The Medium is Changing, but the Story is Still the Same.
Over the last few years, there has been an undercurrent of fear in the film world: that brands are fed up with the traditional agency production model. The million dollar budgets that yield two 30-second spots are no longer viable. Brands need and want to consistently engage with their audience, which means that agencies are tasked with creating a near constant stream of content. On top of that, video advertising has already started trending towards the six-second ad format, aligning more with the attention spans of today’s social-media-savvy consumers.
The point is this: people are consuming media and interacting with brands in fundamentally different ways than before. If agencies do not rethink how they are creating media, they will become obsolete on the content creation side of the equation as they force brands to look for alternative solutions.
We’ve seen this before…
The film industry is notorious for resisting change. Remember when REDs first came out? Industry diehards scoffed at digital and persisted that film was the only medium for video. At first, I even agreed with them. But eventually, the film-centric diehards adopted the now ubiquitous digital format and in so doing altered the production workflow. And they learned to adapt, because that’s where the future was headed. A similar adaptation is now surfacing for how agencies create video content for brands.
The message, not the medium.
Change can be tough, and since there are so many new tools surrounding video, identifying which ones actually create value is difficult. New tech can provide an advantage to agencies that choose to adopt it. Fundamentally, it’s all about what is behind the medium. Leveraging tech to create massive amounts of content isn’t lowbrow if you recall the most important aspect of any video production: the story. Agencies who look to these new tools as a source of creative opportunity will increase their value to brands, and those are the agencies who will survive by staying relevant in the content creation equation.
Not just the medium, but new sources.
Technologies that help draw the story out of a brand’s following create something incredible. When agencies source content directly from users, they create an inclusive community of brand advocates. Consumers are bombarded by content all day, so the best way to turn viewers into brand champions is by including them. By including consumers, brands have the opportunity to build an army of creators. GoPro, for instance, held user-generated content campaigns and edited their fan’s footage to make them famous. The nature of crowdsourcing means you get a tidal wave of content from many different perspectives. We constantly leverage the Cinebody platform, where we can source and direct fans into creating authentic content and drawing out their stories.
Use technology to leverage your current systems
Earlier this year, we worked with agency partner Molio, who had developed an intriguing video first approach designed to learn, optimize and scale for maximum business impact by finding the right content that works with the right audience at best cost. We both realized that by using Cinebody technology, we could create large quantities of testable content incredibly easily without compromising the story. Instead of returning to the client with a few rough cuts, we returned with a mountain of footage. We ended up creating a quantity of content that would have needed a budget 5 times what we had. The client was then able to test these massive quantities of content against one another which created a huge value. The client won, we put a new tool in our belt, and now we have the opportunity to create amazing stories en masse.
Change can either spark fear or opportunity. It’s up to each one of us to decide.
Did you skim this article? Well, here’s the gist: brands are rightly becoming more demanding to keep up with consumers, but agencies can survive and thrive as long as they stay nimble by looking to technology and by pushing the status quo.
About the author:
Brady Anderton is a founder and managing partner of Fueld Films, a production studio that works with Fortune 500 clients including Verizon, Ford, Snickers, Bud Light, and several others. Fueld Films has offices throughout the United States.
Want more? You can (try to) keep up with Brady on his website at FueldFilms.com or @fueldfilms on Instagram