Trends and Insight in association withSynapse Virtual Production

6 Reasons to Shoot 6-Second Films

Production Company
London, UK
Great Guns’ Jonty Toosey spills the beans ahead of his ‘Stories in 6’ workshop at LIA 2018
Following on from the success of their ‘Stories in 6’ workshop at Cannes 2018, Great Guns and Director Jonty Toosey are set to bring their workshop to London International Awards today. Ahead of this, Jonty reveals his top six reasons to shoot 6-second films.

1. More Visibility Guaranteed

For many, skipping adverts is now a common part of their online browsing experience. In this highly competitive landscape, 6-second films have the benefit of grabbing the audience’s attention immediately and effectively. Presenting a great opening 6-seconds for a brand’s ad can make all the difference between winning and losing a pitch. Even if the audience skips the ad after 5 or 6-seconds of pre-roll, they will have already received the message. 

2. Future-Proofing

Judging from the trend, I can only imagine that content is going to get even shorter. Pre-roll content is now included in all agency briefs. As more brands begin to adopt the 6-second format, YouTube may very well shorten its skippable ad time further to just 3-seconds. It’s all the more reason to shift your thinking to communicating the message in a few seconds.

3. Uptake in Opportunities

More and more platforms and brands are embracing and experimenting with the format. Un-skippable 6-second ads are already on Facebook and YouTube and in May this year the king of the super short format, Snapchat, introduced them. The same is true for brands like Nike, who are increasingly commissioning 6-second content as free-standing campaigns, not just as cut-downs from others.  

4. Less Annoying

The number one reason people use ad blockers is because they find ads annoying. Luckily, the 6-second format gives advertisers the opportunity to create content that is less intrusive. When done right, 6-second films should make sense in the context of the platform and contribute to the entertaining. The challenge is for platforms like Snapchat to decide how to curate ads that are smart and unobtrusive to sit between Snapchat stories organically. They don’t want users to be watching a video of their friends at a party one moment, then suddenly be interrupted by a bright advert for something irrelevant.

5. Less Disruptive

The second top reason people use ad blockers is because they find ads too disruptive to what they’re doing. 6-second ads fit way more comfortably in social media streaming, so are more integrated by nature. Pre-roll ads are 3.5 times less likely to be considered ‘interruptive’ than mid roll formats and ad recall is notably higher. 

6. Creative Challenge

It’s not easy to fight your creative instincts to make content for 15, 30, or 60-seconds – but it’s worth it. Training your brain to communicate a story or an idea in just 6-seconds is an important skill that everyone can benefit from. Shorter doesn’t mean less sophisticated. Haiku is a form of storytelling developed over hundreds of years in Japanese culture. Great poets have been celebrated for their prowess of conveying emotion or stories in seventeen syllables, in the most concise and elegant way imaginable. It’s a massive challenge for creatives to come up with new and interesting ways of telling a story but it’ll make you better for it.

Great Guns’ ‘Stories in 6’ workshop at London International Awards takes place on today, Thursday 4th October, at the Encore Hotel in Las Vegas.

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