4 min read

Deutsch CCO On The Rise of Short-Form Content

On the fourth episode of season four of The Rough Cut, Storyhunter co-founder meets with Dan Kelleher, Chief Creative Officer of Deutsch…
Deutsch CCO On The Rise of Short-Form Content

On the fourth episode of season four of The Rough Cut, Storyhunter co-founder Alex Ragir meets with Dan Kelleher, Chief Creative Officer of Deutsch. Deutsch is an advertising agency started by the father of TV personality Donny Deutsch, and they represent brands like Busch, Reebok, Taco Bell and Budweiser. Alex and Dan discussed the growing prominence of short-form content, using video assets in multiple ways, why you shouldn’t pump out content for the sake of content itself, and career advice for young creative professionals.

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Below are edited highlights of the conversation:

Digital Video Is Becoming Short And Condensed

“In digital video, everything is getting shorter and shorter. We’re going from long-form storytelling to very short, condensed media. In many ways, you have to be very impactful very fast. Even when you’re creating a six-second video, you’re approaching it a little differently. How can you engage the audience and make them stay even for that short amount of time?”

Even Though Short-Form Is Growing, Long-Form Still Has Its Place

“I think attention spans are shorter, especially on social media, but storytelling is very much alive and way especially when you look at how much content is out there between Netflix, HBO and all these different services offering series. People are binge watching them, so people are still craving longer form stories and there’s a great opportunity for us to do that for our clients. Of course you just have to do it in an interesting and impactful way. You have to do it in a way that people are going to seek it out and way to stay with it.”

Don’t Make Content Just To Make Content

“I think the mistake some brands make is that they feel like they always have to be pushing out something. When that happens, much of it’s not engaging to the consumer. You have to find the right balance of when to put it out, making sure it’s on brand, and that it’s engaging. It’s not the ‘always on’ mentality that we all had a decade ago. It’s not just always being on for the sake of being on. You have to be strategic about it and focused on who you’re talking to.“

Repurpose Your Video For Other Platforms

“With Reebok, the media dollars aren’t as large as when you’re Nike or when you’re Adidas. So we are allocating the money differently. Next month, we’ll be shooting video but the video assets are going to be used in many different ways. On that shoot it’s important for us to capture everything we need so that we have broadcast, social, digital and everything else in between. You’re kind of shooting for everything at once now.”

Follow Your Passion, Not The Money

“Young creatives have to be very considerate about where they’re going to work and where their next job is. It’s not about following the money. Don’t make a move just because you’re going to make a little more. It’s really about following the work. I felt very passionate about making great work. I still do. It’s what keeps me going every day. The best creatives I know, that’s what keeps them going too.”

A Great Story Evokes A Reaction

“Great work is something that surprises me. It’s something that gets an involuntary reaction from me. I either laugh out loud, or feel an emotion, or I want to watch it again. There’s nothing better than when you have an assignment, or a blank piece of paper and you work with other people to come up with a solution that you just can’t stop thinking about because you just know it’s great.”

Ideas Are Worthless If You Can’t Execute

“Great storytelling is something that for me, you feel it in your gut when you have it. When you’re getting to that place. You have to allow yourself the time to really develop it. You also have to allow yourself to have the right team of people around you. I think that I’ve been involved in a lot of film work throughout my career. Half of it is the writing and the idea generation process. The other half is the execution. Because you can have great ideas that simply fall apart in execution if they aren’t done right.”

Previous episodes of The Rough Cut:

Season Four:

Erica Berenstein, Head of Video, Business Insider

Noah Mallin, Head of Content & Experience, Wavemaker

Jason Xenopoulos, New York CEO & North American CCO, VMLY&R

Season Three:

Riyaad Minty, Director of Digital, TRT

Stacey Grier, Chief Marketing Officer, The Clorox Company

Alan Schulman, Chief Creative Officer, Deloitte Digital

Jeffrey Wisenbaugh, Head of Content, Instagram (Part 2)

Jeffrey Wisenbaugh, Head of Content, Instagram (Part 1)

Kate Whitney, Director of Digital, Pernod Ricard

Charlie Chappell, Head of Integrated Media, The Hershey Company

Season Two:

David Weinstock, Chief Creative Officer, RF|Binder

Bonin Bough, Founder & CEO, Bonin Ventures

Mary Kate McGrath, Chief Content Officer, Gallery Media Group

Barri Rafferty, President & CEO, Ketchum

Stacy Minero, Global Head of Content Creation, Twitter

Ari Halper, Chief Creative Officer, FCB New York

Mickey Meyer, President of Network, Group Nine Media

Season One:

Courtney Coupe, VP of Content, Great Big Story

Stone Roberts, VP of Global Video Strategy, Refinery29

Jason Beauregard, Head of Studio, VaynerMedia

Zahra Rasool, Editorial Lead, Contrast VR

Warren Cohen, Head of Video, New York Post

Greg Gilderman, Global Head of Video and Editor-in-Chief, Weather Channel

Jamie Bolding, Founder and CEO, Jungle Creations

Craig Duff, Video Journalism Professor, Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism

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By Jake Watkins, Head of Stories