April 25th 2016

Storytelling in Advertising.

Posted by Will Shadbolt

Advertising has been having trouble with television, with plenty of viewers switching the channel when a break comes on or fast-forwarding when watching something prerecorded. Now, more people than ever are also avoiding ads online as Ad blocker software has become more prevalent. And even those that don’t use it cannot wait to hit the “skip” button on Youtube’s ads or those on similar sites. The solution, some think, is not more invasive ads or annoying jingles—which is arguably why most people started skipping ads in the first place—but rather ones of higher quality that tell stories. 

Could stories that engage viewers be the secret to getting them to not skip? Crackle, an online service that features TV shows, movies and original content, is going to test just that. The media online at Crackle has always been free, showing a number of ads during a show or movie, but not anymore. The company is introducing a new advertisement model where just 5 ads will be shown during its originals. Each original will get its own set of ads, meaning that over the course of a 10-episode season, viewers will be treated to ads for the same 5 products or services. While this might end up being repetitive, it also opens the way for new possibilities in engaging advertising.

First and foremost, going up against only 4 other commercials during the show drastically reduces competition, making it easier to stand out. It also allows for more relevant ads, such as spots masquerading as behind-the-scenes production shots, interviews with cast members or discussion about a certain character. Crackle is betting that viewers, already invested in the story, will stick around to learn more about the show. It also gives advertisers the opportunity to create bigger story arcs so that consumers can get emotionally invested in the ads themselves. If a company wanted to do a 10-part advertising campaign, this method could be the answer. 

For others not advertising on the service, crafting stories out of their copy still might be a good idea. Just look at the classic “1984” Apple spot: more than 30 years later it is still fondly remembered. More recently, ads with all the heart and animation quality of a Pixar film have been shown for products as mundane as lottery tickets. Turning an ad into something people want to watch rather than just being a break from the main event could be the next direction in advertising. While it remains to be seen just how big of an impact these types of spots will have, it does seem that the ads following this path make up the majority of viral ads online.

Giovatto Advertising has over 27 years of experience in the ad industry. We have seen our fair share of turns and twists in the business and know how to engage consumers, whether the medium is television or digital media. Come on down to Giovatto Advertising and we will make sure your next ad campaign is on the right path.

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