One of the really nice things about the ubiquity of high-speed internet connections being available for everything from your phone to your TV set is the fact that promotional advertising is getting better. What I mean by this is, the fact that rich content that is longer than thirty seconds is available, and offers a compelling reason to watch. Most fifteen and thirty second spots done for TV follow the same formulaic pattern, and are easily tuned out, skipped, or muted rendering them virtually worthless. People pay a ton of money to have an ad produced and shown to an audience that isn’t paying attention. The point of this being, that in the new world order of converged media, you now have the option to create a longer form of promotional advertising that is engaging, and tells a story.
Back in February Joe Donaldson released an animated short for the New York Times, that received a ton of accolades for the quality of the animation, and the story telling component. That video inspired Julie Morris at Morris Grassfed Beef to contact him about creating an animated short promoting their new online ordering system. The video that they produced goes far beyond a simple instructional promo spot. It tells a story about how Morris Grassfed Beef was started, the quality of the product, where and how they deliver, and how to order online.
Donaldson’s animation and illustrative style, combined with a great script and solid narration help to break the mold and give the audience a compelling reason to watch the entire spot. At a minute and fifteen seconds, the video below demonstrates how a longer format ad can hook and hold an audience. The cadence and flow of the spot, timed to well executed visuals and high production value show how effective storytelling can be in long format advertising.
Oh and this piece was created in 4 weeks with no revisions. A complete explanation of the work process Donaldson employed can be found on Motionographer.