Tag Archives: cardinal sins of video

The Three Cardinal Sins of Corporate Video pt2 – Audience

AudienceTell me the odd one out: Theatre….Film….TV

OK, enough fake suspense – TV is the odd one out, and let me explain why.

Simply put, you ‘go to’ the movies or ‘go to’ the theatre. You arrive at a venue, you pay for your seat and you are entertained (hopefully). But you as a viewer have no control over the entertainment experience you receive. You’re a captive audience sailing along on a narrative over which you have no control.

TV is totally different. The TV is the guest in the corner of your room. The programmes and adverts dance to your tune and if you don’t like the dance…the remote control exacts your channel-changing revenge.

Once you realise this it’s easy to see where online video or programming over internet (YouTube, NetFlix, Vimeo, BBC iPlayer, Roku etc) fits in. [It’s like TV not the cinema]. You’ll probably already see the significance, but indulge me.

As a filmmaker (making a film for the cinema) I can take my time telling you my story. It’s not uncommon for the opening sequences of feature films to be minutes long with little or no dialogue to speak of. TV is much more immediate, more fast paced – and yet it’s a slow cousin to the Internet and online video.

The Second Sin – YouTube will Love Me.

YouTube-Is-Testing-a-New-Video-Player-478321-2I recently attended a meeting with a large company in the City (London), their marketing person was an ex-film school student. As I’d worked in Hollywood for a number of years, she was very keen to get my opinion on the companies latest 4 minute video. But we’ll come back to this in a moment.

It’s estimated that you have between 3 and 8 seconds to engage a viewer on the web. After that…they’re looking for the next item on the playlist. This has a marked effect on the way you create your online videos, the style you adopt and the way you showcase your wares. If you hack together a video then throw it towards YouTube, hoping for it to ‘go viral’ (AKA ‘post and pray’) then chances are, you’ll be diasppointed.

So, unsurprisingly, the aforementioned 4 minute YouTube video, with a 30 second opening sequence featuring empty rooms, wasn’t working (who knew, right?). The ex-film student couldn’t see why, because the video was “so beautifully shot”. Perhaps so, but sadly, the audience wouldn’t hang around for 4 minutes to find out the films’ cinematic denouement. The video was akin to bringing a knife to a gun-fight.

A video for an online audience needs to be designed, constructed and shot differently. The video must look good on all types of mobile devices – tiny images will not show up well on a 4 inch iPhone screen. Please remember, Video is not a bill – it is an investment.  Furthermore, once the video is made you also need to consider the videos’ title carefully, as well as the tags and online description. It’s also worth asking if the static video is better presented as a streamed event or Google Hangouts style webinar. All of these factors will decide if people will spare you the time to watch.

Even after all this work, you’ll probably get it wrong first time. We do and I know the big companies do too. So, if you are using a video company that offers a cast iron guarantee of a ‘viral video’ – then my VW really does do 85 miles per gallon.

Online is a brilliant way to distribute your corporate video and promote your company, but online is now a defined marketplace in itself. It has it’s own ever-shifting rules, styles and trends. That’s why you need a strategy for the videos you create and a clear plan of how you will actively use them.

Join me next time for the last of these three articles, where I’ll be looking at the third cardinal sin ‘Bad Language’.

As always I’m happy to hear from readers, with comments or stories.

Contact me direct on marktodd@guvnormedia.com or @theguvnoruk

Visit our websites at: http://www.guvnormedia.com and http://www.guvnormedia.co.uk

Written by Mark Alexander Todd

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The Three Cardinal Sins of Corporate Video pt1.

Writer and Director Mark Alexander Todd

Writer and Director Mark Alexander Todd

When looking at video as a commercial project, so many people dance on a thin line between art and common sense.

Frequently, years of accumulated commercial experience go out of the window because of phrases like “People will love this” “It’ll look great” or “I’ve got a great idea what if…[insert your own insanity here]”.

Vanity, enthusiam and naivety all play a part in that inevitable conversation between corporate client and video producer which starts with a phrase like “Well the video hasn’t done as well as we would have expected…” If your company has been a part of a conversation like that, then you have most likely broken one of the three cardinal sins of corporate video. This is the first of three articles that explores the cardinal sins of corporate video.


 

The First Sin – Video is a bill.

Comedy actors Rowan Atkinson (left) and Tony Robinson as Blackadder and Baldrick in Blackadder III.

Comedy actors Rowan Atkinson (left) and Tony Robinson as Blackadder and Baldrick in Blackadder III.

In his role as Edmund Blackadder, Rowan Atkinson said “Sometimes Baldrick I feel like an enormous flemingo…No matter which way I turn there’s always an enormous BILL in front of me”. Comical as it seems, this is the way most companies view creating video, either for their website, online marketing or training.

The key to planning any type of successful video production is ROI or return on investment. When you approach the subject of video, for whatever use, you should have some idea of a) What you will use it for?  b) What you expect the returns to be?  c) How much those returns are worth to you?

When you have these things in mind you’ll have a better idea of what your budget is and what you expect in return for you money, because – Video is not a bill, it’s an investment. 

The video you want to create must have a clear use and a reason for being made. It should also be associated with a particular budget: marketing, sales, training, what have you. Once the video is completed, the original footage (raw footage) becomes a part of your company’s library and the completed video is an asset to your company. If you want to “Throw some video on the front page of our website because Google ranks you higher” your project will ultimately fail. If “John has a new iPhone 6, so we should shoot a video of the accounts team, because it’ll go viral”, you will end up making a bad advert for your company, which could cost you future sales and clients.

To blow my own trumpet for a moment…our company has just completed a video project, which has helped raise a large six figure investment from a modest four figure video budget. Why? The video work was considered an investment to market new pharmaceutical process equipment. A price was put on the value of that marketing item and instantly there was an unambiguous framework for everyone to work around with no surprises. We attracted the help of two “Sirs” and five universities in England and Wales. In the words of Martin Sheen “Winning”.

So, repeat after me…Video is not a bill it’s an investment. So please approach it like one.

A simple, clear mission statement on what you want your video to do for you, will save you time, money and possible embarrasement. You can approach video companies with clear motives. They, in turn, (if they’re a good company) will give you clear costs for what you need and clear direction on how to proceed and leverage your new asset.

Join me again to find out about the second cardinal sin: The Wrong Direction.

As always I’m happy to hear from readers, with comments or stories.

Contact me direct on marktodd@guvnormedia.com or @theguvnoruk

Visit our websites at: http://www.guvnormedia.com and http://www.guvnormedia.co.uk


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