Internet Video Advertising: The lifting of time limits

A phenomena happened on the run up to Christmas in the UK that really highlighted the benefits and lack of restriction that internet video advertising can bring. Several large retailers’ pre-Christmas ad strategies focused on engaging internet ads of 2 minutes, 3 minutes and beyond. Something that could never be done with the traditional TV ad break spot. Yes, prime time spots were booked also, but primarily used as teasers to the more interesting storytelling online.

The lifting of time restrictions that comes with using the internet rather than TV for advertising has allowed for more creativity, more ambitious stories, plots and characters while still packing a powerful punch and driving results. And buyers are loving them. John Lewis with their “Man on the Moon” social media commercial running at over 2 minutes has over 24 million views on YouTube. Sainsbury’s “Mog’s Christmas Calamity” at a full 3 and a half minutes is closing in on 30 million views.

What we took from this is that the world of online video advertising is maturing. These recent Christmas campaigns are proof that thinking is starting to shift in a direction, by both ad agencies and corporates, of prioritising content over time limits. There is still a demand of course for the 15 second or 30 second video commercial, but it’s great to see that advertisers are now starting to take full advantage of what the internet can offer over TV – more in-depth content and more creative stories.

We love a brief from a client that allows for the content to be king rather than the time limit, and that’s really how it should be in this online world in order to take full advantage of the medium. Starting with an outcome and message is where a creative process should start rather than a time restriction.

Check out the John Lewis 2015 Christmas ad here – And the Sainsbury’s video here –