Is Content Killing the Commercial?

If you had to think about the amount of times you’ve had to watch a trending video, you’d lose count. The increasing amount of inspirational videos and life hacks keep us entertained, uplift us and ensure that we’re kept on the threshold of our emotional barometers. These videos characteristically spark a wave of interest that ripples across various Social Media platforms and finds a way onto our TV screens and radio shows.

With so much infectious excitement surrounding these videos, the advertising industry has got to ask whether or not this influential content is killing the commercial?

The most comprehensive answer, which can be substantiated by a number of industry professionals, is that content is not killing the commercial. It is however creating a massive space in which agencies are able to make the most of opportunities that are created by these videos.

Whether the videos in question evoke an emotional, inspirational or humorous response, they have created a platform from which brands can launch a variety of content-centric material that truly breathes life into their product. Brands have the opportunity to take advantage of this human-to-human approach and either create their own material or sponsor content that adds colour and character to their product.

Instead of selling a particular product, brands have the opportunity to create content that will engage their audience. And the secret to achieving this infectious engagement is through agile content that speaks to the human condition. Forget about B2B or B2C, we’re now focusing on H2H (human-to-human) centric communication that evokes a fireworks display of emotion, which ultimately triggers a reaction. And, if various brands are looking to see a rise in sales, they are in desperate need of some awe-inspiring content that leaves people feeling, well, mushy.

With this in mind, Nivea happened to hit the proverbial nail on the head when they teamed up with FCB Brasil to create their ‘Protection Ad’ which not only made viewers lust over a wistful beach holiday but also pulled heavily on the heartstrings of concerned parents. Forget about sunscreen or moisturiser, Nivea took a bold step away from pushing their products and embraced the type of content that encourages a connection and enhances viewer’s lives. Basing the content on a play on ‘protection’, Nivea met the need to monitor children while on the beach and, because of brand reputation and the summery beach setting, the implication of ‘sun protection’ was clear.

Not only does this type of content speak volumes to its audience, it has set the benchmark for competing brands. The South African market, which is slowly catching up to the international marketing pace, has the opportunity to create similar content that is rich with colloquialisms and hints of colourful culture. Instead of trying to sell the products, brands are encouraged to create visual content that speaks a thousand words with minimal product marketing. We think that South African Tourism certainly got it right with their ‘Reconsider South Africa’ video that encouraged their overwhelmingly popular MeetSouthAfrica hash tag.

The need for life-enhancing, relevant and interesting visual content is on the rise, and the South African market is certainly rife with opportunity. And so, the best way in which to move your brand forward is to experiment with content that not only enhances the lives of your audience but also forges a connection. Go on, breathe new life into your brand! 

Photo by Stuart Miles. Published on 11 September 2014

Photo by Stuart Miles. Published on 11 September 2014