Video Will Eat Itself – The Changing Face of Video

Goldfish in a bag.

In 1986, NME reporter David Quantic suggested that music would regurgitate itself rather than create something original. The West Midlands band, Pop Will Eat Itself, embraced this philosophy and created a mashup of genres, from thrash punk to hip-hop.

You could argue that nothing is new, all creativity references something else. Even though new genres sprout forth, nothing is entirely original.

Back to video. Fashions come and go, and when I started 25 years ago, the standard length for a promotional video was over 5 minutes, virtually a feature film compared to the 30-second wonders we watch now.

Imagine my surprise when I saw an article suggesting we are becoming fatigued by the never-ending merry-go-round of social pulp we ingest daily. We gorge on this stuff, glued to our phones as we swim around our respective fish bowls.

This piqued my interest because it hinted at a return to long-form video, something that evolves and tells the full story rather than just a trailer for the main feature. When you start looking for something, you begin to find it, and a few video influencers appear to be suggesting the same.

Like my old clothes, sitting in a black bin bag at the back of my wardrobe, wait long enough, and they’ll come back into fashion. Just to clarify, I don’t think we will be constantly watching 5-minute videos on our phones; there aren’t enough hours in the day.

If the 30-second video is a trailer for the bigger picture, the bigger picture is engaging with your audience, getting them to visit your website or pick up the phone. That’s when they want the full movie; enter long-form video.

This is too simplistic though; I think it goes deeper. We’re longing for something with a bit more substance, rather than the fluff we continually ingest. We want something that evolves and tells us the bigger picture. It can’t just be 5 minutes of trying to sell your product or service. We want something real, a peek behind the curtain of who you really are, your values, what your staff think and do, a bit of human interest.

All this talk about ingesting and regurgitating has made me hungry, so I’m off to eat breakfast. Something substantial though, not a breakfast bar. Keep your eyes peeled, you saw it here first, Video Will Eat Itself.

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