Thumbstoppers: Facebook launches short-form video initiative to amplify mobile creativity

Sandeep Bhushan, Director, Head of Global Marketing Solutions, Facebook India, says mobile deserves its own way of working and the whole ecosystem needs to come together

e4m by Noel Dsouza
Updated: May 16, 2019 8:05 AM  | 4 min read
Facebook Thumbstoppers

Two facts: consumers are spending time on the internet and the message of a video takes at least 30 seconds to process. 

Drawing from the above insight, Facebook has launched a new initiative ‘Thumbstoppers’ encouraging agencies and advertising enthusiasts to create compelling short story ads. 

This new initiative saw several industry biggies coming together on a same platform. Sandeep Bhushan, Director, Head of Global Marketing Solutions (GMS), Facebook India, spoke about the changes in the advertising industry along with Sukesh Nayak, Chief Creative Officer at Ogilvy India. The others included Senthil Kumar, Chief Creative Officer Wunderman Thompson India, Rajdeepak Das, Chief Creative Officer at Leo Burnett India, Garima Khandelwal, Chief Creative Officer, Mullen Lintas, and Ashish Chakravarty, Executive Director, and Head of Creative at McCann Worldgroup (India). 

Speaking about this new venture, Bhushan said: “The creative ecosystem has always been able to create brilliant work, whatever the medium is. Mobile deserves its own way of working and its own expression. The whole ecosystem needs to come together. We are privileged to have a lot of consumer time globally and in India. When a team like the agencies present here come together, the conversation shifts and creates more emphasis on this type of content.” 

Consumers have the liberty to scroll and decide what feed they want to consume. The attention span of a consumer has become extremely limited and therefore this new initiative will be a good asset for advertisers to capture attention. It all depends on relevance. The absorption of content will be much higher if it’s relevant. 

A demo of short ads, created by Wunderman Thompson India, was showcased to the media attendees. The entire campaign was based on the brief of driving ‘behaviour change’, which is the purpose of all advertising.

This new initiative will strike out production costs because the creator can shoot it also through their handheld devices. 
Bhushan further said, "Advertising on Facebook has driven significant business results for all our advertisers - large and small. The opportunity now is to drive the impact even harder with storytelling built for mobile. Facebook's Thumbstoppers is our partnership with the creative agencies to inspire and showcase short stories that evoke emotions in under ten seconds."

The challenge for the agencies will be to adapt to this new medium because they have been used to creating content for long formats. The work is changing because the consumer is changing and an agency that gets through this new medium is a fine artist, the industry heads said. 

“Globally, this has already begun and we have seen that brands have brought a drastic difference. Personally, I think that the short format is not a challenge. It is how you ideate and use the medium in the most interesting manner. The best part is not limited to advertising agencies only, anyone can go and shoot it,” said Sukesh Nayak, Chief Creative Officer at Ogilvy India. 

The aim of Thumbstoppers is to go out and get inspirational stories from the consumer's end. “We are going to promote and talk about the need and tools that the leaders will deliver and hopefully pull out inspiring creatives. Facebook along with a jury panel which consists of leading advertising agency members will select qualitative work and put it out there,” said Bhushan. 

Mobile advertising is gaining momentum, and clients are taking note of this new trend. Mobile content is in the cusp of transition. Elaborating on this, Ashish Chakravarty, Executive Director and Head of Creative, McCann Worldgroup India said, “We are increasingly getting more and more clients who are asking for this. We have seen examples of interesting short ads. It is already a part of what agencies are doing. It is just about getting the conversation started and finding the right tools.”  

Adding to the thought, Nayak said, “I hope we get great creative work. So that when agencies going forward are making PPTs for pitches this frames as a benchmark.” 

With this new format, a brand will not need any mandate and the consumer can even create short video ads from selecting one category out of the four emotional categories. 

Garima Khandelwal, Chief Creative Officer, Mullen Lintas cited an example of how effective Swiggy’s 20-seconds ads were. “After Swiggy, all clients and brands wanted the same format. If you have something that grabs attention in 10 seconds, brands will automatically say that this is what we also need to do.” 

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