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Art Director Matt Ankers explores the effectiveness of moving image within sports marketing. How do we grab the attention of consumers on social platforms?

Here’s the first question. Can you compare the effectiveness of videography over photography in online marketing?

They are both distinctly different mediums, but do they aim to achieve the same thing? To start the conversation, I believe they do.

If a picture paints a thousand words, then what number should you assign to a 45-second video clip?

One of my roles at Brandwave is to manage the growth of our video work. On a personal level, I immerse myself heavily in photography. I’ve positioned myself as someone who seeks to understand and appreciate both. This conversation is designed to better understand effective brand presence in the sports market, specifically, on social media.

Being surrounded by a market who consume through rapid thumb scrolls and quick double taps, how do we slow down and really communicate to people? We should all agree that establishing a voice on social media is challenging. Considerable background noise and the next level in self-promotion does make it difficult. I’m not complaining. I very much see commercial B2C infiltration on social as an important new kid on the block.

So, when we reach out and post, what is our strongest means of doing so. How do we slow down those thumbs?

A well composed film on social can often demand you to watch it from start to finish. This is because:

  • It offers the consumer an opportunity to take a subconscious ‘break’ from the chaos of instinctive-scrolling
  • If sound is used, being multi-sensory enables us to engage on more than one level
  • We are (within reason) almost conditioned to watch video content from start to finish

Can photography demand the time it deserves on social media to achieve its full potential? How much time does a photo need to achieve its goal?


If a film is 30-seconds long, the answer is clearer. But if a photo is rich and subtle in content, what time does it deserve? In a gallery or book, minutes. But on social… can you fully appreciate the message in seconds? If you’re a purist, and photo obsessive like me, then yes. If you’re not, then I’m not confident you can.

You might even argue that it doesn’t matter. That you can’t assign a time. That what you take from a photo isn’t really even quantifiable – that it is purely emotive.

If you take an example of the Instagram account for The Rock and look at the number of video posts to photo posts, the ratio lays heavily on video. This could be chance, or could be tactical – but either way, it makes his content more dynamic and consumable. It draws you into something that might otherwise be lost in a simple bicep busting selfie or campaign photograph.

At the time of researching this – two thirds of The Rock’s last 21 posts were moving image.

In the last 21 posts, 2 of them were the same content; both promoting his new Project Rock Sneaker range with Under Armour.

The campaign photography has currently received an incredible 924,541 likes.

The home-made video racked up 5,536,910 views. That’s over 5 million views at 3 seconds or more. With some anxious maths, this equates to a minimum 4,614 hours viewed. Or even more shockingly 6.3 months’ watch time, minimum. The posts were made 2 days apart.

This statistic certainly isn’t down to aesthetics. The photography is beautifully shot; the video is amateur. The Rock is an entity to himself, but is an exceptional example of success when speaking to his fans.

The elephant in the room for me isn’t the question over whether videography is better than photography, but rather our personal relationship to the environment in which we consume it in. Do we prefer being told what to think, rather than come to conclusions ourselves? This is a big question. Almost unanswerable in some ways.

We should see photography and videography as tools. Tools that help us interrupt the pattern of social behaviour – and be it moving or static, it is important we adjust our marketing to go against the correlation and find a way for your brand to stand out.

Matt Ankers