Brands taking issue

Video can be a dramatic way for companies and organizations to support causes and align themselves with issues related to their brand message. Addressing an issue that is important to your target audience is a sure-fire way to establish yourself as a trustworthy brand, which is of paramount importance in today’s consumer driven society.  Commercial videos reflecting serious issues are on the rise, and viewers can’t seem to get enough.

Pantene provides a great example of targeting an issue that is close to the heart of their target audience.  They’ve managed to create a whole marketing campaign around #ShineStrong.  This video posted last year has been viewed over 46.5 million times.

 

Addressing the relevant issue of labels being used against women, Pantene has become a brand ambassador for the empowerment of women, and gender equality. While their goal will always be to sell hair products, by appealing to their target audience of women through broaching a serious issue, they have positioned themselves as a trustworthy brand. They’ve continued their video presence in this campaign with “Not Sorry,” another video that has gone viral with over 10 million views in just over a month.

 

shinestrong

Pantene depicts how women apologize all too often, and should instead feel empowered to be in control without the need to apologize about it.  Following up their first #ShineStrong video with a creative statement on women in their daily environment. Creating a relatable commercial for their target audience is a key part of their campaign.

 

Aligning your brand with an issue or cause can be a risky move, but if it’s something you believe in, and it accurately represents your corporate personality, it can serve as a great tool to connect with consumers. Before jumping in, make sure you do your research; learn as much as you can about why the issue is important to you and how it affects your customers. Video can be a compelling medium when used to take a stance on an issue. 

What issues directly affect your target audience?

 

 

 

 

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Avoiding that post-production headache

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Creating new video content for your business can be an extremely exciting process. Thinking up a great concept, and tailoring your message to fit your brand is just the beginning. Just as important as a big idea, is the team you choose to bring it to life. Finding a production team that fits your needs is a major piece of the puzzle. Once you’ve found that team you trust and they’ve heard your big idea, it’s time to get shooting. Well, maybe not so fast.

Video production can become unexpectedly expensive in the post-production stage. All too often poor planning results in extra hours being spent in editing, fixing errors and finding solutions to issues that could have been prevented in the pre-production and production process. How can you avoid this headache? Let’s nail down some key points to remember that will make your post-production process much smoother:

1. Harness your idea

Having a clear vision before jumping into the production process will eliminate a lot of headaches on the way. Work out the details of what message you would like to get across with your video.  Then, focus on how to communicate that message; are you using humour, or setting a more serious tone? It’s crucial to make these decisions before production begins. Pre-production is a time to be clear about what you’re setting out to achieve and filling in the blanks to get to your end goal.

2. Communication is key

Make sure your production team understands your creative vision. Communicate clearly, and be sure to share the importance of each element you wish to capture in order to convey your desired message. Having said that, you’ve hired the production team for a reason, because you trust their expertise. Be sure to include them in important decisions where their knowledge is valuable; it can help to build a better working relationship, and ensure that they are invested in the end result of your project.

3. Quality and Quantity 

It goes without saying that quality beats quantity, so you certainly want to focus on getting some quality shots. But when it comes to editing, turning a day of shooting into that great video you see in your mind is extremely difficult with a lack of footage. No need to go overboard, but getting more than one take of an important element, and working to get different angles of the same shot can really help the post-production process.

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These are just a few quick tips to help ease the process of post-production. Keep your plan clear, communicate it well, and work on getting those key shots that will tell your story. Treat it as a learning process, and don’t forget to enjoy yourself!

 

 

What can your business do to avoid a post-production headache?

 

Staying on Trend: What wearable technology means for your video marketing strategy

The video production world has had to adapt to the fast growing trend of mobile, and just as we’re all getting used to creating video content for mobile devices, the way in which we watch our videos is on the verge of another transformation. The newest trend of wearable technology will reshape the video marketing industry and change how we view video content forever. Imagine walking into a store to look at a product you’re interested in. With a few taps on your watch you can view a product demonstration or watch consumer reviews on the very product you’re thinking purchasing.  Instant access to video content is a game changer.  Here are some of the areas of our lives that wearable technology will have an influence on.

A few of ways wearable tech will change the way we do things

The rise of wearable tech means a huge increase in the amount of time we spend connected. Consumers having the ability to access video content at any time of day at any location is a marketer’s dream. Whether it’s a corporate video to inform consumers about a specific brand, or an educational video to learn a new skill on the fly, strategic marketing is starting to evolve at a rapid pace with the introduction of wearable tech.  Take a look at Android’s introduction to wearable tech.

 

What does all of this mean for your business?  There’s nothing worse than getting left behind when it comes to technology, so it’s time to embrace wearable tech and learn how your businesses video marketing strategy will need to adapt.  If you’re already catering your video marketing to mobile you’re one step ahead. Just think of wearable tech as having a mobile device permanently attached to you.  This means having the potential to reach consumers at any time. Sounds great, doesn’t it. Tread carefully. While wearable tech means consumers will have access to endless amounts of video content at any given time, it doesn’t mean consumers want to be bombarded with video advertisements.  Focus on creating video content that is valuable to your consumers, and spend time ensuring it can be easily accessed and viewed on mobile devices.  

The key to success in video marketing is staying connected with your audience. It’s crucial to know when, where, and how they are watching content.  Whether they’re viewing on their phone, tablet, watch or glasses, it’s in your best interest to tailor your video content to the needs of your audience.

How do you see your video marketing strategy changing with the introduction of wearable tech?

 

Caring is sharing: video appreciation campaigns

The power of thanking your customers, combined with the effectiveness of video, is one of the ways brands are looking to connect with their customers. The most recent appreciation campaign took place yesterday at TD banks around the country. The campaign kicked off at 2pm EST with TD employees in over 1000 branches across the country distributing green envelopes with a 20$ bill for every customer, and a direct deposit to customers over the phone or on-line. This gesture was meant to thank TD clients. However, the part of the campaign that everyone is talking about is the video TD posted of several customers receiving personalized “thank you” gifts from an ATM (Automated Thanking Machine).  Watch how TD took their customer appreciation to the next level, and how they captured it through video.

 

Why are more brands using customer appreciation video campaigns to promote themselves?  Because of the endless choice consumers have these days, brands are putting the focus on listening to their customer’s personalized needs. Remember the WestJet Christmas miracle video? Similar to TD’s campaign, it emphasized connecting with customers by giving them something they would truly appreciate.  Personalizing an appreciation campaign can make the difference, and no company wants to let their good deeds go unnoticed; that’s where video comes in. Video has the potential to convey a brand’s personality through the story their campaign tells, and with the ease at which we share video content, thousands of viewers will get the chance to see that story. Storytelling through video is a compelling way to connect with customers because emotions are evoked, and your viewer becomes invested.  By engaging your viewer, you’re creating a stronger bond with them, and simultaneously communicating a positive brand message.

 

 

We could all use an explanation

Are you excited about the latest product or service your business has come up with? Is it cutting edge? Will it change the way people go about their day? But wait, how does it work?  And how come I’ve never heard of it?  In a day and age where start-ups are as common as status updates, there’s a huge surge in explainer videos; videos that explain a product or service to potential users. Watch how these companies have mastered the explainer video:

CrazyEgg uses a straightforward approach of detailing exactly what their product can do for you and how it works.

 

Instagram chose to let their new service Instagram Direct speak for itself in this visually appealing explainer video

 

Some use humour to capture the audience’s attention, while others focus on the details of how they’re product works and the benefits to the consumer.  No matter what route you take, an explainer video can mean the difference between a successful start-up, and one that flops.

Let’s look at a few reasons why explainer videos are a necessity for many businesses:

1.  Clarify and set yourself apart

With so many new products and services being introduced, an explainer video can clearly demonstrate your objective, while pointing out what makes your product unique.  This is the time to visually show off what you can do for your potential customer.  Basic functionality is your starting point, but it’s important to go the extra step and give consumers a chance to visualize themselves using your product.

 2. Increase interest and web traffic  explainervideo

What good is your product if no one knows about it? In order to generate interest and get customers to your web site, you need to draw them in.  An explainer video can do just that. Not only can it serve as a promotional tool, it can double as a way to increase traffic to your web page, and if promoted correctly, it can increase your rank in web searches.

3. Grab your audience and keep them

Written web content can provide a lot of useful information, but how useful is it if no one is reading it.  The reality is the average person only retains 10% of what they read, but up to 95% of what they see and hear.  This is the time to capture their attention with engaging visuals, a clear script and a high production quality video. Consumers have more control than ever, and sharing content can be a powerful tool. With a great explainer video, your audience can easily share it on any social media platform, and drive traffic back to your business.

 

Does your business have some explaining to do?

 

 

 

Trending: Viral Video Imitation

In the spirit of one of our favourite viral videos, here’s the latest from Cheerios.

 

Were you able to spot the similarities?  Playing off the popular Old Spice commercial, Tribal Worldwide in Toronto has created this most recent parody. The main character, “Dad,” who fully embraces his role, comically goes through his morning routine, which of course includes feeding his kids the new Peanut Butter Cheerios. Imitations are the biggest form of flattery, but can be dangerous, and are rarely as popular as the original.  Cheerios and Tribal Worldwide rose to the occasion with their ad cleverly named, #howtodad. By creating their own story that is humourous, relevant, and completely relatable to their target audience, they pulled off a playful parody that doesn’t feel like a mediocre copycat.

courtesy of socialcaffeine

courtesy of socialcaffeine

Not to be ignored is the use of the hashtag #howtodad, making it easy for viewers to engage with the brand, and share the video on social media.

What do you think of Cheerio’s latest ad?

Long-form video has it’s place

Long-form videos can often be overlooked as today’s marketing and advertising strategies focus on quickly capturing a large audience.  After emphasizing the value of short videos, and how effective they can be, I wanted to make sure not to ignore the important place of long-form videos.  When broaching a subject that your audience is invested in, a longer video, such as a documentary or short film can be the most effective approach.  Using long-form video content allows you to develop a message in detail that can create a more profound connection with your audience.

Let’s take a look at “From one second to the next,” a short documentary filmed by Werner Herzog as part of an AT & T campaign called “Itcanwait,” intended to raise awareness of the dangers of texting and driving.

 

In this case, a long-form video works because they are creating a thread of stories to draw out a serious message.  The mounting testimonials slowly build a connection with the viewers who can imagine themselves in the position of the victims or even the perpetrators. Furthermore, the fact that one of the world’s largest phone communications companies is advocating for people to put their phones away while driving is part of what makes this message so powerful.  Taking on the task of not only identifying that a problem exists, but pushing further to reveal the grave repercussions of texting and driving is taking corporate social responsibility to the next level.  They chose to talk about the subject in a way that would create an emotional association with the audience rather than using a shock and awe method often seen in shorter videos.  In my opinion, taking the time to recount both sides of a story to your audience is an advantage of long-form video that can make it just as effective as their shorter counterparts.

Why do you think a longer video format was effective for this campaign?

 

 

Shorter is better

If your intention with video is to capture your audience’s attention and keep them engaged, keep reading! Video length is an important and highly debated topic between marketers, producers, and business owners.  Wistia has done the research, and it reveals some pretty astounding numbers.

photo courtesy of Wistia

Notice how viewership drops fairly consistently as video length increases.  The numbers don’t lie. The shorter the video, the more likely your viewers will stay tuned in, and engaged.  Consider the new trend of Vine and Instagram videos, both allowing you to post video content, but with a time restraint of 6 or 15 seconds respectively.  The engagement level for brands using these platforms can be impressive.

What does this mean for those of us interested in creating video content?  Keeping it short is key.  Focus on what your key message is, and work on conveying it in the first 30 to 60 seconds.  If your message is more complex, keep in mind that your viewership will drop rather drastically at the end of a long video, and consider front-loading with the most important and engaging information.  Have several messages under a similar topic or theme? Create a video series. This way you are much more likely to retain viewers and engage them, while at the same time directing them to more of your video content.

These recent promotional videos have gone viral, and are both under 1:30. Watch how these brands get their message across by being clear and concise, without compromising on creativity:

 

 

Whether you’re aiming to engage, inform, or influence your audience, sticking to a shorter video format is one way to attract more viewers and capture their undivided attention.

Do you think shorter is better? 

 

 

Once upon a….video

For decades, pushing promotional messages across in TV campaigns was standard practice and considered the most effective way to attract customers. Fast forward to today; the well-informed, digital-savvy population of our time now has full control over what they watch, and how they watch it. This has led to a shift in marketing perspective which now focuses on pulling in customers through engaging them, and creating something of value.

One of the most effective ways to pull in an audience, ironically, is through one of the oldest forms of message sharing; storytelling. It’s human nature to tell stories and we’ve been doing it since the beginning of time. Audiences can relate to a story, they become engaged and feel invested in the outcome. These aspects make it a valuable part of any marketing strategy, and what better way to tell a story than through video!

Watch how Google tells a story about their browser Chrome:

Not only do they evoke an emotional response, but they underline the many benefits of Chrome without the audience ever feeling bombarded by too much information or irrelevant details.

Storytelling can be integrated into any video marketing strategy. All you have to do is find that compelling story about your brand.

Do your employees go above and beyond for your customers? Interview them, and let your customers connect to your brand on a deeper level.

 Do you provide a unique service or product that you believe rivals competitors? Tell a story about why what you offer is so valuable.

Video storytelling has the power to evoke emotion and provoke a reaction. It allows viewers to read between the lines, and feel a more personal connection to your brand.  We all know how to tell a story.  Now you know how to take it one step further.

What story will you tell through video?

7 tips to make the most of your promotional video

A great promotional video can garner attention by bringing your company message to life. Whether you’re introducing a new product, announcing a merger, or implementing a new training program, don’t miss the opportunity to take advantage of what a creative, high-quality video can accomplish for your company.

Promovideos (1)Here are a few tips to help you make the most of your video:

1. Establish a strong concept
Just because it’s a corporate video, doesn’t mean the concept needs to be dull or “boring.” Get creative! Do your research and see what’s already out there. What was successful, and why? Having said that, copying is never a good idea, but your research can serve as a starting point. If you can provide your producer with some examples they’ll have a better idea of what you’re looking for.  Remember to be realistic. Big ideas are great, but be mindful of your overall goal, and don’t forget that budget.

2. How long does it need to be?
Corporate videos don’t need to be long-winded and elaborate to get a message across. 1-5 minutes is more than enough time to effectively deliver your message while not losing the attention of your intended audience.

3. Get your script straight
Don’t make the mistake of using already existing text from a company presentation or brochure. What works on paper usually doesn’t translate well to video. Consider bringing in a professional scriptwriter who can offer a fresh perspective.

4. Cast correctly
One of the biggest questions is whether to cast your own staff or to use professional actors. Using your own staff can be great because they know your business better than anyone else, but if they aren’t good on camera, it just won’t work. A safe bet is to shoot a “screen test” with any staff you consider using and look at it objectively with your producer.

5. Be a good client
To keep production moving be sure to answer any requests your producer may have. Providing photos, logos and company information is standard. A big part of the process is also providing feedback on scripts and rough edits. The faster you can respond to your producer, the more efficient the whole process will be.

6. Know your audienceaudeince
What is the goal of your video? Are you raising awareness? Selling a product? Keep in mind who will be seeing it, and where your video will be viewed. All of these aspects are important factors when you are designing the concept of our message. What works for a younger demographic, may not always get the same response with an older audience.

7. Enjoy the process!
Making a promotional video is a great educational opportunity and it can be fun too! Create an inviting atmosphere during production to keep everyone creative and at ease on camera. Be there as a positive influence, motivate and inspire!

If you do your research and keep an open mind during the production process, making a promotional video can be a very rewarding experience.  Hiring a professional production team that has experience in promotional videos is essential to ensure your video is high-quality.  Trust them to take the lead, and work collaboratively to let your big ideas come to life!