Marketers are increasingly challenged to create short-form media.
Some of this shift is driven by new standards. Facebook will start offering 15-second video ads this Fall. Instagram video is capped at 15 seconds and Vine from Twitter is capped at only six seconds.
But the underlying driver is the vanishing attention span. This year a study pegged the average attention span at eight seconds, down from 12 seconds ten years ago. The attention span of the average goldfish is nine seconds.
Capturing attention within that eight seconds is a real challenge. Marketers already struggle to boil a message down into a tiny packaging label, a web banner ad, or even a 30-second spot. Brands usually have a laundry list of features and benefits they want to get across.
Succeeding in a short attention span world will mean creating short form media is more about the audience than it is about the brand. The answer is not to cram the same 30-second messaging into a smaller container.
I really like the Vine series from Lowe’s that features 6-second home improvement tips. The “Lowe’s Fix in Six” videos are all about the audience, yet still manage to communicate everything you need to know about the DIY retailer that created them. Here are a couple.
— Lowe's (@Lowes) April 21, 2013
— Lowe's (@Lowes) April 24, 2013
(Marketoonist Tuesday (because of Labor Day): I’m giving away a signed print of this week’s cartoon. Just share an insightful comment to this week’s post by 5:00 PST on Tuesday. Thanks!)