Monday, March 27, 2017

Dear agencies, would you please stop the lengthy video format?

Artwork by Tarek Chemaly
Well, it's official - lengthy video formats are now a thing and they're considered advertising. Last Mother's Day I was about to scream, there were a ton of them! You know the type of movies I am speaking of, they start of narrations a la "six mothers were assembled and unknown to them...." or "we put hidden microphones in rooms and invited children to...." and so on and so forth.
Long, very long, formats which are squeezing the hell out of my patience with the only tears coming out of my eyes are tears of boredom - considering I love advertising I submit myself to the torture of seeing the movies till the end (knowing that they end up in the same battered way - mother hugs child and they cry, children discover their parents were listening to them and are embarrassed and whatever).
Before I go on, let me tell you that when such a format is done well, it is beautiful. Take the case of Momondo (featuring Ellaha). I watched all 8 minutes 22 seconds of it - and then pressed repeat. From the very start I got hooked, yes even the "boring" part of the academics lecturing the participants. All of it was so low key, going up slowly in crescendo mode, that Ellaha ends up with a "zalghouta" considering she had a "cousin" in the room only made it even more emotional - normal people showing unforced emotions.
Or the one featuring Jay. As the ad progressed you knew he was going to be embarrassed, but seeing him so coy reading his DNA results aloud - while not being scolded or bullied by the others - but simply him being uncomfortable at how he must have looked bragging about his ancestry at the beginning.
If I am writing this it's because this whole "advertising-cum-long-film" has become a drag. Especially in the region when brands are snatching already done ideas and usurping them for their own clients. An example is when Barbican replicated the Carlsberg real friend test frame per frame (only omitting the gambling scenes which are not approved of in the region!) or when Galaxy produced a lengthy film which was a copy of Mime Through Time by SketchShe.
So frankly, I am dreading Easter now that Mother's Day has come and gone. I truly do not anticipate the machinations agencies will throw on us - "a man was crucified, and three days later his mother gets a surprise".... I wouldn't put it beyond agencies doing such a stunt sadly - in a mini-movie format which would last about 10 minutes or so.