Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Can Someone Explain To Me Why An Online Commercial Should Cost Less To Produce Than A TV Commercial?

There seems to be a fallacy being propagated by those supposedly in the know that producing a commercial for online distribution costs less than producing a commercial for TV.

Recently, it was the VP for Branded Partnerships for Branded Experiences at AOL who was spouting this nonsense.

“Test and learn,” she said. “Video production is inexpensive for the web. You can do a two-minute, three-minute and five-minute and test them all at the same time and see what users react to. Test different lighting, test if there’s music, maybe interchange a celebrity. Change out production elements in each video and test the videos against each other.”

In other words, according to this so-called expert, the cost of production is less if it runs online rather than TV.

How does this work?

Has she ever bid out a commercial for production?

It’s not a factor of where it’s going to run. Production companies don’t get a script and say, "Whoa, this is going to be online, we’ll use fewer people and shoot it faster."

Where it’s going to run has no impact whatsoever as to how much it’s going to cost.

Cost is a factor of time, people and location. Not media.

But, what is happening is that a lot of crap is running online that is produced inexpensively. By amateurs. Without a smattering of an idea behind it.

It looks cheap. It smells cheap. It grates on people. It clutters up the space. And, in the end, it doesn’t work.

Which makes the online space that much more difficult to sell to clients. After all, they look at the numbers and say, “Look, it doesn’t work.”

This is all thanks to people who should know better like VP’s for Branded Partnerships for Branded Experiences at AOL.

People who don’t understand that in the hands of someone who knows what they’re doing, execution is part of the idea.

And idea’s are what make or break brands.

Not testing different lighting.

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