Advertising Experiences

I just watched a 4 minute YouTube pre-roll and it was awesome

It was almost midnight and I was lying in bed doing some research on drum machines on YouTube. Music has always interested me. Even though I don’t have any musical background nor talent, I recently discovered something called Pocket Operators. These devices look like tiny calculators but are essentially drum machines (or variations of it) which allow you to create patterns using built-in or recorded samples. As I’m a geek by definition, this kind of music device fit right into my alley. As these devices arrived and I started playing with them, my curiosity towards the realm of weird electronic devices got triggered. A few days later I bought a Korg Volca FM to complete my fast growing stack of musical instruments. The Volca however was more complex and I needed to do some research. So here I was scrolling through an endless stream of video’s explaining the history & inner workings of drum machines & how to use them while the clock was reaching for midnight. All was calm and soon I’d be ready to go to sleep. But then, this preroll showed up

A four minute ad

Justice Heavy Metal intro

As someone working in digital marketing, the first thing that caught my eye was the length of the ad. Over 4 and a half minutes. Surely they’d know this wasn’t going to work out, right? Right..? Then the music kicked in. A high pitch organ took the lead. The sound caught me completely off guard as the sound coming out of my phone came very close to the sound that I’m able to create with my Volca FM. A device I’d been studying all night on the same screen that now offered me this very awesome preroll ad. And now it seemed to be embedded in this clip.Then a dirty baseline kicked in, something that I’d be able to create as well. Everything sounded spooky, nervous, repetitive and edge. Very close to the things I just saw in the many how-to-video’s. The whole adventure continued so for over 4 minutes I watched a preroll ad in awe. But in the end, what was the point? Justice simply wanted to promote their hit single which is part of their newly released album. The ad linked to a promotional landing page promoting the album through different services such as Itunes & Spotify.

Looking back at this ad experience, it’s clear that Justice didn’t deploy rocket science for me to fully engage in their piece of content. They just made sure they got the basics right. What did this example learn us?

Content over length

A 4+ minute YouTube preroll sounds like absolute madness. However, it didn’t feel like it. Why? Because the content was great. Therefore, focus on what you want to tell and how you tell it rather than how long it takes it to tell you. You can create micro video’s because the attention span of people nowadays is short. But if the message you’re telling isn’t any good even a 6 second video will result in a failure. People engage to content when the story is great. Make sure it is, even if it takes you longer to tell.

Speak to those interested in you

Obviously this video wasn’t thrown on my path at random. It was served to me because of my behaviour and interests. As we’ve discussed, Justice created an awesome piece of content. However, that’s my interpretation of that 4+ minute video. Anyone else (e.g: someone not interested in electronic music) could have thought exactly the opposite. A great story is the first step. Delivering it to the right audience is the second. You could have a great piece of content for a specific audience but that doesn’t mean everyone is interested in it. Failing to acknowledge that will again result in a campaign with average results.

Nothing new, except for the perfect execution

All in all, there’s nothing new for me to tell you here. Identify an audience and create a great story for them with your product at the center. Sounds like marketing 101. Well, it is. Sadly it’s a practice that’s not widely adopted yet in the field of marketing. Justice proved it’s feasible. Now it’s up to the rest of the world.

For those of you interested in the mythical 4+ minute preroll, you can find it below. Justice simply used their music video for “Heavy Metal” for the campaign