I was excited but a little skeptical at first about 5secondfilms.com because I didn’t know what you could possibly say in just 5 seconds.
But after spending a bit of time on the site I have to say if you haven’t seen or heard of 5 second films yet, you’re missing out.
The site is, in a word, awesome. And it’s awesomeness lays with its very clever design – the lack of time to waffle on. The creator has to have their beginning, middle and end relayed to an audience fast, very fast.
Films are, as the name suggests, limited to around 5 seconds in length and the majority are very entertaining.
Any comparison that 5 second films is to Youtube what twitter is to Facebook just isn’t right – 5secondfilms hasn’t just taken the concept of user generated video and dumped it on a site, they’re asking less from the viewer and more from the creator.
As a viewer you know you’re only commiting a few seconds of your day but as a creator you have to work much harder to get the point across quickly and effectively.
As far as I can see from the contributions so far, all entriely user generated – no giant slabs of copy and pasted video from the Daily Show here, and likewise you won’t see it being used as a medium for traditional marketing and advertising (yet). Although as a marketer you could say much more, many times over with multiple short videos than putting all yout eggs in one big epic viral attempt basket – so I definitely think this format has legs.
And one of the major benefits to the user is that they’re commiting much less time so they may be more willing to give the video a chance – if it sucks well at least it only chewed up 5 seconds of the viewers’ day instead of 90 seconds or more.
I’ve talked previously about the Schweppes viral campaign Signs, which I really like, but the viewer is commiting over 12 minutes of their time to watch it, and I wonder how many people thought about forwarding it but didn’t because they felt guilty asking their friends to set aside over 12 minutes.
I think a series of short videos that spanned the length of a campaign could be just as effective, if not more effective. The agency or company could change the message frequently and this is handy should a campaign not be tracking so well, and it also gives any viral campaign much more chances to capture someone as different aspects will invariably attract different audiences. In addition costs would be lower, it’s easier to test and the chance of a good 5 second viral getting forwarded should be higher.
I’m definitely putting this on my ‘next big thing’ list.
So how much can you say in 5 seconds? Well, as it turns out quite alot.
Check out some of the videos below and make sure you visit the 5 second films site.
Masters of the Viewniverse, here.
You need the twist-o-matic, here.
Coming of Age, here.