Are We Visual Creatures?


Samantha Harley looks at the popularity of video and animation in advertising and Social Media marketing. Is this the best way to cut through the noise or does it just add to it?

Since childhood we’ve been told, “A picture paints a thousand words”.  Combine this with how advertisers like to cram ads with information, and we have the reason why video has become the next evolution of Social Media marketing.  Content marketing is rarely seen without an accompanying video these days.   With the rise of infographics being used to explain dull or complex content in a vastly simplified manner the Internet and Social Media streams are being transformed into video content hubs.

So what’s wrong with communicating more?  The answer is that soon consumers will be overwhelmed by content.  The artistry of good advertising is communicating a message with minimal content, and while we do enjoy the pretty moving pictures, if everything in our newsfeed is moving, consumers may actually seek out traditional static communication.

Since its inception Youtube has transformed the way we discover content and has evolved into the 2nd largest search engine in the world (owned by the biggest search engine in the world – no names needed). There are over 1 Billion unique monthly visitors to the site, which tells us that it’s the way viewers prefer to be delivered content.  A negative point to this is that everyone is now an independent producer of content and the market is becoming flooded.

Video advertising has branched off through Social Media platforms becoming cloaked as memes and animated GIFs but still has the core focus of selling. Whether selling a product or yourself video has become the answer – with the newest updates to your mobile profile you can post a video as your profile picture on Facebook, and how did Facebook deliver this information…in a video of course.


Video content makes searching more visual and engaging.  With the advancement of technology it has initiated the rise and fall of Motion-ography – by which I mean the rise of the population as motion artists and the fall of artists with true skill who will struggle in the future because everyone can be a ‘motion artist’.

The question remains whether video for the sake of video is the correct progression of advertising or whether the tactics will out-way the purpose of the advertising.  Social Media platforms are independent, evolving organisms but currently they are merging into the same formation – video streaming.  Could it be Facebook’s intention to become a video streaming service and bring social media into the Hulu hub along with Youtube and Netflix?  Or will they remain an independent social network with a strong video centre?  The smart move would be to embrace the element that boosted them to the #1 social platform – connecting people.  If Facebook want to use video then they should introduce reliable video messaging that’s integrated into their existing service to undercut Skype and Facetime. If they continue on the path of flooding consumer Newsfeeds with motion then they run a strong risk of becoming the next MySpace (That’s not a good thing).

On top of everything else, App plugins like ‘Giphy’ have fashioned animated memes as the new method of instant messaging and emoticons are using the sad face as they become animated or obsolete.

Video is feeding the ‘visual creatures’ of the internet, but that hunger will change with time; either increasing to the point that Times Square looks like the fluffy toy of advertising, or decreasing once people have had their fill and we see online content with substance return.

One thought on “Are We Visual Creatures?”

  1. Facebook will never drift too far from what they currently offer – the data they hold is the real gold. As for video messaging, it’ll probably come with Whatsapp if it hasn’t already! (Which Facebook owns) Facebook doesn’t tend to add huge new features, instead it simply purchases them! (Instagram, whatsapp etc)


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