Sandeep Goyal
Oct 05, 2017

Blog: Five seconds! Oh no please give me some more...

Do five-seconder commercials work? In the fourth part of our series, two media professionals give their perspective

Blog: Five seconds! Oh no please give me some more...
In the concluding part of this four-part series, we have Ambika Srivastava and Abhijit Saxena taking the debate further on five-seconders, both providing their views from a media stand-point.
Rajat Mehta (Yes Bank), Abhiraj Singh Bhal (Urban Clap), Chraneeta Mann (The Mob) and Harish Arora (FHO) have presented interesting, and divergent, perspectives over the earlier part of this week. The media folks today may well have a different take. Let’s see.
Ambika Srivasatava, managing partner, Strategic Mediaworks and co-founder, Musiconcepts; former Chairperson VivaKi India
Five seconds! Oh no please give me some more... 
That has always been the twist in the tale, whichever way you look at it .The arguments are plenty, effectiveness is the objective not efficiency ,the consumer is the king not frequency . A five-seconder will never allow you to tell a very compelling story. Generating an emotional and a rational response from a five-seconder is next to impossible. How will we beat the clutter?
The never ending questions continue yet we find more and more takers for the five-seconders . These ads are not new. Many years ago when the Coca-Cola happiness and Kit Kat break campaign used five-second ads …there were two reactions one of a  happy media planner and the other of a disgusted creative. With digital media, more specifically social, gathering critical mass the conversation and the debate ended very quickly. Last year Pepsi embraced the idea of making 100  five-second ads for their TV and digital campaign.
Are five second ads the future? To me even though the jury is out I believe we will continue to stay with a happy mix. The dice however could definitely be loaded in favour of the cheap and cheerful solution. The context and the way the media gets consumed will really influence the shape and the durations of the ads. For me the bigger challenge will be to understand what the five-second ad will do to happens to the three+ theory or indeed the share of voice arguments. The fact is that the five-seconder has disrupted the video world and we need to understand what kind of role they can play in a media strategy. Will it be just to hook the consumer or trigger a synergistic effect with the other formats (paid/owned/earned)? The media strategist will need to take that call.
We are living in dynamic times where we constantly learn and unlearn and I do think that is the key to engaging with our consumers in the hyper connected world. Confucius said “I hear and I forget, I see and remember, I do and I understand". That I believe is the best way of discovering the road to an effective short or super short or long TV ad!
Abhijit Saxena, managing founder and CEO Mobilox, former President Zee TV
Five seconds? Say the same story better...
The short format is here to stay for long. The screens are smaller, the distance from the screen is shorter, we are short on time, we are short on patience, become even more difficult to hold attention for long… The times are changing!
When everything is changing it is inevitable that communication rules existing since long have to change as well. Media has changed, the content size on the media has changed so it is but natural that there will be a change in ad format as well.
It is for specific reasons that YouTube introduced skip ad at five-sec point long time back. Some of the reasons are
1) They knew that shorter format content on a personal medium will not support long form ads.
2) YouTube also realised that it is too early to expect advertisers to convey the same message in five-second what they have been saying in 30-secs.
3) They allowed advertisers the space for 30-secs but gave the option to skip to viewers
4) They also felt that they would offer statistics to the advertiser of how many people skipped their ads in five seconds and hence educate the advertiser through statistics.
5-sec ads are offering new challenges to creative thinking. Even during 30-sec ads era media saw the invention of 10-sec ads as well. Though they were primarily the edited version of the 30 second ads but advertisers used them for recall and to build frequency and reach. But now is the time for five-second ads to say the same story or in fact say it better.
“I hear and I forget, I see and I remember, I do and I understand“, says Ambika. How true!I think the golden mantra is for all in the ecosystem … clients, creatives and media … to actually go out and actually give the 5-seconders a try. An honest try. A try intended to learn from. Not just a try for demonstration of innovation. Or a try just to pay lip-service.
The times are changing. Media consumption habits are changing. The 5-seconder is an inevitability. The content, and context, will take shape over time but brevity of message and focus in promise are here to stay. We may resist the change, we may try and delay it, but sooner or later the short-format will find both relevance and meaning.
My thanks to Rajat, Abhiraj, Chraneeta, Harish, Ambika and Abhijit for having joined the debate. 
(Sandeep Goyal uses this blog as a forum for fresh ideas, and welcomes debate and discussion on new topics and new trends)

Campaign India

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