31 March 2016

The rise of long-format ads

A new wave of advertisements seem to have taken over the digital world. These are ads with engaging, interesting and compelling stories. And they have a perfect interplay of emotions, relationships and brand awareness. So whether it’s ‘Google Reunion‘, ‘Fortune Oil’s grandma‘ or the most recent one ‘Omron’s Tumhari Amma‘ ad, these are stories that go beyond the idea of selling.

We are talking about long-format ads, which have successfully invaded the social media. So, what has led to this shift in storytelling? It’s the rise of digital platforms as an advertising medium.

We are talking about long-format ads, which have successfully invaded the social media. So, what has led to this shift in storytelling? It’s the rise of digital platforms as an advertising medium. As a result, marketers today have more power and confidence to experiment with long ads because they are not dependant on TV alone for success.

Also, when they opt for the digital platform, the cost per second (as applicable for media buying on television) is not applicable. The length of the communication is not the mode of measurement. It is ‘Pay-per-click’. This medium gives the brand freedom to lead the audience to some kind of Call-to-Action such as ‘click here’ to direct the user to the company website, or purchase the product or service. It also beats the geographical boundaries of reach.

So after the most popular ‘Google Reunion’ ad in 2013, we have seen an influx of many long ad films with powerful stories. Be it the Dabur Vatika cancer survivor ad film or the Tata AIA’s Daddy aur Zooey, brands from insurance sector to FMCG have all broken the traditional advertising methods to connect with their audience.

One of the ads that created a stir on social media platforms is the Fortune Oil ad. The four-minute video, which went viral online, builds up a story that doesn’t reveal the product until the end. The commercial touched the heart of the viewers, mostly because the love of home-cooked food is so relatable for most people living away from home. Similarly, this year medical equipment maker, Omron has released a long digital film where a daughter reverses roles with her mother and finds a male companion for her. Titled ‘Tumhari Amma’, the ad film focuses on how we need to take care of our ageing parents. The story strikes a chord with the audience as it shows the bond between a daughter and a single mother. Omron’s branding doesn’t interfere with the narrative and the ad film takes you on an emotional journey!

We are talking about long-format ads, which have successfully invaded the social media. So, what has led to this shift in storytelling? It’s the rise of digital platforms as an advertising medium.

Today, more and more brands have realised that a brand is not just the product but more about the stories and legends you weave around it. So instead of just product launches we are seeing stories being launched and stories are best told in long-format films.

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