Another Take on Commercials – Using Short Films to emphasize Unique Selling Propositions

marketing and advertising filmsVerbo-visual messages have a higher chance of being noticed and remembered by viewers. This is the biggest benefit for using commercials to distribute marketing message.  So why are advertising commercials as effective for messages other than sale announcements?

Adapt to your audience

Consumer habits have changed with emerging technology. TiVo and the ability to be selective about commercials and advertising have impacted the expectations of consumers. A survey conducted by Lightspeed Research and IAB UK found younger consumers (18-35) expect more from the messages that are targeted towards them. They want entertainment, special offers, and exclusive content. Marketers have adapted to these new expectations of consumers and have harnessed their attention through short films, also known as long-form ads.

Other than being entertaining, why are these short films great for marketing messages?  Short films can provide insight or emphasize a unique selling proposition (USP) by evoking an emotional understanding or insight with the audience.  Many brands stand out because their business is built on a particular belief or way of doing business that align with consumer wants or needs.  If a consumer feels strongly about that belief they are more likely to support your brand.  OK…so traditional means are already helping spread the word about a brand USP so what do short films add to the mix?

The Impact on a USP in short films

Films take viewers from the unknown of a character or situation to the end resolution.  This is no different for short film commercials.  Brands are explaining their stance on a topic and what they are doing about it by taking the viewer on a journey.  The end result is an understanding of how a brand is addressing the topic.  Two forms of short film can communicate these emotional factors, a documentary or entertainment format. Distribution of the video and its intention should be considered when choosing the type of film.

Chipolte provides great examples of both styles within the same campaign. Their use of an entertainment style film built awareness of the brand’s USP and went viral (mass online sharing). The documentary style film which is slightly longer is featured on the Chipolte website. This provides further insight for consumers on exactly how the company backs their USP. Both forms meet the needs of consumers in their awareness and search for brand information.

To sum it up

An excellent quote from Mike Eisenberg on his blog ScreenRant, “Commercials are pigeon-holed into a 30-second time frame by the mainstream standards. But the ones that escape those boundaries and explore the human experience of witnessing something that cannot be explained are the ones that stay with us.”


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