"I need 1,200 videos"
United Plankton was found in 2015. Life was easy. Brands were posting square images once a week.
Our offering was so simple: "Let us convert your square posts into short animated videos in 15 minutes for only €350. It will be a lot more eye-catchy and engaging."
Fast forward to 2019. A few months ago, one of our clients that we were working on the project basis asked for a retainer for the whole year 2019. To be able to plan the retainer, the first obvious question was their forecast on the number of videos that they would need in 2019. The answer was 1,200. ONE THOUSAND AND TWO HUNDRED!
We were delivering a video per week for that brand; circa 50 annually in 2015. So what has changed in the last 4 years?
2015 September - Instagram rolled out video ads (1:1)
2016 April - Youtube announced Bumper ads (6 sec unskippable prerolls) (16:9)
2016 August - Instagram rolled out Story (9:16)
2016 November - Instagram rolled out vertical feed video ads (4:5)
2017 March - Facebook announced vertical feed video ads (2:3)
2018 September - Youtube rolled out vertical video ads (3:4)
A square video was good enough in 2015. In 2019, to be able to get the best out of the media spending on these platforms, brands need to use every single pixel available. And to be able to do that, they need 16:9, 2:3, 4:5, 3:4 and 9:16 versions of the same video. The need was multiplied by 5. Like it was not enough:
Advertising technologies developed
Programmatic, Re-targeting, Real-time marketing, Precision Marketing, Micro-Targeting...
The development on the platforms and ad-tech companies let the brands to reach the right audience, with the right message/offer, at the right time.
So, let's assume there is a brand that would like to be digitally always on, posts one animated content per week, has 4 customer group and would like to do precision marketing. How many videos they would need annually?
4 customer group X 52 weeks X 5 aspect ratios = 1040 videos
So, here comes the big question: Who will produce 1040 video content in a very cost-efficient way that a brand can afford?
Oh, don't get me started.
In the last 4 years, platforms transformed. Ad tech companies transformed. The amount of video need and the type of animated content has been transformed. How did the agencies change to follow this transformation?
What has changed in the way of animating a static key visual in the last 5 years?
Nothing. Zero. None. Null.
A motion designer of an agency is animating a static image in the same way, with the same software, at the same rate and at the same turnaround time as they do 5 years ago.
This is not a problem that can be solved by hiring more motion designers.
There are hundreds of ad tech companies (if not thousands). The obvious missing part of the puzzle is "production tech companies"; The production tech companies that would deliver eye-catchy content very quickly on very affordable rates without sacrificing quality. They have to be scalable, sustainable and flexible.
Then, and only then, brands will be able to use the actual capabilities of platforms/ad tech companies and get the best out of digital media investment.