Tag: Advertising

14
Jan
2016

Advertising Meets Realism: Why ‘Documercials’ Can Be So Successful

‘Documercials’ are a film format that was developed in the USA in the mid-1980s and is growing in popularity in Europe as well. The protagonists in ‘documercials’ are ordinary people – someone like you and me. Instead of flawless models or actors we see people who have wrinkles and sometimes pimples. They struggle with real worries and problems. They achieve goals that we can achieve as well. The mix of advertising and documentary doesn’t use any fairy-tale-scenarios, but focuses on real life. This authentic performance reflects onto the company / organisation / brand / product. The reference to something real creates a “I know that” – or “That’s how I feel as well” moment. This is refreshing, devastating, moving – and believable. And that’s why well-made ‘documercials’ are very successful. However, what seems to happen randomly and feels authentic, is often well cast and precisely planned. The boundaries between genuine documentary and staged content are blurred. The reality is created by the issues that companies and organisations prescribe.

#FuckThePoor: Film production about a social experiment organised by “The Pilion Trust”, an aid organisation that fights homelessness in the UK.
The organisation’s YouTube clip has been clicked nearly 5 million times. (Source: unit9.com, YouTube)

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