There are short films out there that walk a fine line between being pure art and pure promotion; I’ve beensifting through a handful of the films from our weekly school discussion board and some of them inspire but others are rather futile. The film I chose to decipher, that of Chanel No5 and Nicole Kidman, was a rather artsy piece that was filled with beautiful flowing images and emotional highs. Kidman is the link that ties passion with the fragrance, and the short film is selling the product with subliminal messages.
Short films may be a strong outlet for small businesses with lower budgets, as these pictures can be broadcasted for free on Web sites such as YouTube and MySpace. All that is needed is a camera, basic editing tools and a creative imagination. A friend of mine was recently talking about putting together a commercial for his company by using random clips from the Internet that correspond with the business. Great idea – cost effective, limitless opportunities – the only thing one has to worry about is copyright issues if using others material.
My company is phasing into using TV as a promotional outlet; we are planning on filming interviews and how-to segments that will entice our audience to pick up the paper more often. Advertisers have already jumped on the bandwagon and are interested in sponsoring banner ads on the company Web site. How would short films fit into this idea? Perhaps we can film a day at the dock or a trip out on the water and include advertising messages throughout. There are definitely opportunities to get creative with filming in the fishing industry.
So – going back to using short films as an art form versus advertising – I think that the most successful piece will be an equal combination of both. Even feature length films include marketing tactics, whether it is that can of Coke in the background to the mention of a designer brand name – advertising messages surround us all, sometimes without us even realizing it! If you think about it, virtually everything out there contains some sort of advertisement that is ingrained into our brains day in and day out. More to come on that thought in the next post…
Oh, and while you’re at it, check out this gem of a short film that I came across: Jim Morrison: College Dork. (I’m sure that wasn’t the original name of the film). Yes, it features the Lizard King himself in a promotional piece for Florida State University as a student who gets turned down by the school due to lack of space and funding. Heart wrenching, no?