The Art of the 5 Minute Interview…with Hulk Hogan

by Joe Pelissier on February 28, 2012

The difficulty with most online video is that that, as a viewer, you are unsure whether you have the time to watch it or not. There’s a fear that you’ll get trapped into watching something that’s going to be a waste of time.

When on YouTube you probably have a quick check at the duration before you commit yourself. Even when the video starts you want re-assurance that it’s going to be a good use of you time.

Yes, that clock in your head is always ticking away when on line. The smart people at BBC News Entertainment and Arts know this. That’s why they have a clever online video series called 5 Minutes With:.

Five Minutes with Hulk HoganUnsurprisingly, the basic premise is a 5 minute interview with an interesting or well-known person. Yes, my 10-year old son confirms that Hulk Hogan counts…

Watch 5 Minutes with Hulk Hogan and you will see how the producers

  • have a 6 second opening with a clock tick-tocking away (this is all you need for an online video intro)
  • introduce the presenter (Matthew Stadlen) holding a whacking great big alarm clock
  • get the interviewee to count-down to the start of the 5-minute interview once the batteries are put in
  • have the running time very clearly displayed in a large font at the bottom of the screen – so that you always know exactly how many minutes are left
  • have the alarm clock ring when the 5-minutes is up.

Simply and cleverly these videos manage your expectations perfectly. They repeatedly sow the seed that it’s 5 minutes and no more.  In fact, they are often 6 minutes but because they’ve sold you the 5-minute concept you are happy to stay for longer.

They condition you into committing yourself and always let you know how few minutes are left. You are then less inclined to log-off or click ‘stop’.

Of course, it helps if the interviewee is interesting and the interviewer is good.  In my opinion, Matthew Stadlen does an excellent job.

The next time you put-up some online video, why don’t you

  • make sure your viewer knows how long you want their attention for
  • put a large digital count down clock on the frame.

You’ll then have viewers more disposed to watch what you publish because they are mentally prepared for how much time it’s going to take.

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elle March 9, 2012 at 7:04 am

Hello, its Elle from Le Havre-Fascinating stuff Joe!

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