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?
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.
The use of online video continues to gain great acceptance among Internet users. Businesses, non-profits, artists, bands, industries, individuals, etc. are realizing that online video is effective and that viewership is increasing every year. For this post, I’ve collected a few articles that focus on the effectiveness of online video. For additional information, tips, etc. on how you can utilize video in your communication strategy, subscribe to our blog feed or sign up for our free monthly e-newsletter.
Mobile Video IP Traffic to Surge 500% Through 2013
By Mark R. Robertson
So it seems that mobile video is becoming a driving force behind IP traffic. What does that mean exactly? Well it means that a lot of people are watching video on their mobiles through the data networks and Internet.
Video content is rapidly expanding into every nook and cranny of data networks and spreading from device to device with impunity. Mobile phones are getting stronger hardware, better, bigger displays, so it should be no surprise that video is making its way into the pockets of those on the go.
Why Online Video Will Keep Growing Like a Weed
By Chris Crum
As you probably know, online video has become quite a hot medium, and the rate at which people view it continues to increase. This is not surprising considering the year we had last year in online video. This year certainly started off with a boom as well as a famous super bowl ad truly introduced the world to Hulu.
Recent research from Nielsen shows that in May , unique visitors, total streams, streams per viewer, and time per viewer were all up compared to the same month in 2008. There was a 49% increase in time per viewer.
Companies Throw Their Weight Behind Online Video
By Paul Verna
Most of the attention in the online video space has focused on either media content and consumers or marketers and video advertisements. But companies continue to push further into this realm with non-advertising content.
Recent studies have shown that growing numbers of retailers are adding video capabilities to their sites. Surveys of Fortune 500 companies also indicate a broad-scale increase in the use of video for marketing purposes. In this sense, video has gone from a luxury to a near necessity for companies seeking an edge in marketing their products.
I started this blog in the summer of 2005 as an outlet to express my love of films and filmmaking. It soon evolved into an extension of my production company. However, in the time that I have been posting on this blog, I don’t think I have ever explained why I write and to whom I’m writing. In short, the purpose of this blog is to give you, the reader, some insight into the world of video production and how video can be used to its potential. My target audience consists of three groups:
THE VIDEO ENTHUSIAST -For this individual, I write articles that teach some basics about the craft of cinematography, direction, editing, production management, etc. I also post articles pertaining to particular types of cameras and other equipment and offer tips and tricks as to how one can best utilize the tools at his or her disposal. Some of these articles can be more technical in nature.
THE VIDEO PROFESSIONAL – This individual earns a living through work in video production, perhaps as freelancer or business owner. For this demographic, I write articles that focus on the day-to-day aspects of being a professional. Subjects may include: how to improve your workflow, how to be more organized, how to prepare for a shoot, how to earn new business, how to market yourself, how to maintain healthy client relations, how to pitch to potential clients, etc.
THE CLIENT – The third audience group consists of people who work on the client side of the equation. Over the years I have worked with clients who have had very little experience working with a video production company. I have also worked with clients who are seasoned pros and know exactly what to expect on a video shoot. And I have worked with clients who fall in between both extremes. To this particular audience I write articles to help both the client and the production company maintain a healthy working relationship. I want to help the client understand what it’s like working with a video production company. I want to give them a few creative ideas that they might use as inspiration in their own marketing efforts. I want to help them know how to prepare for a video production, how they can get the most “bang” for their buck, and how the whole process can run smoothly and efficiently.
Sometimes, in the course of writing these articles for each of these groups, I might offer a few tips that are solely based on my experiences. I understand that each individual and each situation is different. So, my advice might not apply to everyone. But that’s okay. Hopefully you can mine some little nugget of information that is applicable to projects that you are working on, and help answer certain questions you may have. I also realize that everyone has their own style when working on a video project and their own unique approach to the process. And that’s okay too. The beauty of working in video is that is a very fluid and collaborative art form. So, when I speak to clients, or video professionals, or video hobbyists, I am not asking that you change your habits. I’m not asking that you adhere to a certain standard. The goal of any advice I may give is simply to help you (the hobbyist, professional, or client) avoid potential problems and create the best video possible. And isn’t that what we’re all striving for? I know that’s what I try to give to each of my clients.
I thought it was important to briefly outline the purpose of this blog, so that all of my readers can get a clearer picture of my motivations. Thanks so much for taking some time out of your day to read my blog and I hope the information contained within can help you improve your craft, your business, and your marketing efforts.
Before the project even begins, you realize that you are under a tight deadline. The client needs the video to be completed quickly, and you commit. You are confident in your ability to meet your client’s timetable. Unfortunately, you don’t get very far into post-production before realizing that it will be impossible to get the video finished before the deadline. What happens now? Last year I wrote an article entitled, “Deliver What You Promise,” which stressed the importance of fully evaluating the size and scope of a video project before committing. However, this hypothetical situation is different. In this situation, you are already knee-deep in the project and no longer have the option to turn it down. What can you do?
Be honest with the client – This item is listed #1 for a reason. It is imperative that you call your client immediately and tell them what’s going on. They will certainly be disappointed that the project isn’t progressing as planned, but your client will respect you much more for being honest than they will if you waited until the very last minute to tell them of the problem. So, keep your client in the loop. Tell them what you’re seeing from your end. Tell them what you’re up against.
Find out if the deadline can be pushed – Sometimes a client will pad out the schedule, knowing that certain unforeseen problems could arise. Therefore, if your deadline is the 15th, you might actually have until the 22nd. Talk to your client. Find out when the actual make-or-break point is.
Break up the project into smaller, more manageable sizes – This is the moment when you start farming out portions of the project to other editors in your area. Look through your contact list. Examine your network of video professionals. Is there anyone on that list who could help by editing certain portions of the project while you edit other segments?
Offer your client a discount on the work – Sometimes you might have to take a hit on your hourly rate in order to maintain a good relationship with your client. So, take responsibility. Face up to the fact that you over-promised and be willing to finish the video at no extra cost to your client. Or, offer them a discount, either on the current project, or a future project (assuming this is a repeat client).
These situations are never easy, and it causes major stress for both you and your client. However, there is always a solution to the problems that seem insurmountable.