It’s Time to Change the Way We Think About Video

Stop making such a big deal out of VIDEO.

You’re NOT Steven Spielberg.

Your video ad is NOT being judged like Disney’s next tentpole release.

Videos have never been easier to consume or produce.

So do it. And test it. Learn something and improve.

Easy to Consume:

On YouTube, we consume 500 million hours worth of video every day. Videos have even begun to supplant product images on Amazon, with some 90% of shoppers reporting that watching a product video helps them make a purchasing decision.

Easy to Produce:

When the company Mesh Canvas turned to Fiverr for ad creation, they found Luminous Studios — a company that previously worked in production for Google and Polaroid. And the internet is replete with tools to help you make your own video for little or no money.

But we get freaked out. Especially if you’re thinking your video is going to be on TV and your friends and family might see it. It happens all the time. At Oxford Road, we frequently see clients reaching tens of millions of people with audio who will approve creative without batting an eye. But when the cameras come on, even for a small DRTV, VOD, or OTT test, the scrutiny is wildly different. It’s at the moment when we start talking TV that previously uninterested people come stampeding in with their “expertise”. Board Members, long lost friends who are TV producers, the Brand Manager’s mom. The stakes somehow go up exponentially, but they shouldn’t. It’s just a video.

Visual advertising is nothing new. The word itself comes directly from Latin. When Caesar said, “I came, I saw, I conquered”, he was using one form of the word video—vidi. To see. Approximately 1,000 years ago a visual advertisement from China’s Song Dynasty boasted of “high-quality steel rods” and “fine-quality needles” in the form of a copper printing plate that made posters. We’ve been using imagery to sell for a long time. It wasn’t long after the television was invented that the first TV ad came to be — a commercial for Bulova watches in 1941 that cost only $9 to produce. With each new development in technology, from the printing press to the radio to the TV to the Smartphone, we are presented new means to deliver our message. But the goal remains the same. To sell. 

Thanks to the proliferation of screens in our pockets, at gas stations, on billboards, and in bathrooms, advertisers have new media to utilize in service of this goal:
 Instagram visual ads, for example, include maximum video lengths of 15 seconds, the exact same length of many TV spots, BUT without the costly national media buy requirements. According to AdWeek, State Farm has seen a lot of success targeting gas station television screens by creating news, sports, and entertainment clips surrounding their ads.

With all these screens, what is an advertiser to do?

Oxford Road’s recommendation is to GET YOUR MESSAGE RIGHT first. It doesn’t matter how you say it until you have something to say. Once you’ve dialed your message in with Audiolytics™, and have clear performance goals, we can take your message from digital to podcast, radio, and on to screens. Don’t let video intimidate you, you’re NOT making Lawrence of Arabia and you DON’T have to spend six figures to learn something meaningful.

With OTT (think of Roku or AppleTV) or VOD (think of a DirecTV cable box), it is possible to start testing your message for as little as tens of thousands of dollars in media. The creative costs can be far less, especially if you take a simplified approach. And if you have existing video assets, all the better. Take, tailor, and apply what’s worked on digital and test it! The way to look at testing OTT & VOD is like testing another show on your podcast plan. For example, you could be on networks including HGTV, DIY, Food Network, Travel, Cooking Channel, CNN, TBS, TNT, and Fox News for around $15,000 per week.

Consider the keyboard I’m using to write this and compare it to Gutenberg’s printing press. It’s not even a contest. The same is true with the ways you can make a video in 2018. It is more accessible than ever. On Fiverr, you’ll find digital marketers with video experience. In the field of AI, even IBM’s Watson can create effective movie trailers. But there is still a long way to go with letting the robots write for us. Not to mention that you have a movie studio in your pocket. Imagine what Roy and Walt would have done with an iPhone X when they first moved to Hollywood?

There are more screens and more ways to make things for screens than ever before.

Start making more.

Let Oxford Road help you test some video TODAY.

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