audience, it’s great because they can instantly react and share the film on their social networks.
With the recent controversy with Udta Punjab censorship, it’s apparent that being totally creative and honest is not an easy task, at least in a country like India. However, because the digital media is totally different, there are almost zero or a few restrictions while screening the film. Many filmmakers are also loving this media because they can actually focus on the quality, content, and entertainment rather than having a lot of guidelines. The focus remains on the content and thus, it becomes a great experience for them as well as the audience.
This emotional film focuses on mom’s love and homemade food.
Not pushing the product
In such short films, what takes a front seat is the brand essence, unlike the traditional TVCs where the product/ service is in focus all the time. Here, the focus is on telling a story and engaging the audience rather than selling. Let’s be honest nobody is here to waste 5-6 minutes of our life to watch a product endorsement, but a lovely story, hell yes! No wonder British Airways ‘Fuelled By Love‘ was loved so much by everyone! The beautiful execution and the emotional story struck the perfect chord. So it’s no more about the time.
If the content is great, viewers don’t mind spending time on it even in this age of 10 seconds snap stories. Story-telling is an art, and if a brand masters it, it forms a great bond with the audience and the customers.