Let’s begin by acknowledging how much we all love commercials. We love being screamed at through a screen about how great so-and-so’s product is and how it will change our lives. We live for it.
We’re only kidding. Commercials have found a special, dark place in our hearts. They shove their way into our favorite shows and trample through our YouTube. Occasionally, however, we find ourselves intently consuming an ad from beginning to end without wishing it would end.
More often than not, these “anti-commercials” are made by small, independent video production companies that take a hint from the changing landscape of advertising. Thanks to the internet, the fringe is coming to the foreground and those odd, quirky ads are reaching viral fame.
Brand Video: Indie isn’t ending
Indie commercials have risen in recent years due to a shift in the mindset of marketers and the accessibility and price of the technology involved in making them.
Especially through platforms like Facebook and Instagram, midsized companies are realizing that they no longer need a million dollar budget to compete in the big leagues. And that doesn’t exclude the tube. Large corporations have begun to understand that national television commercials don’t have to drain their marketing budgets.
We shot this commercial for Bounce, with a very small budget. And why not? Entertaining and effective for less than half the price of a traditional commercial? Yes, please.
Going small, thinking big
These days, technology is smaller and cheaper. Huge production rigs are a thing of the past. What you needed a team of 10 to do then, you can do with one or two talented visionaries now.
With a smaller staff and cheaper (not inferior) equipment, more time and resources is available for the real bread and butter of your commercial: the concept. Rather than paying a large ad agency to give you the same, boring pitch you’ve heard before, small production companies allow you develop ideas with a creative who doesn’t live in a corporate fishbowl.
When you go independent, ideas become innumerable and risks become imminent.
Risk and reward
Brands who finally catch on to the indie commercial phenomenon, find that the more blunt, humorous and quirky the commercial, the more the internet eats it up—and yes—drives sales.
We say “finally” because one brand has been doing it for SEVEN YEARS. Remember this from 2010?
Isaiah Mustafa, affectionately known as “Old Spice Man,” not only revitalized a 70-year-old brand, but became a cultural phenomenon. “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” campaign satisfied what Old Spice’s new target market had grown to crave: the fast-paced, silly and bizarre nature of the internet.
With one commercial, Old Spice was able to turn a several-year slump upside down overnight. According to The Nielsen Company, sales for Old Spice Body Wash grew 55 percent in just three months. Though commercials like this are considered “risky,” the reward is worth it.
Though “Old Spice Man” creator, Widen + Kennedy, isn’t a small operation, smaller shops like us at 512 Media*, quickly followed suit, delivering the same unabashed, viral-worthy content unrestricted by the taste and time restrictions of traditional advertising and smaller budgets.
Spend less, gain more
One 60-second commercial doesn’t need to exhaust 60 percent of your marketing budget. In an increasingly online advertising space, there’s no reason to throw big bucks at a television screen. Small, independent shops, unbound by a corporate framework, are delivering high-quality, disruptive brand video for a new breed of customer.
For a fraction of a traditional agency cost, 512 Media created Big Red Soda’s first national television commercial in 25 years.
At 512 Media, we work with companies of all budgets to increase visibility and engagement through affordable and disruptive content that drives sales. Let’s talk.