Advertisements can be more effective if played at a slower pace, increasing viewers’ desire for the highlighted product or brand.
The days when print ads were considered the pinnacle of marketing effectiveness are long gone. Advertising using video on social media sites like YouTube, TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook has been increasingly popular in recent years. This is especially true for companies aiming to attract members of Generation Z and millennials, two generations that learn about and develop an affinity for brands and goods primarily through video content.
The explosive growth of platforms like TikTok and the popularity of using videos to promote products has led to projections that the worldwide online video advertising market will be worth US$120 billion by 2024. Meanwhile, a poll conducted in 2021 among more than 500 marketing experts and consumers found that 88% of consumers said they were persuaded to buy a product after viewing a video ad, while 87% of marketers said videos delivered a favorable return on investment.
Marketers, aware of the interest in video commercials, need to figure out how to make the most of this medium. Our study focuses on slow motion as a method of increasing the impact of video advertisements. We looked into how customers’ reactions to a video being played at a slower pace changed their impressions of the product or brand being advertised.
Slow motion transports audiences
We set out to investigate if and how the use of slow motion in advertising may systematically promote larger customer perceptions of luxuriousness. We found that luxury firms frequently utilize slow-motion movies to market anything from watches and vehicles to fragrances and chocolates.
We theorized that the use of slow motion in advertising may make products and brands appear more opulent by raising viewers’ sense of immersion, which in turn would cause them to anticipate more hedonic value from the featured product. To be “immersed” is to be completely captivated in what one is doing. People’s perception of time speeds up when they’re engrossed in an activity that has their whole attention because they stop noticing the passage of time.
In slow motion, certain nuances and complexities of motion become visible that would otherwise be missed in either real time or at normal viewing speeds. For instance, it reveals the beautiful waves and froth produced by an ice cube breaking through the surface of a glass of champagne. This gives the viewer a visual experience unlike anything they’ve ever had before and draws them further into the film.
Consumers who watch a commercial in slow motion report feeling more engrossed in the experience, and as a result, they anticipate more pleasure from the advertised product or service. This means that viewers at the center of the action have higher hedonic expectations of the featured product or brand.
Consumers’ perceptions of a product’s or brand’s luxuriousness are shaped in part by these assumptions. This is because hedonic value plays a fundamental part in how consumers perceive the luxuriousness of items and brands, and since multimodal pleasure and emotional fulfilment are some of the main advantages supplied by luxury goods.
We conducted many studies to see whether or not slow-motion video commercials change viewers’ attitudes or actions. Several types of chocolate, mineral water, wine, and shampoo were advertised in the videos used in the trials. In this study, participants rated the opulence of the advertised product or brand and expressed interest in purchasing it after viewing an ad for it at either slow or normal speed.
After conducting 12 separate trials, we concluded that viewers perceive the advertised product or brand as more premium and desirable when it is shown in slow motion during a video commercial (for instance, they are willing to pay more for the featured product). Direct exposure to the featured product did not mitigate this impact.
In one study, subjects saw a slow-motion or normal-speed wine commercial before trying the actual product. Participants who saw the slow-motion video commercial assessed the wine as more opulent than those who watched the regular-speed video ad, even though they were shown and tasted the same wine.
This happens because viewers of a slow-motion video commercial are more likely to feel engrossed in the experience, raising their expectations for the product’s hedonic value and making them feel like they’re getting their money’s worth. If the video isn’t crystal clear or if it constantly buffers, the effect won’t be as strong. It also fades away for those with low absorption tendencies (for whom slow motion is unlikely to elicit immersion) or extremely strong absorption tendencies (for whom fast-paced content is more likely to elicit immersion) (who readily become immersed in videos irrespective of slow motion).
Also, we learned that the extent to which slow-motion video advertising increase viewers’ demand for the advertised goods is tempered by the customers’ consumption objectives. Our research showed that slow motion increased customers’ propensity to make a purchase when the intention to consume luxury was highlighted, such as when viewers were prompted to treat themselves to a pricey indulgence.
In what ways may brands benefit from using slow motion?
Chanel, Dom Pérignon, and Ferrari are just a few of the heritage luxury companies that have long employed a multifaceted, omnichannel approach to generate sensations of immersion and impressions of luxury for its clients. Their storied pasts also contribute to an overall impression of high quality and status.
How can newer businesses that aspire to the luxury market but have a less polished public image enter into more competitive markets and categories?
Based on what we’ve found, commercials shot at slow motion might be a game-changer. While it may be more challenging to evoke a sense of immersion in a digital setting, slow-motion video advertisements may be an effective and easy solution. Several modern cellphones now have the capability to record slow-motion video in high resolution, and slow-motion editing software is widely accessible.
Using slow-motion video as part of your video production plan is a cost-effective, simple, and product-agnostic way for brands to position themselves as premium options. There is no need for customers to travel to a store if they want to have a lifelike experience that can influence their opinions and purchases thanks to this innovation.
Given that activating a splurging aim may increase the attractiveness of luxuriousness to consumers and make slow-motion movies more successful in raising purchase interest, brand managers may want to try coupling slow-motion videos with messaging that encourage customers to spend. Yet businesses need to be careful where they put their video advertising, as platforms or websites with minimal bandwidth may unintentionally generate technical challenges that weaken the immersive benefits of slow motion.