100% Ad-free Movies

Posted on: December 2, 2018

Yesterday, I was watching HBO Defined channel. They were promoting a 100% ad-free campaign. Needless, to say, the promotion was pitching on the consumer emotion of how they disliked being interrupted during the movie.

Like HBO, many other top movie channels often run similar ad-free movie campaigns. Even Facebook enables its users to flag an ad for removal or be shown in lesser frequency. If that’s not enough, there are all those ads-blocking tools at Consumer’s disposal.
Advertising is the significant revenue source of any publishing business. Why then the Publishers (Channels & Websites), still run ad-free campaigns?
Perhaps, the realization that today’s consumers are increasingly growing averse and have developed a conditioned mental block towards Advertisements.
The fact is - nobody wants to be sold at. Over the years, Consumers have developed a strong Defensive Mechanism against Advertisements. And it’s a global phenomenon. There’s a unanimous fear amongst Consumers that no matter how exciting it sounds, all sales pitches are aimed at making them buy something they don’t want to. With that being the general mentality, how then, can Brands hope to effectively promote their products and services?
To survive in today’s market scenario, Brands must match their steps with the Consumers. While the consumers hate advertisements, they are not against being informed. How else will they know about the various options available at their disposal? Yet, they want to be treated like rational individuals.
Perhaps, that’s why we see some Brands opting for the straight and simple approach. Coke, for instance, had run a Brand Campaign, with an honest narrative rather than specifically talking about products. Hero Motors also have indulged in a similar approach. However, both these Campaigns aimed to trigger the patriotic emotion amongst Indian Consumers.
This focus on the patriotic emotional drive is quite tricky, especially when one is targeting young consumers. While it may induce a momentary enthusiasm, it is but obviously not long lasting.
One promising solution to all this is Storytelling.
Imagine, how a traveling trader used to do business in the olden days. As he traveled across from one country to another, from one city to another—he accumulated stories of his experiences.
And when he met with new customers, he usually started with the travel stories. By sharing his experiences via an engaging narrative, he could connect with the audience instantly. And while the audience listened with rapt attention, they subconsciously dropped their defensive guard and trusted the trader. Having known him, through his stories, they were then open to what he had to say or rather sell.
Stories have that power on the individual. It penetrates through the surface level inhibitions and triggers an emotional response.
At times, it pays to go back to the basics, especially when the new approaches only guarantee huge investments and no returns.