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2017 - The year of long-format ads

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MUMBAI: It’s the beginning of a new year! We are pumped up and optimistic about the year ahead and what new challenges it will throw up for the ever-changing, dynamic, uncertain and fast-evolving advertising industry. But what we are assured of is that we will continue to see some fascinating, some magnificent and a few lousy ads thrown in here and there in 2018 as well.

Let's pause for a minute and take a look back at how the ad industry fared last year. The key highlights included — growth of long format films, evolution of six-second ads, brands taking the digital route to connect with consumers and influencer marketing making it big.

The first thumb rule of advertising that ad honchos vouch for is to understand your audience and engage them with well-written storytelling. But having a 20-second timer noosed around your neck doesn’t allow creative minds to conjure up enthralling stories that build an emotional connect with the consumer while also delivering the product information. The definite advantage of shorter commercials from a media investment POV is that clients can afford to run the spot more often, for a longer period of time.

But in 2017, long-format ads showed themselves as serious contenders fighting for audience attention. What helped their growth was that both the makers and viewers embraced the magic of long-format storytelling. It was soon known that the engagement in it is higher allowing for better brand building. With television ad rates skyrocketing, marketers took the plunge into the more economical digital bandwagon that allows both freedom of time and creativity. Clients can choose to run an ad between 1-15 minutes or even longer without cost constraints. In an earlier interview with Indiantelevision, Mindshare South Asia CEO Prasanth Kumar said that some stories need longer duration and compelling ads will keep the audience hooked.

There are five ways to buy ad slots digitally—cost per thousand impressions (CPM), cost per click (CPC), cost per lead (CPL), cost per thousand (CPT) and cost per fixed buy (CPFB) without a minimum or maximum limit. YouTube, arguably the most popular platform for ads, charges per view giving the power to advertisers to choose. Instances of viewers skipping ads before 30 seconds are not counted as a charge.

Digital ad is usually measured by click-through rate (CTR). CTR is the ratio of the number of times the ad is clicked to the total number of ad impressions. Success cannot be measured by CTR alone because an ad which is viewed but not clicked may still have an impact. Large formats usually attract 1-2 per cent CTR as opposed to small formats, which generate anywhere between 0.5 and 1 per cent.

Cost per click (CPC), also known as pay per click, is used to direct traffic to websites, where an advertiser pays a publisher only when the ad is clicked. CPC is used to assess the cost effectiveness and profitability of internet marketing. In case of CPC, price for an entertainment content click would be as low as Rs 2 while a high transacting piece of content like travel could be upwards of Rs 30-35.

2017 witnessed a plethora of brands taking the digital-first long format route right from insurance to FMCG, electronics and e-commerce. The product to be sold either took a step back or was incorporated seamlessly into the story.

Indiantelevision brings you a compilation of the most touching, memorable and effective brand stories told in a longer ad film, by Indian brands in 2017:

LG Technical School ad:

Vicks ad:

Ghadi detergent ad:

Kashmir Tourism ad:

Amazon Diwali ad:

Kolkata Times Durga Puja ad:

Parachute Hot oil ad:

Also read:

BFSI's changing communication in the digital era

Guest column: Ads that didn't work!

How iProspect's Vivek Bhargava foresaw a digital future two decades ago

The year of sex scandals

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