In this age of short attention spans and endless content for people to choose from, the first moments of an online video can be make or break for drawing in the viewer. I was just reading a post by Google titled The First Five Seconds: Creating TouTube Ads That Break Through in a Skippable World. While the article is based on a study done of online ads on YouTube, I think a lot of the lessons can be useful for anyone sharing video content online.
Careful with that brand
Google tested ads that showed a brand in the first five seconds versus ads which did not and found that the the ads with no branding early on were skipped less. However, the ads which did show the brand early on were recalled more often by viewers, making this a bit of a tricky situation. If you want the audience to watch your entire video, it is probably best to introduce your brand later in the video.
Make them laugh
According to the article, ads which struck a humorous tone were far less likely to be skipped. If you are having a really hard time making your topic funny, your next best bet is creating suspense or evoking emotion. Ads that featured smiling people early on generally fared better than ads that did not. Viewers also like to see a familiar face: if they see someone they recognize in the first five seconds, they are much more likely to watch the video.
Cut the music!
Ads featuring no music in the first five seconds were actually more effective in keeping the viewers’ attention. The article speculates this may be because people are caught off guard by the silence, making the video a kind of sneak attack. For ads that did use music early on, humorous music tended to be the best. Lightheartedness wins again.
I think these tips could definitely come in handy, and not just for those marketing a product or service. Whether you are promoting your business, or advocating for a cause, keeping the viewer interested is a must. Try these tips out on your next video and see if they work. If they don’t work, remember I got them from Google.
I would like to share with you an unfolding of events that begins awfully, gets kinda gross in the middle, and ends up sorta good but not great. Confused? Good, let’s begin!
In 2013, Gurbaksh Chahal, CEO and Chairman of RadiumOne, was charged with 45 felonies for beating his girlfriend 117 times during an altercation. According to law enforcement the girlfriend stated that, after finding out she cheated on him, Chahal attacked her, stated several times he was going to kill her, and she feared for her life. Law enforcement also claims to have recovered a surveillance video that showed 30 minutes of the assault.
In a perfect world, this would make for a slam-dunk case that puts a mega-jerk-lady-hitting-pig behind bars. Victim testimony and video of the crime seems like plenty of evidence to ease the mind of the prosecutor.
Sadly, we do not live in a perfect world. No, no we don’t.
Then, the girlfriend decided to go ahead and not cooperate with the police anymore nor testify against Chahal. This happened after both parties lawyered-up (I smell a pay-off, anyone else?).
So, most of the charges were dropped and Chahal ended up pleading guilty to two misdemeanors: one count of domestic violent battery and one count of battery. His punishment? Three years probation, 25 hours of community service, a $500 fine and he must attend a 52-week domestic violence training program (doesn’t that sound like he’s going to be taught how to get better at beating women? ValleyWag should reword that sentence).
Chahal avoided jail, and I think he’s damn lucky. And when this came out, it seemed like his previously charmed life would stay relatively charming.
The good, I guess.
Well, things started to get worse for Chahal. People were pretty ticked off about this whole thing and social media sites were blowing up with comments about how unjust it was that he didn’t get jail time.
And then he lost his job. There is some speculation as to whether Chahal knew about his pink slip when he published this blog post in which still refers to himself as the CEO. In the post, he also denies he hit his (hopefully now ex?!) girlfriend 117 times. Which seems reasonable – it’s not that he didn’t hit her, he just wants to point out it’s not that bad since it wasn’t that many times. Oh, ok! I’m sure we can all sympathize and forgive you for only mildly abusing her, no big deal.
Chahal also denies in his post that the video proves he committed such a heinous, drawn-out attack on the girlfriend. He claims that the video will only prove that the police abused him when they stormed his place, even though he was being cooperative. Not everyone is convinced. But Chahal isn’t faded, he knows we just “can’t handle the truth.”
It seems like if Chahal is telling the truth and the video’s content has been exaggerated, he should just release the video. Then we can all agree he’s not such a bad guy! For some reason, though, Chahal hasn’t done that yet. I have a feeling this isn’t the only offer being made to see that video.
So…is this a happy ending, or…?
I doubt the public will get the chance to see the video, as I’m sure it’s been destroyed. Yes, I’m just a cynical old crank like that. Without proof, it’s going to be tough to determine if Chahal really lucked out on this one (or just how much freedom money can buy), or if the contents of the video were in fact blown out of proportion.
I do know one thing about Chahal: his post reveals that he believes there are justifications for domestic abuse e.g., your girlfriend having sex for money in Las Vegas. However rude of her that might have been, I’m sorry dude, but nope. Wrong. Does not computer. We may never know exactly what happened that night with his girlfriend, but it’s pretty obvious this guy is a clueless a-hole when it comes to violence against women.
A footnote: full disclosure, I’m going to think this guy put the beat down on his girlfriend until he releases that video and shows us otherwise. He brought it up, basically said it proves his innocence, but it hasn’t been released. So yes, I’m coming from a very biased viewpoint.)