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The rebirth of the TV advert as it moves online

03 December 2012

A modern form of story telling is advertising. TV advertising took off in the 1950s (for those of you who know the show think Mad Men – one of our favourite shows).  TV ads historically were about selling the dream of happiness, selling a lifestyle that would supposedly make the consumer happy. More often than not, however, there was a big disconnect between the ‘happy snappy’ advert dream world and the reality of the consumers’ life.  Adverts have traditionally been aspirational and ‘pushy’.  And sitting through the advert break of 30-second slots selling viewers various goods and services, was the price viewers had to pay to get back their favourite show.

No longer.  The consumer is no longer a captive audience – we record our shows, watch on demand and skip through the adverts.  Nowadays nothing deters us more as viewers than the old style adverts that push a sales agenda.

Viewers are demanding far more authenticity, believability and value from adverts and promotions.  And, because viewers are no longer captives, advertisers have to meet this demand or fail.

What advertisers now have to do is draw their audience in and hold their attention.  This demands delivering quality content in a way that makes viewers want to stay engaged and come back for more.  This change is reflected in the fact that rather than advertising we’re now talking about branded content.  The model has moved from push to pull.

Additionally, the viewer now has a huge impact on how successful your distribution is.  If your content is good enough your viewers will do your distribution for you by sharing.  This is where the bulk of leverage is; if you can tap into the network of some 8 billion connected viewers you’ll get a return on your branded content production dollar.  Conversely, if your viewers vote by leaving, you may well find yourself with expensive video productions that create no return at all.

So it’s time to drop the old advertising formula and think in terms of branded content. The game is to captivate the audience to pull them in.

Key to achieving this engagement is to use the tried and tested principles of story telling.  This elicits emotion, which is what really engages us - information without emotion tends to go in one ear and out the other!  And it’s worth noting that humour is especially powerful as we love sharing a laugh with our friends and colleagues.

In summary, successful advertising is no longer about what you want to say; it's about what your audiences/prospects/clients want to see and know and how they want to feel. 

When generating ideas your first questions still need to be i) What result are we trying to create? and ii) Who is my target audience?

After these questions you need to think about how to tell a story around your product or service, in a way that is authentic and emotive so that you draw you’re audience in.  This is what we love to do at Filmstretch so contact us more information and follow @filmstretch for a daily video article and a daily business video example.  M: 0416 276 238,