A lot of corporate videos look alike, so it’s important for brands to find unique ways to communicate their message through video. Exhibit A: This video for Johnnie Walker Whiskey, starring Robert Carlyle. The ad agency and filmmakers did something completely different and the result is pretty captivating. After you watch the video, scroll down and reflect on the following points:
What is your story? Notice that the Johnnie Walker video doesn’t contain a rundown of facts about the process of making the whiskey. It doesn’t rely on talking heads from the company boasting about how unique they are. It doesn’t show any customers testifying to how great the product is. This video simply tells a story. And notice how the story is founded on the people behind the company. Your business is more than brick-and-mortar. It’s more than the product. It’s more than the process. It’s about the people – both those who work for the company, and those whom the company serves. Focus your story on people and you will have the start of something pretty amazing.
What is your core message? This entire video can be summed up with the following tag, “Keep Walking.” As you think about producing a video for your company, think about the one central message you want to communicate. Everything else should be built around that.
What is your plan? The ad agency and filmmakers behind this video didn’t just run out with a camera and shoot this thing as soon as they received approval from the client. They spent an incredible amount of time in pre-production, planning every step and every beat. They knew exactly what was to happen before they even arrived on location. You may not be attempting anything as ambitious as this Johnnie Walker advert, but that doesn’t mean you should neglect this important stage of the production.
What about going to the left, rather than to the right? This video could have easily taken the path of many corporate and promotional videos – footage from the distillery, footage from pubs, on-camera interviews, historical photos, etc. However, they went against the norm and created a visual experience completely different from what you might expect. They used an old road in the Scottish highlands with a few strategically-placed props and that’s it. As you think about producing a video for your brand, what approach can you take that’s completely different and unexpected?
In November 2009, we had an opportunity to provide production services and support for a producer based in Charlotte, NC. The video was for Microsoft and centered on the launch of the X-Box game, Need for Speed: Shift. Click here to read a more detailed description of the video production. Once the two-day shoot ended, we turned over all the raw footage to the producer who took it back for post-production. In these situations, we might not see the finished product. However, Porche uploaded the final video to YouTube and it was nice to see how everything came together.
Okay, I had to post this commercial. One, because I’m an Alabama Alum and big Alabama football fan. Two, because I think ESPN always has awesome commercials. I think any company who is interested in using video to build their brand can learn some valuable lessons from watching these ESPN spots.
First, ESPN understands their demographic. They have narrowly focused their target audience and they know how to speak to that audience. Do you know who you target audience is? Do you understand how they think and how they make purchasing decisions?
Second, the audience can relate to ESPN commercials. If you are a sports fan, you instantly “get” each and every ESPN commercial. They don’t have to bombard you with a lot of facts and dialogue. They don’t have to explain everything to you. Knowing the behaviors and habits of your target audience will make easy for you to create video content that they can relate to. And when your audience understands your message, they feel comfortable with your brand. And when they feel comfortable with your brand, they will have no problem doing business with you.
Third, they rely on the visuals more so than words. This commercial uses very little dialogue. The visuals tell you everything you need to know. When you produce a video and/or TV commercial for your company, are you letting the visuals tell the story? Consider this commercial as another example.
Here’s the ESPN “Roll Tide” commercial. Enjoy. And Roll Tide.
A new ad by JetBlue demonstrates what’s most important when doing business – customer service. If you treat the customer well and go out of your way to provide a little something extra, then you will quickly build up a base of loyal followers. Customers who have a positive experience with your brand will, in turn, tell others, and you will gain trust and credibility within the marketplace. This commercial succeeds by capitalizing on the frustrations felt by many air travelers, who must put up with extra baggage fees, fees for in-flight headphones, and other inconveniences that have made air travel a pretty laborious process. The commercial also has a documentary-style, hidden-camera format which communicates “authenticity” – a hot buzz word in media communications today. So, I want you to think about a few things as you watch this commercial:
What are you doing to improve customer service and increase brand loyalty?
What are you doing to set yourself apart from your competitors?
What strategies are you using to get your message out to your target audience?
Podcasts are a great way to find specific content about a niche subject that interests you. I have several different podcast subscriptions and in an earlier post I shared some of them with you. I wanted to follow up on that original article with some additional recommendations:
NEW MEDIA MINUTE – In this video podcast, host Daisy Whitney quickly discusses some of the latest news from the world of online video, online advertising, and online video distribution.
THE MOTH PODCAST – The Moth is a great series that features entertaining storytellers sharing their own life experiences with a live audience. If you enjoy great stories, you will love The Moth.
THE TOBOLOWSKY FILES – Another great storytelling podcast. In this series, character actor Stephen Tobolowsky talks about life, love and the entertainment industry through the lens of his experiences as a theatre, TV, and film actor.
MOVIE B.S. – I’ve listened to several movie podcasts, and this is one of my favorites. Hosts Jeff Bayer and Eric D. Snider discuss some of the latest theatrical releases and give listeners the opportunity to get involved with their “Question of the Week” (or “QOTW” as they like to call it). The back-and-forth between Snider and Bayer is incredibly entertaining.
PHOTOSHOP KILLER TIPS – This is a video podcast that gives viewers great little tips about the amazing features within Photoshop.
I encourage you to take the time to investigate each of these podcasts. I’m sure you will find them entertaining and informative. At some point in the future I will post Part 3 of my “Recommended Podcasts” series. Until then, leave your recommendations in the comment section. Enjoy.