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In today’s time when it is so difficult to grab a consumer’s attention, brands are looking at doing more of video content over textual content. Although creating video content is more tedious than textual content, consumption of the former is on the rise. Video content has more longevity but it is easier to scale a textual form of content. Both forms of content have their own benefits.

“Text-based is something like IPL. Every day, it’s quick fast and in multiple numbers. The pick-up is really quick, the response is very fast versus video content, which is like a World Cup. World Cup is an event. It takes time. As far as longevity is concerned, a video film makes more sense,” said Chintan Ruparel, Co-Founder and Chief Content Officer, Terribly Tiny Tales.

Ruparel also said, “People find reading cumbersome. In textual content, they need to spend time on reading and then deciphering the content in mind. In video, things are served on a platter as people on social media don’t want to put efforts. The video content has a bigger stake, stage and a visual dimension, while textual content is more a mass product, every day and fast running.”

Terribly Tiny Tales, which started in 2013 by Ruparel’s partner Anuj Gosalia as a Facebook page that had snackable stories with 140 characters, was already doing wonders for brands by seamlessly integrating them into the stories and giving another opportunity to reach out to the consumers. Looking at the opportunity in the video content space, TTT (Terribly Tiny Tales) started producing video content for brands in 2016.

(Left) Anuj Gosalia and (Right) Chintan Ruparel

Ruparel said, “We continue to maintain our stand on textual content, but we are doing a renewed push on different kinds of video content. We see a more acceptance for the video form of content.”

Other than producing short films, TTT is also experimenting with video poetry/ spoken words in form of video with Manav Kaul.

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June onwards, TTT will launch films shot on mobile phones. “First we’ll editorially test different forms of video content and then open it for brands,” added Ruparel.

After editorially experimenting with the video in 2015, it created the first brand film in 2016 for United Colors of Benetton. “We were already doing 20-30 tales with them and they wanted to do something more with us. We convinced them to not to put their product in the film and they were okay till the time the messaging connected to the brand,” said Ruparel.

Getting into video content production was a natural extension of the content platform. “At some time we realised that if we are into bite-size storytelling, video is a natural extension to text. Any writing platform’s next step is video because a video is tougher to do and is much harder.”

Ruparel believes that a mix of both forms of content works best for the brand, but doing textual content is much easier than video content. “The text-based one is slightly easy to create, scale and do many in a day. Videos take a while to conceive, conceptualise, write into a screenplay, send it to the client and then send it to the production house to start work on it. It takes one to three months to get the film out. Textual content can be created every hour.”

Terribly Tiny Tales believes that content marketing and branded content is not a sales leads building exercise but a way to build the brand recall and to grab consumer mindshare. Therefore, to gauge absolute ROI on content is not justified. “It’s not an ad campaign that we create. Here the ROI is the amount of engagement we have with the consumers and the love through comments and shares. Clearly, the currency with content creation is never a sales lead. The expectations should not be how much conversions you get but how can we place the brand on top of people’s mind.”

Terribly Tiny Tales was started in 2013 by Gosalia by gathering 15 writers from across the country and putting out a 140-character story in a day. In 2014, Ruparel came on board as a partner and registered TTT as a proper company.

Because TTT couldn’t have made money on its own, both Ruparel and Gosalia used to run an agency ‘Not Like That’ on the side lines. “We used to do campaigns for a travel company, wedding company and small designing jobs. When I came on board I had some contacts because of my previous advertising experience in O&M, Taproot Dentsu and Creative Land Asia.”

Terribly Tiny Tales worked with big brands like HUL, Cornetto, United Colors of Benetton and Kotak Mahindra, Dove, Amazon and Microsoft.

Terribly Tiny Tales brand story with Cornetto
Terribly Tiny Tales brand story with KFC
Terribly Tiny Tales brand story with Tinder

Extending its textual content formats from just the 140-characters story, TTT now also does medium form content, open letters under 2,000 characters, backspace conversations and many other formats.

TTT does around two to three brand textual stories in a day with the help of its writers present across the world. The content platform has created an app ‘Tribe’, where they have curated their best writers across the globe to work on brand stories. “People who get published on TTT very often, we identify them and they come on an app where they can make money out of it. The moment we get a brand brief, it goes on the app. Over there is a bunch of 100 writers who work closely with us and they get to attempt the brief. They are like agencies on a cloud. The moment they get published, they are paid. It’s a backend app,” said Ruparel.

Terribly Tiny Tales has always made it a point to make the story as the hero of any piece of content than the brand integrated into it. It was never easy for TTT to persuade clients for the same but never deviated from their stand.

Ruparel said, “We fought like crazy with the brand managers to not to treat our content as ads. It doesn’t end with the product window. We told them that the people don’t subscribe to the sponsored ads on Facebook. We used to spend a lot of time on clients, educating them about a piece that looks like content and not the ad.”

Until now, TTT has done more than 100 collaborations and fetches 80% of its revenue through branded content and the rest from merchandise, book sales and workshops.