opinion

Video vs. Blip Ads

Kelly Shibari

As companies look for new ways to advertise, it’s important to take note of where people are getting their news, entertainment, and mail.

Everything’s online these days, whether we like it or not. We get our news, TV shows, music, gossip, mail and more online. There are still people that believe in pen and paper, and when I do have time to relax, to do tend to prefer to walk away from my computer and get a magazine or newspaper. But that’s because I, like many other people these days, spend about 80 percent of my working day in front of a computer.

TV commercials may not be dying as quickly as printed media, but the apparent need for it may be making a dramatic shift in the next year or so.

But regardless of whether I Tweet, send emails, read the news or absorb any thing in text form, the visual form is always going to be more interesting. You know why? Because we’re visually curious. What happens on the freeway when an accident happens? Everyone slows down to see what’s going on. Why are cop shows, heist dramas, talent contests and even reality TV shows so popular? Because we like watching things unfold. We like being surprised and being teased. We enjoy drama and plot twists.

You know what else we like? We like seeing more than one thing at a time. In a way, we’ve become an ADD society — but not in the way you think. I don’t mean it in the “I’m easy distracted” kind of way, but rather a “Give my brain multiple things to process at the same time, work my brain to the hilt” kind of way. We like seeing the small detail, the things that help us learn about a person, a circumstance, an environment. There’s a lot of money being spent in design because we know that as humans we need the varied stimuli.

There’s a reason why I can listen to radio while working but can’t while a TV show is on. Music isn’t distracting — conversations are. But I can still take things in small doses and keep things that are micro-delivery items regularly on my computer so I can be creatively stimulated constantly.

The interesting thing about online video outlets (such as tube sites) is that you can upload anything anytime. Depending on the site, there may be restrictions (YouTube, for instance, shuns nudity), but on the whole you don’t need a giant commercial budget to create an ad campaign on a tube site. Combine that with cheaper and more user-friendly video cameras that are available these days, and you have not only a near-free way to promote anything you want.

Two years ago, the Super Bowl (generally viewed by advertising agencies as one of the “must do” spots for clients every year) showed an interesting shift in visual advertising. Rather than do full-length commercials, companies elected to do “blip” advertising in one-second or five-second increments.

Last year’s Super Bowl advertising showed another shift. Some companies, such as Pepsi (which has been advertising on that day for 23 long years), are opting to not use what has been traditionally the biggest advertising day of the year and is electing instead to market through social media and other online means. This year, there was a combination of the two — many of which were “exposed” early on tube sites and directed to social networks.

TV commercials may not be dying as quickly as printed media, but the apparent need for it may be making a dramatic shift in the next year or so. Those who do not embrace the value of online video as a means to promote and advertise their product instead will be missing the boat. Tube sites still use banner ads, but embedded short “blip” ads should also not be discounted. Blip ads themselves that follow a sequential storyline may also be an option.

How much television programming do you still watch on television? Do you watch most of your programming on online “stations” like Hulu? What do you do during commercial breaks (if there are any in the method you choose)? And how can this be transferred to advertising for DVD and website updates?

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