Sony Pictures has released a new 30 second video they are calling a “mashup” for the release of the movie “Seven Psychopaths” on DVD. I’m not quite sure how it qualifies as a “mashup,” since it does not appear to be mixed with other movies, but it is a fun commercial either way. But is it effective for pushing people to buy the DVD?
The length of the video
Videos have become shorter and shorter over the years. Shorter videos tend to result in better recall of the products being sold, and tend to keep viewers engaged. Commercials are particularly susceptible to fall-off after 30 seconds. Even shorter videos (especially commercials) can be more effective, as long as the message is clear.
It all depends on the content, however. Funny videos, or videos about entertaining subjects, such as movies or TV shows, can sometimes be more effective when they last a little longer, so viewers can get the gist of what they are about. On the other hand, the shorter video allows viewers to see only the very best highlights of the content, possibly making them more likely to want to buy.
Appeals to people with short attentions spans
People tend to have shorter attention spans when using the Internet, because there is so much content to digest. If Internet content does not grab the user’s attention within the first few seconds, they will be off to look for other content. If a video is too long, they may not bother to watch the entire thing. As mentioned before, this doesn’t apply as much to entertainment, even when the content is a commercial. This is especially the case for commercials meant to sell more entertainment, such as an entertaining movie or TV show.
Leaves out some important information
The one main problem with a 30 second video, is that it may leave out important information when the message is fairly complex. In the case of the “Seven Psychopaths” DVD, the commercial doesn’t really give a full picture of what the movie is about. It may appeal to people who have already seen the movie, but those who have not yet seen it may be ambivalent about buying a DVD for a movie they know close to nothing about.
Another problem is that if someone who has never seen the movie does make the decision to buy the movie based on a 30 second commercial, they stand the chance of being sorely disappointed. The commercial gives the impression that the movie is fairly lighthearted.
With the number of amazing stars involved, and the hilarious parts of the movie portrayed in the commercial, it’s possible the video would cause an “impulse buy.” They may be surprised to find that the movie is full of “comedic” extreme violence. Some people find that to be entertaining, but others do not. The longer commercial on the movie’s website gives a better idea of what people can expect.