The Metropolitan Sports Facilities Authority created a news event yesterday by giving journalists a tour of the Vikings stadium construction site with the hook that construction was 25% complete and on schedule. That fact in and of itself isn’t particularly compelling but when you release a time-lapse video of construction thus far, all of a sudden it becomes compelling:
This story highlights several interesting communication trends that all have the common theme of condensing time.
A video of construction that takes place over the course of several months, would, of course, be tedious and unwatchable. But condense that time period from months to 25 seconds and communicate the progress visually, and you’ve got some compelling content, a news hook, and a teaser to keep the stadium top of mind when there’s really nothing to report.
And it gives you the opportunity to tell the same story several times during different points in the construction:
U.S. Bank Stadium is now 80% complete.MORE: http://mnvkn.gs/YgZigL
Posted by Minnesota Vikings on Monday, November 23, 2015
UPDATE 10/3/2016: Here’s the full version of the the Vikings stadium time-lapse video, from the destruction of the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome to the opening of US Bank Stadium to the public:
Video On The Rise
You need look no further than YouTube to recognize the public’s growing appetite for video content. Quartz reports that “analysts at Bernstein Research recently said they think it could generate $7 billion in revenue in 2015, and become a $30 billion a business in the next few years.”
[Tweet “YouTube could generate $7B in revenue in 2015 & become a $30B business in the next few years.”]
eMarketer predicts that online video ad spending in the US will reach $12.82 billion by 2018:
The rise of video consumption is in part a function of our condensed attention spans. It is simply easier to consume video content than it is to read, it often takes less time, and allows for multitasking.
The Rise Of Short Form Video
The launch and subsequent popularity of Twitter’s six-second video sharing service Vine in January of 2013 led to Instagram adding short form video to its app as well and now, most recently, launching a separate time-lapse video app called Hyperlapse.
Interest in the time-lapse video format has grown steadily over the years but exploded with the release of Hyperlapse, as you can see in this chart from Google Trends that illustrates the volume of searches for “Time-Lapse Video”:
While the interest in time-lapse video has grown, the ease of execution has not. Until the release of the Hyperlapse app.
Democratization of Technology
And that highlights the final trend having to do with condensing time: Technological complexity becoming democratic as innovations make it easier to use.
When the Web rose to prominence in 1994, one would have had to master HTML and FTP and figure out how to buy a domain name, and work with an ISP for web hosting in order to build your own website. Now, anyone can create one by going to WordPress.com and starting a blog in minutes.
Likewise with time-lapse video. One needed a video camera capable of taking stills routinely every so often, a dedicated power source, a space where the camera would be undisturbed and unobstructed over time and software to compile all the still photos into a video. Now, anyone with an iPhone can create their own time-lapse videos with Hyperlapse or the built-in time lapse function of the iPhone camera that was added with the latest iOS upgrade.
Just Because You Can…
Of course, just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should. Just because you have the tools at your disposal, doesn’t mean you are automatically going to create compelling content.
As an agency, we often create videos for clients and expect we’ll be hearing more questions about using the time-lapse format as they start seeing more of them in their social feeds.