TV ads meant for viewing only on the web have become common of late in the West. They started off as postings on YouTube because the original ad meant for TV was too risque for airing. Ads for GoDaddy come to mind. Recently, TV commercials for brands like Cadburys (Eyebrows) and Bud Light have been specifically created for the web.
The Bud Light one would have had no chance of airing on prime time television, given the duration, the plot and the use of ‘unsafe-for-TV’ language. The Cadbury’s Eyebrows commercial (2.3 million views as of now) attempted to emulate the virality of the previous Gorilla ad, which was on air in any case.
Will Indian brands follow suit? Given the low penetration of Internet in India (35 million on last count, versus 100 million plus TV households) the numbers don’t really stack up in comparison with a full-fledged TV campaign. But there are several lifestyle categories – bikes, soft drinks, high end cars – which could gain from the buzz created on web-only ads. They could also be a creative team’s dream – no approval certificate required from DD, no constraints on duration etc. Brands like Cadburys Bournville, Tata Safari Dicor and the bevy of soft drink ads come to mind.
It will be tough convincing a client based on the possible viewership of the ad. The effort would not be seen as commensurate with the returns. It might also mean a separate investment to promote the presence of the online ad. I foresee it happening sooner or later. What do you think?