I’ve been guilty of it, too. Especially in entertainment. There is such a hope to emulate through online creative what happens in the move you are promoting. No matter how much I want that robotic thingy to destroy the publisher’s page or that character to fly from the leaderboard unit to the MPU, it’s just not that simple. The work done for the movies is infinitely more intense than what the marketing time or budgets will allow. We are so used to seeing amazing effects that even the casual viewer takes for granted what goes into the building of the polished product. Too often, I have had a vendor create something phenomenal – where they seemed to have pulled much more than a rabbit out of their hat – and either senior management, clients or awards judges see something done so flawlessly that they don’t appreciate what actually went into it. Sadly, the lack of appreciation for these things cause budgets to be cut and the amount of kick-ass executions are minimized.
There’s more than budgets in play here. There’s the limited time or access to assets that cause marketers to shoot for the easiest solution. In the case of entertainment, I feel that the goal should be to envelop the audience/user in the narrative so that they are emotionally engaged. With the opportunity to do something special – like I was able to do with PREDATORS and AVATAR, you’re able to effectively jump off the screen. Lately, its become much more about showing video only – and even more limiting, it is often just a matter of placing TV spots online. There’s such a greater opportunity to engage users differently online that re-purposing television or even theatrical spots does not always make the most sense.
As video ads are huge and only getting larger – with Forrester predicting that video ad spends will nearly triple (from 2B in 2011 to 5.4B in 2016) – perhaps this is the time to develop shortcuts or platforms further to enable cost-effective interactive advertising executions. I’m not talking about supplanting video, but augmenting it.
If you take a look at this video from ILM about the making of TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON, you can get a great sense of what goes into the making of even short segments of effects. Over the years, it has gotten easier to make things look real and it has become more expected by the audience.
Over time, the development of applications to simulate what goes on in movies will be easier. While the barrier to production assets will probably still be a pain – due to political reasons – t he time required to execute will shorten and we’ll be able to fit more into computers, mobile devices and TVs to really enable marketers to reach out and grab the audience. That is, as long as we don’t give up on those types of executions while we lean on video ad serving to carry the load.
It used to be that we had to limit our banner sizes to about 12KB and now publishers allow much more than that. The ways in which online ads load are more optimized and will continue to be so. I can only dream that all nations will have the bandwidth that Korea has (many of their publishers allow for initial load of 400KB or higher for a banner) but we should still be developing towards that and finding the cost and time cutting solutions that can take advantage of that.
We certainly don’t see as many major takeovers for entertainment as we might have 12-18 months ago – they are more often page overlays with a video window. But, as we move further away from driving traffic to anchor sites and deeper into reaching fragmented viewership by bringing the message fully to them, there will need to be a resurgence in those kick-ass, grab you by the collar executions.
With further development, fully interactive and engaging media will become more of the norm and people will end up understand less about how much really goes into the magic of pulling a rabbit out of the hat. All in, we’ll have to re-establish what makes a campaign because its not just about video, but engagement.