Facebook India hosted the inaugural Thumbstoppers Summit, the biggest platform in Asia for creativity in mobile video advertising. The summit was attended by leading personalities from the advertising and marketing fraternity, including chief creative officers of leading agencies, creative professionals, numerous brands, leading Bollywood directors Kiran Rao and Zoya Akhtar, and rapper Naezy to connect, celebrate, and be inspired by creativity in mobile video advertising.
The summit opened with a keynote by Ajit Mohan, MD and VP of Facebook India, talking about the future of video in India, and how Facebook and its family of apps are driving curated video experiences, and enabling social video in the country giving businesses and people a range of ways to create, express, and communicate.
Launched in May, Facebook Thumbstoppers has inspired the advertising and marketing community to create short-form mobile video ads that are built for the medium rather than adapted from other formats. Thumbstoppers are those stories that can stop thumbs from scrolling and evoke emotions with the potential of changing human behavior in less than ten seconds.
Since its launch, Thumbstoppers has seen leading creative agency Wunderman Thompson, film director and producer Kiran Rao, and ad-filmmaker Prakash Verma make Thumbstopper films to help pivot the advertising and marketing communities to embrace mobile-first storytelling. In just five months tens of brands and thousands of creative professionals from across the country have adopted and shown support for Thumbstoppers as the new way of video advertising in the age of mobile.
Speaking about the initiative, Sandeep Bhushan, Director and Head, Global Marketing Solutions (GMS), Facebook India, said, “Video is central to our vision for India, and how we are building for people, communities, businesses in the country. From In-stream on Facebook to Stories on Instagram, there are multiple video ad formats on Facebook that can be used by both large and small businesses to reach their consumers, and drive the desired business results. Thumbstoppers is the most effective way to do storytelling for mobile video advertising, and it’s been heartening to see the marketing and advertising industry create and produce such inspiring Thumbstopping work in just five months.”
Kavita Nair, Chief Brand and Digital Transformation Officer, Vodafone Idea Ltd, said, “The ubiquitous reach of mobile phone makes it a very powerful tool for marketers. It gives brands more options to engage with the customers, hence, making mobile marketing a medium that the brands can no longer afford to ignore. Vodafone has long realized this need and has been innovative in its approach while telling stories which has helped create a bond with the customers. Thumbstoppers is bridging a key gap in the industry by inspiring creative talent and brands to rethink storytelling for mobile. We are extremely thrilled that Vodafone is among the top Thumbstopper films that got recognized today.”
Thumbstoppers is an industry-first program in partnership with leaders from the advertising industry - Wunderman Thompson, Ogilvy, Leo Burnett, McCann MullenLowe Lintas Group, and Dentsu Aegis Network. In the last five months, almost 1000 creative professionals have been trained from 56 agencies to help drive effective business results for their clients, and cater to wider consumer sentiment.
The panelists at the summit spoke on different facets of storytelling. Sandeep Kohli, Executive Director, Personal Care, Unilever, and Kavita Nair spoke about ‘Brands in Culture: Thumbstop to future proof creativity’. Zoya Akhtar spoke about ‘Reimagining Storytelling: How can you infiltrate popular culture and stay relevant at scale?’, Naezy spoke about, ‘Reimagining Storytelling Through Music’, and Kiran Rao not only spoke about ‘Storytelling with Impact for Social Good’, but also unveiled two new films for Facebook Thumbstoppers on Facebook’s Blood Donations feature. Launched in 2017, the Blood Donation feature on Facebook connects people willing to donate blood with opportunities nearby. People can sign up as donors on Facebook, and get notified when blood banks in their area post about their blood requirements.
The Summit also served as the concluding event for Thumbstoppers Challenge, which had invited members of the creative and advertising community to submit their short-form video stories with the aim of inspiring creative professionals, brands, and agencies to build for mobile as a medium. The Challenge saw more than 3500 entries from across the country. Of these, 60 entries were from brands from across verticals and industries with six films from Dove, Sofy, Vodafone, Unilever Sustainability, and Royal Enfield making it to the top 16 films that were recognized and unveiled for the first time. All 16 winning films have been directed by celebrated Ad-film maker Prakash Verma and the top four winners stand a chance to travel to Cannes next year.
The top four winners, in no chronological order are Rachita Kotwal from FoxyMoron in the category ‘Products We Love’ for the film ‘Fathers should be a part of their daughter’s menstrual journey’, Samriddhi Shah from Wunderman Thompson in the category ‘Breaking Stereotypes/Social Causes’ for the film ‘Just because home makers don’t earn, doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be respected’, Shib Nath Sen from Wunderman Thompson in the category ‘Start A Habit’ for the film ‘Peeing on roads!’ and Swati Subramanian from Leo Burnett in the category ‘Little Big Moments’ for the film ‘Divisive behaviour in our society towards people with different orientation/preferences’.
The other 12 winners across the four categories are Akshay Seth and Ashok Karkala from Ogilvy, Nuzhath Enayath from Wunderman Thompson, Gitanjali Bhattacharya from Interactive Avenues, Anirudh Venugopal from Dentsu Webchutney, Yashaswini Singh from Wunderman Thompson, Chhavi Sahni from Ogilvy, Austin Dsouza from Ogilvy, Ravi Shankar Mishra from ADK Fortune, Rashmi Yadav from Dentsu Isobar, Akshay Seth and Chinmay Raut from Ogilvy, Sunetro Lahiri from The Glitch and Keshav Nagpal from The Glitch.