Producing Effective Content | You say it best when you say nothing at all

Image of Peterson, "the Neighbor", peeping through his blinds. Screenshot taken from the video game trailer for Hello Neighbor. The game trailer is used in this article to demonstrate effective content.

 Producing Effective Content

You say it best when you say nothing at all

85% of video content watched on Facebook is consumed in silence. Let that sink in for a moment. We live in a digital age where there is a constant need for effective content. We need it to interact with our audience and keep them engaged.

Unlike YouTube or other click to access web content, users are generally browsing through their Facebook feed at high speed, only stopping for content that catches their eye, be it the tagline or bold image presented by the publisher. That, however, is only have the battle. Most users will give a video under 3 seconds to hold their attention before moving on.

Successful content publishing platforms like Now This and UNILAD know how to make the most of this almost retro phenomenon by producing effecting content. Their ads are designed to capture the attention of the view without needing to use sound. They attract the user and initially push the content using an eye catching, colourful still image and follow it with a call to action phrase directed at the viewer.

Hello Neighbor (Game Trailer) | 2015 | Now This

click to play

In this trailer Now This have presented the viewer with a shock statement to capture their attention “This game will use your mistakes to kill you“. By speaking in the 2nd person they have engaged the user and presented them with a potentially thrilling scenario. The following content has been produced with a text heavy narrative to deliver the narrative and features of the product.

But that’s not the only way to deliver a silent message…

Semiotics have been used by marketers for decades to subconsciously deliver messages to their audience through social and cultural subconscious constructs. In short, it’s a complex system of sensory experiences and gestures to which we have inflected locally with cultural meaning.

Unlike the Hello Neighbor trailer that relied on text to tell the story, semiotics can be a far more elegant way to make a statement and produce effective content. Of course, the additional benefits of exclusively delivering the narrative of the commercial through semiotics are not only the ability to form an emotional connection between the viewer and your product, but also the ability to distribute your message across language barriers without the need to overdub or re-caption the content.

VW “Old Lady” | 2010 | Netherlands


Here’s a Dutch VW commercial from 2010, delivered silently with no captions until the very end of the advert. The story is told silently; a father takes his son to buy a car from an old lady. Semiotically, that invokes the connotation in Western cultures that the car has been driven slowly and carefully and is unlikely to have engine damage or severe wear and tear on the mechanical parts. This commercial present an humorous antithesis to this common perception, and tells the story solely through visuals. Yes, the music is present, but it doesn’t need to be there.

In short, know your marketing channels and make content that meets the criteria of the platform and its audience. There’s nothing worse than sinking money into a message that no-one will hear. Paul Thomson Digital can help you get your message to your target audience. Check out our Digital Marketing Services for more information on what we can do for your business.


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