Thursday, July 24, 2014

Long form thoughts.

Every day on a variety of ad blogs and trade magazine websites, I see "brand videos" that run to two minutes, three minutes and some times even more.

Often, and I'm being cynical here, these videos are inspirational stories about someone who lost their legs and how such-and-such deodorant allows them to, despite their disability, live full lives. I have a feeling if outer-space beings somehow viewed these videos they must think that our planet is inhabited by a race of people enhanced by prosthetics.

But lack of legs is wholly besides my point.

My point is one of length.

I am conditioned to tolerate a :30, or maybe a :60.

What reward are you giving me in return for the time it takes me to view something that's three minutes long? What value am I getting for my time?

Somehow I think smart advertisers need to look at the value exchange viewers are getting from all the crap we can and do produce. It was pretty clear when TV was free. Commercials paid for the shows we watched.

It's not so clear today.

We pay to get online. We pay for TV. Yet we're still charged for our time.

The way I look at it is this: A three-minute video takes 1/40th the time it would take me to view "Citizen Kane." Did I get something 1/40th worth of entertainment, information, craft or thought?

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