Facebook launches ‘Thumbstoppers’ to push for 10-sec mobile-first ads

As data plans get cheaper, and the reach of smartphones has spread across every corner in India, there is an inevitable change in consumer behaviour. Attention span has considerably reduced, and people are looking for content they can consume in a few seconds. Keeping this in mind, Facebook is coaxing India’s leading creative agencies towards creating mobile-first ads.

Not only will these efforts involve redefining the format of video storytelling, but will also make it possible to deliver a message in less than 10 seconds.

Putting the wheels in motion, Facebook on Wednesday launched what it calls a “first-of-its-kind initiative to redefine short-form mobile video creativity in the country”. Called ‘Thumbstoppers’, this initiative is aimed at transforming storytelling for mobile advertising.

The idea is to bring advertising topguns in the country into the loop – the likes of Wunderman Thompson, Ogilvy, Leo Burnett, McCann and Mullen Lintas – as the social media giant continues to engage its billions of users on an everyday basis. Sandeep Bhushan, Director and Head of Global Marketing Solutions (GMS) at Facebook India, commenting on the launch of the ‘Thumbstoppers’ campaign, said:

“Advertising on Facebook has driven significant business results for all our advertisers – large and small. The opportunity now is to drive the impact even harder with storytelling built for mobile. Facebook’s Thumbstoppers is our partnership with the creative agencies to inspire and showcase short stories that evoke emotions in under ten seconds.”

In order to demonstrate that powerful storytelling is possible in less than ten seconds, Facebook even showcased a few ‘Thumbstopper’ films during the launch, created by Wunderman Thompson and covering a wide spectrum of human behaviour. Senthil Kumar, Chief Creative Officer of Wunderman Thompson said:

“Short stories move hearts – it takes only a few seconds to show support, break down barriers, display kindness, start a movement or express that love has no boundaries.”

Explaining why the shift to shorter mobile-first format was integral, he added, “Exploring this telegraphic short format in the mobile medium is important because of decreasing attention spans and growing impatience. Each of these films tells a story that has some underlying purpose or human truth in it. Much like advertising for brands, these films also use drama, emotion, suspense and humour to tug at your heart strings.”

Facebook is following up the launch with a ‘Thumbstopper Challenge’ – an invitation to all the creative minds to submit a short story on driving behaviour change in less than 10 seconds by July 12. The top winners will get to travel to Cannes next year, the company said.