Posted by: thinkeak | October 5, 2009

Short Films: Do It Discreetly

By Kristin A. Snyder
October 5, 2009

Short Films: do it discreetly

Everywhere I look I am inundated by ads. I roll out of bed to head to the gym to be face by radio commercials, ads on buses, and billboards. I walk into the gym and am hit by t-shirt after t-shirt filled with ads, hit the treadmill only to look up at the TV with commercials and the running ticker at the bottom of the screen with another ad. Head to the locker-room, close the stall door and there are four ads staring at me. Post workout I go to get a smoothie only to see ad after ad for different protein shakes, bars, and vitamins. Off to work, log onto my computer, pull up the web to check out latest news of the day and here come the pop-ups, pop-unders, and banner ads. Pulling up email only to see more ads.

With so much in your face advertising going on, it sometimes behooves the marketers to find a more subtle unobtrusive way to get their brand message across. One of the latest trends in advertising that allows for an discreet approach is short films.

Numerous brands have made attempts at creating short films, some more successful then others. Some short films seem like long boring commercials, others are documentary’s of the companies history, and some I’m still scratching my head as to the point of it and the message it was trying to convey. Several car manufacturers have utilized short films successfully as an alternative advertising medium. Manufacturers like Nissan, Volvo and BMW lead the way by creating their own short films that tell a story while featuring its products through the film in virtually every shot. BMW and Volvo even splurged to include high profile celebrities like Madonna, Clive Owen, and Robert Downey Jr.

Each manufacturer took a different approach in creating the short film. BMW film series, “The Hire”, is an action pack series, each film with its own unique plot, and each show cased BMW’s vehicle performance and featured Clive Owen as the driver in each film, and Madonna in several.

Nissan, however, decided to take the drama genre route in its more popular short film series, “Exit” which is packed full of Nissan product either being driven or in the background. New York Times writes “Unlike typical 30-second television spots, it is 20 minutes long and is a feature on the British version of the boxed-set DVD of the American television show “24,” to be released by 20th Century Fox Television.”

Last, Volvo teamed up with Robert Downey Jr. in a interesting journey short film that features the Volvo V50.

Each of the brands short films’ created a story with a plot, and then incorporated its vehicle into the film as the star or supporting role which gave a true “film” quality instead of an extended advertisement feel. Good short films, and any type of product placement, should not feel like infomercials or really long advertisements, and these short films are good examples of what to do.



  1. i ever knew these spots were out there…nice

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