No matter what screen you’re looking at these days, chances are you’re seeing more 15-second commercials. So whether it’s for online pre-roll or social media placements, or increasingly for broadcast/cable buys, if you haven’t already had to create 15s, you will soon. “But,” you say, “I already had trouble fitting everything I wanted to say into a 30! A 15 is … (pauses to do the math) … half as long! Whatever will I do?” Fear not! We have some helpful tips for maximizing the effectiveness of your 15-second spots while also maintaining their creative integrity.
Actually, you may need to put that “fear not” thing on hold for a moment, because, first off, we have some bad news …
Half as long doesn’t necessarily mean half as much
Yes, 15 is 50% of 30. But unless your spot has no real concept or branding (not recommended), your opportunity for messaging is really going to be, at best, more like 40% of a 30. How so? In all likelihood, you have a tag where you tell people who you are, as well as some kind of set up where you mention the problem you can solve. Say those take a very optimistic five seconds total. In a 30-second spot, that would leave you with 25 seconds. In a 15 second spot, however, you’re only left with 10.
Yep, that’s a challenge. Here’s how to handle it.
Put down the ax, pick up your pen
This applies primarily to adapting 30-second creative to a 15. Obviously, you’ll need to do some serious editing to get a 30 down to a 15. But don’t just hack away until you have the right length. In fact, think of this as an opportunity to trim away the fat and focus on a single key message. Find the most succinct way of saying it, then jettison everything else. It means a new script and voiceover, but the results will be worth it. You’ll end up with a more focused, cohesive spot that works on its own, not just a muddled, mangled version of the original.
Fortunately, it’s not radio
With each second so precious in a 15, it’s even more important that your visuals and audio work together well to tell your whole story. “See and say” can be a good way to reinforce messaging, but in the case of 15s, your audio and video messages need to be more complementary, as opposed to just copying one another.
Should your 15 be running online, having visuals that communicate key information without audio is even more critical, as up to 70% of viewers using mobile devices will be watching with the sound off. For more best practices for creating Facebook videos, watch our recent MFTV episode. (link to MFTV video)
Write short, expand longer
If you know from the get-go that you’re going to need both 30- and 15-second lengths, it makes more sense to start by developing a 15, and then coming up with ways to expand it to make it a 30. As mentioned above, this will help you hone in on what you really need to say. In general, you’re going to have an easier time coming up with additional messages or more ways to expand your creative concept in a spot than going the other way and trying to remove content.
Two spots are often better than one
If you have a 30-second spot that makes so many fantastic points that forcing you to get rid of any of them is like asking you to choose among your children, think about splitting up your key info over two 15-second spots. Yes, there are budget considerations such as an additional voiceover and some extra editing, but the incremental costs shouldn’t be enormous if you’ve already created the base content. Plus, while broadcast and cable networks have become more accommodating to 15s, if you’re planning on running your spot on those outlets, having two 15s may give you additional flexibility and potentially better placements.
Whether it’s 15 seconds or 15 minutes, Martino Flynn can help you make the most of your video content. To learn more, contact Executive Producer John Marianetti.
June always marks an exciting time of the year for PR professionals in Rochester. It’s award season for us and the annual PRism Awards, presented by the Rochester chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), is the event that brings us all together. The night truly celebrates and places a spotlight on the range of award-winning work that is produced by both young and seasoned professionals from a variety of industries within the Rochester community.
Rochester’s PRism Awards, an Anvil Awards Program, recognize complete public relations programs as well as tactical elements that incorporate research, planning, execution, and evaluation. To be considered for a PRism Award, the work must meet the highest standards of performance in public relations, as judged by other PRSA chapters from across the country.
The 2017 PRism Awards ceremony was another record night for Martino Flynn as the agency’s results-generating work was recognized with 10 PRisms, three Awards of Excellence, and the most coveted honor of the evening—corporate Best in Show for its work with longtime client The Mentholatum Company. Martino Flynn launched Mentholatum’s new No Mess Vaporizing Rub with Roll-On Applicator for the 2016-2017 cough and cold season. Using research-based insights, the team executed an integrated marketing campaign that included digital components, PR, social media, and blogger/influencer relations that resulted in millions of impressions.
- Program: Community Relations
Cub Scout Recruitment: Something Fun for Everyone
- Program: Crisis and Issues Management
Olympus America Introduces Innovation Amidst a National Controversy
- Program: Marketing
The Mentholatum Company: Giving Moms a Hand This Cough and Cold Season
- Element: Blogs/Blogger Campaign
The Mentholatum Company: Giving Mommy Bloggers a Hand During Cough and Cold Season
- Element: Brochures
The Welch Allyn Home Hypertension Program PCP Brochure
- Element: Brochures
W. F. Young: 2017 Absorbine Trade and Consumer Product Catalog
- Element: Creative Tactics
Breast Cancer Coalition of Rochester: ARTrageous Affair Event Materials
- Element: Direct Mail/Direct Response
Infinite Group Inc.: Nodeware Direct Email Campaign
- Element: Research and Evaluation
Rich Products Brand Research
- Element: Research and Evaluation
National Council on Aging Home Equity Research
- Element: Social Media
The Mentholatum Company Captures Viral Social Activity with No Mess Roll On Launch
- Element: Podcasts/Vodcasts/Webcasts
MFTV Video Series Drives Awareness of Agency Capabilities
- Element: Website
W. F. Young: Absorbine Website
Thank you to our clients and team members who worked on each program and tactical element.
In this MFTV episode, we discuss how smartphones literally change the way consumers look at video—and why marketers need to adapt.