Say "hello" to the brave new world of ads – long-form branded entertainment.

Branding agency

The Future of Advertising
I was out to dinner a couple of weeks ago with a group of friends enjoying an evening of Italian food, great wine and conversation. As the meal progressed, iPhones appeared and disappeared seamlessly recording and sharing the experience through a social web beyond our table of eight.

That experience reflects the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the changes in the way many people connect and communicate. The lines between work and after hours are no longer discernible. Likewise, the lines between channels of media and entertainment continue to blur. On any evening in almost any home across Australia the TV may be on as usual, but as it’s being watched, emails are being checked and sent, Instagram, Twitter and facebook are being updated, shared and reviewed, web sites are being surfed and video content from youtube and beyond is being watched simultaneously. When it comes to what we do with our down-time and the way we consume the content we choose – the tipping point has been and gone.

No longer can you measure our evening of media in 30 minute chunks with 30 second ads – the boundaries are down and it’s all about freestyle. Interestingly this puts the focus entirely back onto the relevance of the content – which is as it should be for the consumer. But for brands the challenge continues to grow as it becomes tougher and tougher to connect with an audience who have more choices of where to focus their attention.

Testament to this was a recent review we carried-out of the top ranking branded videos on youtube from the past few months that are almost all longer than the conventional video ad – one is 30 secs, one is a little over a minute and the rest are all longer.

The number one ranked ad is this one for Dove Real Beauty Sketches which runs for 3:01 and has had nearly 55 million views.

Next is a great ad for Evian – Baby & Me, which runs for 1:17 mins and has more than 53 million views

This one for Pepsi Max which runs for 3:46 mins, and has had almost 37 million views to-date.

This Trailer for the much anticipated PlayStation4 runs for 1:43 mins and has had almost 29 million views

http://youtu.be/I03UmJbK0lA

This chuckleworthy ad for Kmart – Ship My Pants is a more standard TV format, it runs for 36 seconds and has had almost 18.5 million views

http://youtu.be/nf5-Prx19ZM

This ad is aptly called ‘The Next Big Thing is Already Here’ for Samsung Galaxy SIII runs for 1:31 mins and has had more than 17.5 million views

The evocative Ram Trucks, Farmer ad runs for 2:03 mins and has had more than 15 million views

http://youtu.be/_2smYVl0zrk

This Pepsi ad featuring Beyoncé runs for just over a minute and has had a little over 11 million views – which is probably on par for just anything featuring Beyoncé.

Call of Duty: Ghosts Masked Warriors Teaser Trailer runs for 1:25 mins with almost 11 million views

http://youtu.be/FadwTBcvISo

The Jeep ‘Whole Again’ ad which runs for 2:01 mins has had more than 7.5 million views.

The popularity of the first three ads on our list, with a combined, astonishing 145 million views between them, demonstrates the new paradigm – make it interesting, make it entertaining in its own right and it will hit the mark. Ads no longer need to fit into a thirty second pigeon hole – and the thinking that drives this ever powerful piece of brand communication should be similarly unconstrained.

Dave Ansett
Chief Cre­ator of Brands
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