Post by Sevita Qarshi

With an expanding number of platforms that call for insta-content, brands have an ever growing need for videos, photos, and copy. Meanwhile, creatives need time and resources to cultivate creativity. We were recently at the Northside Festival where the overwhelming advice across platforms from content creators was, “Story, story, story.” We can all agree that creatives prefer quality over quantity…but should we?

Brad Jakeman, President of the Global Beverage Group at PepsiCo, said in AdAge, “For a brand like Pepsi, it was once sufficient for us to produce four pieces of content a year – mainly TV – and we could spend about six to eight months developing that one piece of content and spend $1 million on each piece of film. Now, that four pieces has turned into 4,000; eight months has changed to eight days and eight hours; and budgets have not gone up.”

With the increasing engagement of Millennials and Gen Z on social platforms, the lines between quality and quantity are beginning to blur. When Brad Jakeman refers to 4,000 pieces of content, he’s not saying we need to crank out 4,000 30-second spots. He’s including Super Bowl commercials, YouTube videos, Facebook memes, Vines, Instagram’s, Snapchats, Spotify playlists, and content for the next social platform – whatever that may be.

We were in Anaheim this summer for VidCon, one of the largest online video conventions, and the overwhelming piece of advice by content creators there? “Be yourself – be authentic.” For younger and younger generations, social content is a mode of self-expression where authenticity is valued over perfectly lit and spaced ads.

Don’t get us wrong, we love beautifully lit videos, but there’s room for it all. Let’s face it, not all content has to be curated. It’s ok to see silly moments on snapchat. In fact, we should be showing off our human sides. Audiences want to know what it’s like behind the scenes of a commercial shoot or see that their favorite actor has to deal with a flat tire. It makes us feel like we’ve got VIP access. At the same time, we’re still telling stories. Maybe some would call them insta-stories.

What do we say to 4,000 pieces of content a year? Bring it on! Less than a decade ago, brands were just starting to have a social presence. We were all trying to navigate Facebook pages and YouTube channels, and there were many nah-sayers. Now, 4,000 pieces of content is the new challenge for creatives. It’s important to be nimble and flexible as content continues to change and expand. The sooner we’re able to embrace these new challenges and find solutions, the more successful we’ll be.