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Stopping the scroll: Why it's important to have in-house creatives for impactful campaigns

Stopping the scroll: Why it's important to have in-house creatives for impactful campaigns

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It goes beyond saying that it’s important for marketing departments and their agencies to invest in new formats of content such as short videos in a new digital age.  

While in Hong Kong, some locals are shifting their preferred viewing medium from digital platforms such as Netflix to social media including Instagram and X, according to an OMG’s study titled “Hong Kong video content viewing landscape”. 

In terms of viewing time, Instagram led with 7.9 hours, followed by Facebook (7.8 hours), and X (2.5 hours). Instagram’s total viewing time was on par with Facebook’s for the first time, according to the report.  

With so much content and videos available on social media every day, stopping the scroll and keeping the viewer engaged is the holy grail of marketing these days, said James Li, creative director, OPPO at MARKETING-INTERACTIVE's Content 360 Hong Kong.  

This is also coupled with the fact that over 90% of consumers claim a video will help them make a purchasing decision, according to Hubspot. Meanwhile, 95% of marketers around the world believe videos are the best way to showcase and demonstrate a brand’s product. 

“If anyone or any agency says they can promise you they can organically ‘stop the scroll’, then they are lying. There's no way you can do it [...] unless you have an unlimited budget,” he added. 

How brands can “stop the scroll” 

But the key to creating a video that stops the scroll can be boiled down to a few principles:

1. An arresting thumbnail picture

2. A headline with a promise

3. A strong opening to the video

4. Keep the video short

5. Being unexpected  

For bigger brands such as global or multinational companies, Li said their campaign videos also need to have a consistent, strong and sharp story, and in-house creatives play a huge role in achieving this.  

Importance of having in-house creatives 

Li shared his experience when he first joined OPPO where the global, regional and local teams created campaigns without consulting each other, resulting in mixed messages of the same campaign confusing consumers. 

“What we did to remedy this was we looked at all materials we were creating and we decided to reduce the amount of work and made it more targeted,” he added. 

“Instead of hiring different agencies for various markets, we decided to have better oversight of each campaign so we can make it closer to ours, hence making it look like a cohesive campaign,” he added. 

In fact, it has been increasingly common for brands to have in-house creatives to produce campaigns. This can be attributed to cost savings in the long term, said Li, “as in-house creatives know the brand so they can help with a lot more of the work, and they can have greater autonomy over their creative output, resulting in faster turnaround times and improved transparency and accountability of creative teams.” 

“You can talk to your in-house creatives, you can just go to marketing department and get the information you need to carry on with your work. You have complete control over the quality, direction, and execution of their marketing and branding initiatives."

You basically oversee everything.

Given that agencies nowadays have a different role be it media buying or providing various insights to clients across different countries, Li believed multinational brands should consider having in-house creatives to produce campaigns more effectively.  

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