2008 was the year online video got longer. The grainy segments on YouTube faced new high-def competition from Vimeo; YouTube responded by experimenting with sharper formats; and Hulu.com took off with full TV shows and movies, all for free. The pundits who said in 2007 that ad spots longer than 15 seconds would never work online appear to be wrong, as consumers begin settling down for deeper entertainment from PCs and cell phones.
Here’s one sweet example — a 3-plus-minute music video promoting skin health for the Cancer Council of New South Wales in Australia. The piece, by Naked Communications, is obviously meant to go viral — you can just see 18-year-olds chuckling over it on an iTouch in the back of class — so let’s break it down: catchy music riff; beautiful bodies that are hard not to watch; and a message that sinks in like the mole on this dude’s back. With every passing second the hero Al Bino looks cooler and cooler. What we love about this format is it is one long, powerful impression. In a world where so many ads blip by without being seen at all, longer video may be better.
Now we’re off to call the doc — need an appointment to get the moles checked.