The promise of the five-second ad from Pepsi
Tom Dougherty, CEO – Stealing Share
28 April 2016
What do short ads mean for all marketers
It’s no shock to say that we live in a world in which our attention spans have been reduced to seconds rather than minutes or hours. This has become a particular problem for advertisers when online advertising is so easy to skip after just a few seconds. Who really watches a full ad anymore?
Well, if you can’t beat ‘em, then you might as well join ‘em. Pepsi is doing just that with a new round of ads, primarily online, that are five seconds long and feature their bottles with emojis, thinking that those emojis will get across the right emotion in a very brief time.
As an old ad guy, I would normally bemoan this sort of approach because a five-second ad doesn’t allow for any kind of storytelling. For example, the pace of the wordless Matthew McConaughey spots for Lincoln is so perfect because the ads casually tell a story of luxury and coolness powerfully.
The Pepsi ads will make agencies think harder
However, going with the shorter ads will make advertising agencies think harder about the message they are trying to send. So much of advertising is simply time and money wasted. There are several reasons for this, not the least of which is that few of them have a point. Even if they do, the point is usually not important.
Also, the idea of advertising – that you are getting the consumer to covet your product or service – gets lost in the mixture of what usually turns out to be a 30-second skit. In most ads, you don’t even know who the campaign is for. The logo appears at the end, but it’s easily ignored because the humor of the previous 29 seconds has obliterated it. The ad simply doesn’t fulfill its purpose.
Pepsi’s five-second spots aren’t anything groundbreaking in that the messaging is mundane. It does feed into Pepsi’s brand of fun, but it’s a little childish and I don’t know if people would actually want a bottle of Pepsi with a smiley face on it. (It’s not that different than Coke putting names on its bottles, which didn’t turn into much preference.)
But the promise of these five-second spots is that they are the future, and advertisers would be wise to really dig deep into what message they want to get across.
Sports betting Tom Dougherty, CEO - Stealing Share 17 May 2018 Legal sports betting is here. What now? What are the ramifications of legal sports betting on professional leagues? For college sports? Hell, for the Winchester Dog Show? I’m joking on that last one. I...
Target Restock Tom Dougherty, CEO - Stealing Share 16 May 2018 Target Restock at least makes an attempt Retailers, want yet another example of the death spiral you are in? Target announced yesterday that it is expanding next-day delivery service Target Restock...
Schwinn brand Tom Dougherty, CEO - Stealing Share 15 May 2018 The Schwinn brand needs to change its brand architecture This post on the Schwinn brand is written by Stealing Share brand strategist Mark Dougherty Many moons ago, I was a young boy in Hopewell, NJ. It was...