GUEST COLUMN: Going Beyond Short Video Format for Digital Media


Mumbai: Coconut Films has been in the commercial television production business for over a decade and recently delivered a digital film for the bullet brand, Royal Enfield. Breaking digital stereotypes, the film is a long and deep format film. Much like the bicycle, the movie “Home” moves at cruising speed and leaves audiences with the lingering feeling of reconnecting to its roots. Coconut Films co-founder Tushar Raut shares his take on the creation of the commercial and how different it was to write for a digital audience.

Digital has been on the rise for some time. More and more opportunities and stories have been the mantra of marketers trying to connect with a divided audience whose attention span floats from window to window and from app to app. other. So how do advertisers navigate a crowded market? These are all questions that the entire marketing community has been grappling with ever since short form video and online video consumption became a way of life.

The good news is that we are no longer dictated by the challenges of the medium and dictated by the format. Digital technology gives you great creative freedom. Brevity is no longer the order of the day. We don’t write for 30 seconds. Of course the audience has the option to jump but every second doesn’t count so I think there’s a lot of wind under our wings by that count.

Short format videos move fast and sell like hot cakes, but the medium has room for a longer format and many other types of storytelling. The rule of thumb here is that there are no rules of the thumb. It is as “lawless” as it gets. So, you have to do a lot of self-censorship and not get too lenient with your own ideas. The storyline is the hero and the story you want to convey guides you rather than the medium.

For Royal Enfield, we chose a topic that most people would relate to, regardless of the age group and media format they consume. The film for Royal Enfield is about homecoming, homecoming and it cannot differ in terms of emotions. Even when it comes to a tech-savvy audience, going back to basics (in most cases) is very calming. Anyone who has been away from home while having similar feelings. People can change with each passing day, their physical needs change too but the emotional needs are less demanding, it is much more basic and confined. This is what makes us so similar despite many differences. I think that’s what you have to focus on when working on a film, whether it’s for television, theater or digital.

As for us, ‘Home’ – the commercial which is roughly over seven minutes long, wasn’t even made with the digital platform in mind. We wanted to tell a story and tell it in the most authentic way. It was designed with the feeling of wanting to give back to the things where we all came from! Roots! We just wanted to make a movie with a pure passion for storytelling without limiting ourselves to any parameters. We strongly believe that good content will be seen on TV or digitally.

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The dynamics of the market today are such that brand managers are often driven by visibility, memorization factors and maintain an ongoing presence. As the line between content and advertising blurs, on the one hand, there is a constant need to be present and connected with the audience. I’m not sure whether to call it an inconvenience but it tends to dictate a lot of other factors in terms of filmmaking, production values, etc. Initially, when the medium started releasing films, brands would have smaller budgets, no more films limited to short format. But over the years, marketers have come to accept that a movie is a movie in any medium. It must have a history, good production values ​​and a good weaving overall. It does not matter whether the film is for digital or any other medium because everything remains the same during the production of a film. A big point to remember for me is that this is a very dynamic medium and still in its infancy, so it evolves at a paid rate every day.

It is important that the client, the agency and the production house are on the same page and understand the film’s purpose both creatively and financially. If the brief is clear and everyone is aligned, then you can do a phenomenal job on a tight budget as well. The budget is not the precondition for success; it gives you more freedom to do a lot of things. But I think it’s kind of a litmus test for professionals.

All marketers will want the best bang for the buck and therefore the entire value chain is aligned in that direction. Fortunately, ‘Home’ was our favorite project and the goal was to make an authentic and realistic film, which we managed to achieve. By the way, it also looks opulent and that’s where our years of hard work came in, to achieve what we achieved within the price limits we had set out for.

(Tushar Raut is co-founder of Coconut Films. The opinions expressed in the section are personal and may not subscribe to them..)

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