The recent Adage viewpoint article, “Amsterdam Abandons the 30-Second Spot” is subtitled, “Why Tell Stories in an Expensive Half Minute When Films Can Be Any Length Online?” The article cites examples of how agencies in Amsterdam are using talented teams of writers, directors, actors and technicians to get their message to the masses using short films posted on the internet instead of limiting themselves to the traditional 30-second television spot.
Just how many people are in “the masses” online is questionable, especially when compared to the millions of viewers television account execs guarantee will see your ad in their medium. But I say that if your audience is more targeted than, say, adults ages 18-44–a coveted demographic in television advertising–you can take your message to where your targeted audience hangs out on the internet. Buy Google AdWords on the sites your target frequents and offer a direct link to your YouTube channel or Web site. Connect with your target on LinkedIn, friend members of it on Facebook or follow the same people on Twitter and post your video to your profile and theirs. It will take more than that for the video to go viral, but hey, at least you’ve used your marketing dollars wisely by targeting a specific group.
The Adage article reminds us that the options for digital storytelling are endless. I especially love this from the comments: “I think this is brilliant in that it embraces what is possible currently, not what used to be required.” Way to think out of the box and open opportunities for creativity! Short films online as extended ads that tell an engaging story about a business, product, or organization. Episodes that welcome product placement. Serials that show how your organization took on a project and struggled but ultimately succeeded with it.
Dialogue, plot summaries, treatments, narration … There’s room for my formal education in screenwriting (and my acting hobby) yet!
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