Inside WITHIN

[Event Recap] How to Create Unskippable Content

04-14-2021
Written by

Sue Cahaly

In our April 7 event, SLOW THE ROLL AND STOP THE SCROLL: How to Make Unskippable Creative for Every Platform, WITHIN CEO Joe Yakuel was joined by Head of Creative Operations Michelle Moscone and Director of Creative Account Management Quinn Fitzpatrick to share best practices for creating irresistible platform-specific content.

The goal of the webinar was to provide audiences with tips on how to engage consumers with the right kind of creative content, make the most of media dollars, and generate maximum versatility from modular content creation.

Evolving Content, Devolving Attention Span

The team started with a brief overview of how media consumption has evolved, and how the traditional story arcs employed by television commercials are no longer possible in online video advertising. As Michelle pointed out, however, the story and messaging remain, despite the transition to a short-form concept. “The messaging is still hard hitting. It’s not just a bunch of random images to capture your attention. Yes, we want to do that — but not in a way that’s divorced from your brand and the integrity of its story.”

Joe observed that Facebook studies have shown that people spend approximately 1 to 1.5 seconds on an ad. “But,” he notes, “from some studies we’ve conducted, we know that people can actually process a visual concept in as little as 0.013 seconds, and a thought in 0.3 seconds.” That means, he says, that “even if you have only one second to hook someone in, you can still get them to process three different thoughts in that one initial touchpoint, which is pretty fascinating.”

Be Bold and Really Pop

Some key things to keep in mind when trying to make an impression in a never-ending scroll of imagery, is that “the asset in general really should stand out against the rest of the user’s feed,” according to Fitzpatrick. “You can do that by using color, breaking the plane, employing an interesting effect — something that when you’re scrolling through a feed, really pops from the crowd.”

The color, movement and words themselves all go “pop” in this ad for Aerie.
(Source: WITHIN.)

The exception, Fitzpatrick notes, is when the ad’s intention is to appear like UGC. “If you want it to look like one of [the users’] friend’s story, that can be an interesting tactic that is worth testing into … but it has to be intentional.”

Fight Fatigue With Modular Content Creation

The panel talked about “ad fatigue,” how to test content, and how to analyze your best performing content to make it even better. To fight ad fatigue, says Joe, you’ll want to ensure there’s plenty of variety, but also that those variations are based on content that’s already performing for you. This is where modular content creation really comes into play. 

The goal of modular creation is to extract as much versatility as possible from a larger asset. Modular creation means that creative work, such as a 60-second video spot, can be repurposed  into smaller snippets, or stills with text overlay, using different vignettes from the same shoot.  

“One of the best things that we can get from modular content is that we are able to plug and play,” says Michelle. “We have so much reusable content that we can continue to iterate our messaging to make high-performance ads.” 

But good content won’t happen without forethought. “It’s all about planned resourcefulness for how we can actually capture all of this content that we are going to continue to test on,” says Michelle.

Webinar Takeaways

Audience questions ran the gamut, from what the creative brief process looks like to the optimal number of ad sets for running tests. The main takeaways from the session, though, confirmed that audience and medium, as always, are the most important considerations when creating, with intent and preparation immediately following. Appropriate testing and adjusting for performance should always be part and parcel of the fine tuning process of an ad campaign. 

If you have any remaining questions from the webinar, please contact us. To experience the full session along with the content examples and visuals, we encourage you to watch it in its entirety.