The introduction of streaming video on the web opened a door for long-form video commercials to make the scene. In 2005, BMW created a series of eight “short films” highlighting performance aspects of their car starring the actor Clive Owens and singer Madonna. The series was called The Hire. (

Since then, advertising and product/service companies continue to partner up creating spectacular and provocative advertising in the form of short films. This sort of marketing tactic is wise because it pivots on and uses differentiation to separate it from being perceived as a common commercial.

Creating an advertisement longer than two minutes instantly rules out the use of it on television which isn’t necessarily a bad thing because television often acts as the middleman between a company and their call to action. If an advertisement is good and provides enough entertainment value, the public will search it out on the internet. This creates a direct and quick link to the company’s website providing more information on the product.

Companies are constantly developing new ways of showcasing their product without seeming too sales-y. Short films likes those created for Cartier, Audi and Nike showcase two things when they launch. Firstly, they show that the companies have finances to sponsor such expensive endeavors, and second that such companies have the style and creative insight to oversee a production as complex as creating a Hollywood quality video. It’s an effective marketing tool which I believe will continue to be used in the future. I look forward to its unfolding possibility.

If you have comments or ideas you would like to share, please feel free to write in the area provided.

-Lee Sumner, Research Analyst