In my previous posts, we watched several microfilms. I explained here and there some key points of microfilms. You may have grabbed a general idea about what a microfilm is, or you may not. It’s fine. Today, I am going to thoroughly introduce this new concept to you.
What is a microfilm? Don’t google it, as you will find some terminology that has nothing to do with what we are discussing. Microfilm is literally translated from a Chinese phrase called “Wei-Dianying.” You may be more comfortable to pronounce “Wei” if you have already known “Wei-bo” and “Wei-xin.” They are Chinese Twitter and WhatsApp.
“Wei” means “micro.” It is the basic feature of a microfilm, which you can see in three aspects. First, the duration is short. A microfilm usually lasts for 30 seconds to 5 minutes. Very few have 10 to 20 minutes, which I think is not very smart. If you do have a lot to say, you can separate them into episodes. A microfilm should not be long. Want to know why? Keep reading! Second, the production is easy. All you need are performers, a good play, a video camera, and a computer. Third, the investment is usually small. People can upload their microfilms on YouTube for free and rely on social media to spread their videos.
Microfilms can work because they fulfill audience’s needs of passing fragmented time that can be 3 minutes staying in a line or 5 minutes waiting for a bus. If your microfilm is long, your audience will be less likely to watch it. You cannot assure your microfilm can keep your audience sitting and watching for 20 minutes, can you?
Microfilms can be produced for various reasons, such as fun, irony, and public service promotion. In my blog, I focus mainly on microfilms with branding purposes, which primarily have two functions. One is to promote brand ideas, and the other is to show product performances.
Do you feel clearer about microfilms somehow? Let’s do a quiz. Professor Luke Armour, who is teaching me PR Online Tactics this semester, shared a short video with me. Are you able to tell whether it is a microfilm or not?
Is it a microfilm? If your answer is yes, congratulations, you are right. To be honest, I failed to recognize it as a microfilm at first because I thought there was no story included. This morning, I watched it again. No way! How could I miss such a brilliant idea? Embrace Life, not only with your seat belt, but also with your family’s love. It is creative. It is storytelling. Of course, it is a microfilm.
What is the key to success of a microfilm? In my view, the soul of a microfilm lies in the story you tell. Tell your audience who you are and what your uniqueness is. Do you still remember the Mercedes-Benz microfilm we watched weeks ago? It is exciting. But when it is put together with the BMW microfilm series, it will not be able to stand out because they are telling the same story. Once a plot is overused, it will lose power.
This is where practitioners in the field of marketing, advertising, and public relations ought to be aware of when creating a microfilm. It is not enough to be viral video marketing specialists only, but content marketing professionals as well.
Now, any more questions about microfilms?