MxM Mondays: Do those loooong ads make a connect?

04 Jul,2016


By Anuka Roy


Google is trying to enhance consumer experience through their products and their effort to make internet more accessible to a larger pool of people in India. And, in order to do so, it has released its digital film titled ‘The Hero- A Bollywood story’. The film has been conceptualised by Lowe Lintas, Delhi. The length of the film is five minutes and 58 seconds.


Now, it is not the first time that Google has done a long format ad. And there have been very many extra-long ads in the last few years. With YouTube launching its new six second bumper ads recently and the trend among the masses is somewhat to skip ads, we ask a cross section of people  do long format ads work with people nowadays? Let’s hear it from a cross-section of industry leaders:


Charulata Ravi Kumar, CEO, Razorfish India

I think in some cases, a long format can work. But the purpose has to be different. A long format communication will not be watched over and over again, nobody has so much time. If there are long format ads, I will watch it once. One must understand that if there is a really big message that you want to put out there, one time for the consumer to understand the big change that you are making in a big way, then I think a long format ad can help. For example, when Airtel went in to this open network, there can be one long format ad to explain it to people. But do not expect me to see it over and over again. Short format ones can be viewed several times, more like a television ad kind of thing. Short format films can be much easier to share.


Arun Iyer, Chief Creative Officer, Lowe Lintas

I think at the end of the day if it is interesting then it will connect with the audience and if it is not, it will not connect. So, it is matter of whether it is interesting and it will hold attention or not. I think the fact that so many people have shared it (the Google ad) is the testimony of the fact that it has made connection. It does not matter whether it is five minutes or six minutes, by that logic people would not watch movies. It all boils down to whether it holds your attention or not.


Sanjay Tripathy, Senior Executive Vice President – Head Marketing, Analytics, Digital and E-Commerce

Firstly, I think it is not about short format or long format, or how many seconds you consume in the ad. I think today it is essentially about how compelling is you storytelling, and how much time you need to tell that good story. Take for instance, the Surf Excel Ramadan Ad that is doing the rounds now – it’s a story well told and hence is finding so many people watching and sharing it. Would it have been the same in 30 seconds? Probably not. About a decade ago, when we had fewer channels and internet had not spread as far and wide as it has now, one was compelled to tell the story in the shortest possible time as advertising time was expensive. Every second added an additional cost and hence, the ad had to be kept short. But today that is not the case anymore. In fact today the opposite is true, with the explosion of media the scenario has changed immensely. Today, they are 300-plus channels… how many will you air on, let alone dominate? Today, to get your brand noticed you have to break clutter and one good way to achieve that is to tell a good story. Also with the advent of Internet, Digital and Mobile Marketers can exploit these platforms for their longer ads.


Titus Upputuru, National Creative Director, Dentsu Marcom

Long format ads work if the content is good and engaging. We ourselves have made a long format ad about a blood pressure monitor. The film is called ‘Tumhaari Amma’, first there is a product demo and then there is a story about how a young woman is getting her mother married again. We thought six minutes and 49 seconds with demonstration right at the beginning of the film may not really go viral but we were proved wrong as people shared it and loved it. If the content is engaging length does not matter. It has to be engaging and interesting to hold my attention for whatever period of time.


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