Bold Content Silent Video Makes A Surprise Comeback

In 1927 the Jazz Singer was released. The film was the first of the “talkies” – films which featured sound. It was an event which changed the world of film forever.

In less than a decade the previously super popular silent films ceased to exist entirely ending the golden age of silent films.

In the years following it has been assumed that the era of silent films would never return…

But, thanks to an unexpected shift in the way that people interact the internet silent video is making a suprise comeback.

It’s no secret that the mobile internet is booming.

  • 2/3 of American’s now own a smart phone (PewResearch)
  • US adults spend on average 36 hours a month on the mobile web (Neilsen)
  • Mobile media time is now greater than desktop in the US (KPCB)

This trend towards on-the-go and in-public internet usage is changing the way people behave online. Key among these behavioural changes is the move towards keep the sound off. Add in the fact that social media sites like Facebook require that advertisements are played in silent mode and you have a formula for a resurgence in silent video.

Like any change in technology – and how people interact with it – this brings new challenges and opportunities for marketers.

How to create video content which captures (and keeps) attention in a media saturated world – all without being able to use sound.

Here are three examples of companies that have the met the challenge – and are succeeding with silent video.

Ben & Jerry’s

Without sound video needs to have even stronger visuals to compensate. In this video from Ben & Jerry’s a block of ice slowly melts revealing the ice-cream. The overall effect is strangely hypnotic. A great example that silent video off works best when it is kept simple.’s mascot Captain Obvious plays the piano while sub titles run across the bottom of the screen. The subtitles reveal that it is lucky that Facebook ads are silent because Captain Obvious doesn’t know how to play the piano. But, the Captain does know that customers can get 10% of their next stay if they download the app – making it the obvious choice.

Want your own web video (silent or otherwise)? Why not get in touch.

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