Commentary

Short Subjects At Work

Nothing worth doing should take a lot of time. That's a useful rule of thumb for streaming.

Brief videos and full size videos exist side-by-side. That’s true. But it’s the short ones that usually sell something.

The new place for those is at the top of your Twitter feed, where as MediaPost’s Gavin O’Mallley reported,  What great placement. One advertiser gets that space for 24 hours which is enough time to have a message sink in, or actually maybe more than enough time to sink right through your skin to rupture your annoyance gland.

Twitter immediately figured that’s the sweet spot for movie promos. In a Twitter blog post about the new ad position,  Marc Weinstock, president of domestic theatrical marketing at 20th Century Fox, said the studio views the ads as "a great opportunity to widely distribute our trailer for ‘Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates’ while generating buzz and social conversation. We are able to hit a broad movie-going audience with great video in a way that not just garners views, but actually creates social momentum."

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Looked at less charitably, this is another place for a movie studio to unspool trailers that totally mischaracterize the film being hyped, as is now a current topic of derision regarding the Coen Brothers’ much-advertised-badly film, “Hail, Caesar.”

Anything Twitter does not deserves attention because it’s kind of become the black sheep of social media, doing nothing exactly, or even remotely, correct. So maybe this thing works. I tend to believe that unlike other social sites, Twitter comes with baggage, most of it justified, that it’s a hard thing to use. That degree of difficulty seems to please its habitues-- and alienate others. That’s why the word “hashtag” itself is joke. I’m betting Twitter would be twice as popular if it put a how-to on its dashboard. But it also seems that “directions” are a concept that passed with the 20th Century. Too bad for Twitter.

In a different vein, is a new Intstagram project, “Shield 5” which is a wrong-man-accused drama that tells its stories in 15-second episodes. “Captivating,” says Fast Company. I’m not convinced of that. But odd. Unusual. Still, even mobile viewers, for whom this drama must be aimed, don’t need their bite sized entertainment bits to be quite that itty-bitty. As for pre-roll, which would have to be even shorter, what’s doable? A logo? Or just clues? “Good hands. Allstate.”  

"Instead of going to the trouble of making a feature film that you hope everyone will watch at the cinema, and they end up watching on an iPad or whatever, I thought it would be fun to flip that and make something really big for a tiny screen that hopefully people will think, ‘I’d quite like to watch on a bigger screen,’" said the director Adam Wilcox.

This may be something like a direct-to-DVD project, but with the dignity of being considered trailblazing. Though, really, I can’t say that at some time in the day I don’t have 15 seconds to spare.

pj@mediapost.com.
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