They are taking advantage of Netfilx and other streaming platforms
and making their films look and feel decidedly more cinematic.
But there is more to this phenomenon than good directors and an abundance of channels. There is an emotional insight helping to drive this evolution. We are confused and insecure about our lives and starved for truth. Authentic, fact-based entertainment is helping us fill the void.
And the smart brands are watching.
Many have already reevaluated the tonality and execution of their communications and are putting greater emphasis on longer form web content that tells real stories about real users. But more broadcast advertisers are also taking cues from documentaries.
The executions are a fresh take on testimonials. But instead of people just speaking into a camera, their stories are enhanced by beautifully shot environments, ambient sound and great music, all skillfully edited for maximum emotional impact.
Let’s call them docu-mercials.
A couple of great examples: Verizon has edited some of its impressive “humanability” internet videos down to sixty second TV spots. Similarly, Prudential is telling some terrific real people stories in their on-going retirement planning campaign.
People have brands they like, follow and respect.
What they don’t like, unfollow and don’t respect is the annoyance and distrust of traditional broadcast advertising. There is an abundance of great storytelling by brands on the internet. It’s time to bring more of it to TV.