Tag Archives: Corporate Video

Good Video is changing the way we see businesses

Here are some FACTS which may affect your current thinking on visual media. It not a sales blurb they’re just honest facts:

  • The USA is about 4-5 years ahead of Europe in leveraging visual media for sales and training
  • If your company isn’t using video to sell to your clients, either online or in person, you are losing sales
  • If you have poor quality video material to sell your products you are damaging your brand
  • If you’re using videos in the old 4:3 format you are losing sales And damaging your brand
  • If you’re paying thousands of pounds to a film school graduate to produce your corporate material you are wasting money
  • Equally if you’re paying ‘Bill from down the road’ a ‘tenner’ to film your exhibition stand “’Cus we need some video for Facebook or Twitter” then you are only proving the maxim that “A fool and their money are easily parted.”

In short, if you’re looking at your video marketing or advertising material wandering “Is it good enough?”- You already know it is not good enough!


I know all this may sound harsh and I fully understand if you want to stop reading now. But…

Avengers_Age_Of_Ultron-poster1…Before you do, please answer me one question: Were you (the reader) any less harsh on the last movie or TV series you saw?
Didn’t you look at the ‘overpaid’ actors and wonder “How much did they get for this?” Maybe you liked the special effects “But they weren’t that great were they?” And the film is “Nothing like the book is it?”

Rightly or wrongly we all judge on what we see. If what we see on screen falls short of what we expect we react to it – usually negatively. It’s unlikely that we ever give the benefit of the doubt to the video maker, so the damage is done. And as we know, bad news travels fast.

Only last week I had to contact a colleague (he runs a cutting edge tech company) and let him know his social media ‘expert’ had posted a video of his company from 4 years ago. It was like Apple running an ad campaign, today, hailing the birth of the iPad. The worst part was it made the company’s brilliant new tech look like recycled old kit. The video gave the wrong impression of the company and its products. If that old video lost just one sale, it will have cost my colleague thousands.

For me it also highlighted the underlying fact that videos themselves have changed, becoming a more fluid medium. Today’s videos and advertisements are moderated and re-evaluated by our feedback (Likes, Retweets, Reblogs) to them.

Previously an advert would be shot like a small film – once complete it was cast in stone till the next one. Not so any more. Now it’s more likely that you’ll see an advert hit the web or TV, then within two weeks, you’ll see a re-edited version of the advert run for the duration of the ad campaign. This is because the advert has been split-tested with a variety of focus groups and audiences to see which version works best. Version 1 didn’t work out but Version 3 kept the attention of the demographic, so Versions 1, 2 and 4 went in the bin.

In today’s smartphone society there is no excuse for crappy looking video. It’s not a major financial investment anymore. You have a full HD camera on the back of your phone for one thing! The real investment is the time taken to create and split test something which will have a visual appeal and deliver the right message.

EATT-GTP-Banner

I have been talking about creating media for some time and recently, after a college speaking engagement, I began developing a course for students called Smartphone Film School. I realise that that the same changes that have occurred for film students, have also opened a very positive avenue for SME’s. Well the one’s looking to create their own media anyway.

With some thought and planning you can release your inner ‘Spielberg’ and make some very nice material for yourself or your company. All that’s needed is the framework within which to create the best possible story around your products.

The Smartphone Film Studio (Corporate version) will be available on the Education and Training TV (EATT) platform mid-February. It’s all being filmed on an iPhone and tablet so you can see just how far you can go with the free film studio you carry in your pocket.


To leave on a super positive note here are three facts to get you thinking:

1.8 Million Words – That’s the value of one minute of video, according to Dr. James McQuivey of Forrester Research. That’s the equivalent of 3,600 typical web pages. If you write an average of one web page an hour, it would take you 150 days of writing to achieve the impact of one minute of video.

75% – That’s the percent of executives who told Forbes that they watch work-related videos on business websites at least once a week. The results breakdown:
• 50% watch business-related videos on YouTube
• 65% visit the marketer’s website after viewing a video

90% – The percentage of online shoppers at a major retailer’s website who said they find video helpful in making shopping and buying decisions. Retailers who provide online video to show off their products report that the products with video sell a lot more than products with no video.

Thanks to Andrew Follett at Video Brewery for his facts.


Thanks for reading and as usual any comments to Mark Alexander Todd at Guvnor Media

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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


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


The Birmingham Feature Film Trail

Birmingham CanalsI received this email from a colleague Keith Bracey. Never short of an opinion, Keith is a writer, broadcaster and avid historian of Birmingham.

Enjoy

 

 

 

I wondered why in your otherwise excellent examination of ‘incomers’ as I call them, rather than immigrants to the diverse City of Birmingham who made a great difference to our city, the Birmingham Jewish ‘Film Triumvirate’ of Sir Michael Balcon, Brummie Grammar Schoolboy and Birmingham and Britain’s first ‘Film Mogul’ who at one point worked for Louis B. Mayer of MGM, Victor Savile, who bankrolled Balcon and the eponymous Oscar Deutsche who founded the ODEON Cinema Chain in Birmingham in the 1930’s were not mentioned in History WM’s special edition on ‘Migration to the West Midlands’ and the effect that migration has had on our region, good (mostly) and bad………………..

All 3 film ‘movers and shakers’ could be found on a ride on the Inner Circle number 8 ‘Corporation Buzz’ in Birmingham’s inner city!

They are the reason Birmingham should set up a ‘Birmingham Film Trail’ with various stopping-off points in the City of Birmingham which as a city was almost single-handedly responsible for the world-wide film industry in the late nineteenth century with Brummie Alexander Parkes invention of the eponymously-named ‘Parkesine’ the first viable plastic in the City’s Jewellery Quarter in 1860, which led directly to the development of celluloid, also in the Jewellery Quarter and thence to the development of ‘film’ and the film industry.

Birmingham needs a ‘Birmingham Film Trail’ to highlight and showcase our cities film and cinematic roots which continue today with Sir Michael Balcon’s grandson, the excellent actor, possibly the best ever film actor: Daniel Day-Lewis, the record-breaking triple-Oscar for Best Actor winner.

The City of Birmingham is also home to the UK’s oldest existing cinema: ‘The Electric Cinema’ run by the excellent Tom Lawes which dates from 1909….and the oldest surviving ODEON Cinema which I think is ‘The Clifton’ in Perry Barr in North Birmingham.

keith braceyl well recall the early 1970’s BBC TV Black and White TV Series ‘Gangsters’ set in Birmingham echoing ‘The Peaky Blinders’ with an understated lead actor Maurice Colbourne ( like a typical Brummie, modest to a fault!) playing the lead role opposite a Pakistani actor with the surname of Malik (I cannot recall his first name) as they prowled the ‘Mean and Moody Streets’ of Birmingham where the Clubs along and just off Broad Street were run by ‘characters’ like Martin Hone’s ‘Opposite Lock Club’ in Gas Street.

Martin Hone, a big car-racing fan, was the prime mover behind the ‘Birmingham Super Prix’ of the 1980’s.

I was a Freshman at Birmingham University in the mid 1970’s and well remember going to the Fewtrell’s ‘Barbarella’s’ in Sheepcote Street opposite the old Liberal Jewish Synagogue which is long gone.

Birmingham then in the 1970’s was a generally racially tolerant city with an undercurrent of racism and violence pervading the city.

I went to George Dixon Grammar School for Boys from 1969 until 1976 and in that time we had two fine young black men as our Head Boy, both incidentally, who went on to play and coach in top class Rugby Union: Rudi Smith, who I think was the first black schoolboy to play for England Under 18’s International Schools Rugby and Collin Osborne, who is the current Harlequins Rugby Skills Coach, whom I interviewed on my Rugby Union Show on Sports Radio Birmingham a couple of weeks ago.

Collin has coached and played rugby at an elite level with Harlequins and coached Zimbabwe in the first Rugby World Cup in New Zealand in 1987.

As a former Academy Director of Harlequins Collin played a pivotal role in the development of current England Rugby Union Captain Chris Robshaw and England Internationals Full-Back Mike Brown, scrum-half Danny Care, and centre in his own image, Jordan Turner-Hall, a fine young black England international and centre as Collin Osborne was for Dixonians RFC (my Rugby Club) and Birmingham’s Premier Club Moseley RFC who currently play in the second tier of English Rugby, the IPA Greene King Championship, the tier below the AVIVA Premiership where Leicester Tigers and Northampton Saints play.

People do not believe me when I tell them that Moseley Rugby Football Club was a bigger rugby club in Birmingham than either The Tigers or The Saints…….!!!!!!!

Other young black men in soccer like the ‘3 Degrees’ Regis Batson and Cunningham the WBA soccer players were those brave young men who changed the attitudes of Britain toward black people by their groundbreaking feats on the football field and beyond, in Batson’s case as a PFA Union Official

They ignored the throwing of bananas onto the pitch and other such vile acts of racism and played the game as it should be played with passion and heart and soul.

I am so glad that their efforts have been recognized with Sandwell Council and the Baggies erecting a statue in the centre of West Bromwich to these 3 pioneers who braved the ‘Monkey Chants’ from the so-called soccer gangs like the Blues ‘Zulu Warriors’ and West Ham’s ‘Inter-City Firm’ as portrayed in films like ‘This is England’.

Back in 1974 I went to see the Reggae star Jimmy Cliff’s Biopic ‘The Harder they Come’ at the ODEON New Street founded by a chap from a previous generation in Birmingham who had suffered from prejudice in the City, a German Jew called Oscar Deutsche, who founded the ODEON Cinema Chain which is still the largest in the UK based on the acronym ‘Oscar Deutsche Entertains Our Nation’ the Greek for to watch is ‘ODEON’ so you can see Oscar was on the ball.

I saw Cyrille Regis, the late Lawrie Cunningham, who played for Spanish Giants Real Madrid, before his untimely early death in a car crash and a young Brendan Batson came out of ‘The Harder they Come’ who was a Black Hero to these young Black men……that typified and exemplified Birmingham in the 1970’s for me…..three young black men out for a good time, watching a violent Gangster Film in racially tolerant Birmingham…….

Another Brummie Grammar School Boy Sir Michael Balcon who founded Ealing Studios which gave us those great ‘Ealing Comedies’ like ‘Kind Hearts and Coronets’, ‘The Lavender Hill Mob’, ‘Passport to Pimlico’ and ‘The Ladykillers’ should be part of ‘The Birmingham Film Trail’ too for me.

Balcon went to my old school George Dixon Grammar School for Boys from 1906 when the school opened until 1913 when he left to join up in 1914 at the outbreak of The Great War.

Balcon tried to establish some of the early ‘Birmingham Pals’ Regiments in The Great War but ironically could not fight and serve himself due to defective eyesight……….

Balcon also named his ‘Everyman Copper Hero’ PC George Dixon of ‘Dixon of Dock Green’ fame after his old school, named after Education Reformer and the founder of Edgbaston High School for Girls, which my daughter attends and where my wife is a Teaching Assistant: George Dixon MP.

George Dixon was the Birmingham MP and Lord Mayor who was much overshadowed by his direct contemporary, former Colonial Secretary and architect of the modern municipal Birmingham Joseph Chamberlain.

‘The Birmingham Film Trail’ should be set up by Film Birmingham, Birmingham City Council‘s film promotion agency in my opinion, to maximize Birmingham’s film and cinematic history.

And as you can see the film and TV legacy of ‘The Peaky Blinders’ is nothing new in portraying Birmingham as a gritty, edgy city!

Keith Bracey
Writer, Broadcaster and Historian
Greensward Enterprise Business Consultancy
Oldbury, Sandwell, United Kingdom

 

Any opinions expressed in this piece are those of the writer and not the publisher or In Mi Experience.


Bad Video Kills Your Brand

Is Bad Video Killing Your Brand?

Two years ago (2010), I was asked by a colleague whether he should bother to create a video for his company’s website.  At the time, there were rumours that Google was considering  ranking sites with video higher than those without, so I told him to get a camera, make something to show off his projects, and put it on the front page of his website.

In 2011, I worked with YouTube at VidCon in Los Angeles. The landscape had already changed, with a plethora of HD cameras available, video bloggers were now creating their own YouTube channels and getting out there. With minimal resources, they were creating 2-minute pieces of inventiveness, and Google had openly proclaimed that videos did indeed help websites achieve higher rankings.

So here we are, approaching the end of 2012 and wondering if the Mayans will be proved right. The reality is, whatever the outcome on 21st December, I can guarantee someone will film it, edit it, add titles and effects, then put it up on the web. Because that is what people expect now!

YouTube is now the second biggest search engine on the web. The accepted route for people researching products, services or companies is: look it up on Google, and then search for a video on YouTube. But here’s the kicker: the landscape has changed again, and the stakes are higher now. People’s expectations of what they see have risen.  If a 14 year old skateboarder is willing to spend £200 of his pocket money on an action camera that he can strap on to his helmet, so he can record an amazing amount of creative ways to break his bones, just to score an audience on YouTube…then you have to ask yourself, “Are we working hard enough to capture our target audience?”

Making a good video is not a major investment anymore, so when people see bad, uninventive company videos, they see the brand in a negative light. Believe me when I say Bad Video Kills!  The days of shaky, poorly lit and hard to hear videos are gone, and companies that continue to use them will suffer financially, as sure as MPs insult policemen.

It is a brave new Hi Definition world out there and those with vision will capture its treasures. So the next time you are struggling to stay awake during a marathon PowerPoint presentation or you find yourself squinting at a blurry product video, remember that limping skateboarder with 2 million fans.

Written by

Mark Alexander Todd,

Guvnor Media Ltd –Intelligent Marketing

 

 

 

 

 

 


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