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Video Production & Branding are Birds of a Feather

With a video production your viewers will make an immediate judgement on your brand and whether they want to keep watching the footage within a few seconds of clicking on play, so you need to get it right from the outset.

Firstly, it helps to think of your brand as a person. What do they look like? How do they dress? How do they speak? Is their voice high or low? Do they have an accent? What age are they? How formal or informal are they? All these qualities will give your viewer information about your brand, whether they realise it or not. Getting the personality right is essential.

Having thought about their image, and how they speak, now consider body language. Psychologists have long since told us that 55% of our communication comes down to body language and facial expressions. Our tone of voice represents 38%, with a mere 7% being down to the words themselves (not that content isn’t important too – you need to consider words/script). If you don’t get the body language right, it will have a negative impact in your brand integrity.

bodylanguageThis blog on Yahoo briefly runs through some of the dos and don’ts of body language.

Next, think about the style of video production which is most suited to your brand.

Who is your audience? What do you want them to think about you? What message are you trying to communicate? You may be targeting a certain segment of your audience, or highlighting a specific aspect of your brand which requires a particular approach.

Take for example this BASF Chemical corporate video

The creators used a hand drawn animation to great effect. In this instance BASF are wanting to portray a socially responsible side of their brand. They choose an old style animation to put across the idea that BASF has been helping farmers (good, solid, reliable, hard-working people) to protect their crops over generations, and that they will continue to do so, but with the least possible effect on the environment. They are associating themselves with something wholesome. The actor has an honest-sounding, non-salesy voice, which you automatically trust. He’s just telling us about his farming, not trying to sell us anything. His voice isn’t high or low. It is right in the middle. He is the “Everyman” of the farming world. The pace of the film is slow, and doesn’t bombard the viewer, again suggesting reliability, and honesty.

Interestingly, it is to portray another social responsibility message that this American burrito brand use animation well:

It employs stirring music to help drive an emotional response. It was so effective for this brand, that it even forced their main competitor (MacDonald’s) to stop using inhumane sources of meat in its fast food.

Animations can be very effective in specific cases, but more often than not the best solution involves having a human being on screen. Whether you are using a web-presenter, making a ‘how-to’ clip, or filming an interview, with the right person in front of the camera, the positive impact of your communication can be massive. Humanising your brand will help people relate to your company and ultimately bring increased business your way. More on this point in this psychology blog post, particularly under the heading “Websites (Brands) as People

Companies that brand their corporate videos well

Old Spice, ‘The Man Your Man Could Smell Like’. The Old Spice Man looks great, is confident, and has a deep sexy voice. The pace of the speech is fast, and sweeps the viewer along in a humourous and cheeky way, completely incorporating the brand values into the production. It has had over 43 Million views on YouTube. Powerful stuff. Read our post on why this campaign worked so well.

Innovative Thunder, ‘Pay with a Tweet’:

This started out as a campaign for the guys behind the brand to promote their marketing book “Oh My God What Happened And What Should I Do?”, which it did excellently, while at the same time creating the new marketing concept of ‘pay with a tweet’. Here, the guys really are the brand, so were certainly the best people to be in front of the camera. They come across as intelligent, easy to understand, enthusiastic, open (watch Lief’s body language) and most of all, likeable. We feel a human connection to them and therefore their brand.

Virgin Holidays, Upper Class:

Go to this page and click on the Virgin Holidays image

The web presenter is dressed smartly as a virgin holidays concierge, and is friendly and engaging. She is well spoken, but not overly so, and almost seduces the viewer into upgrading to Upper Class with her tone of voice and body language (check out the raised eyebrow and head tilt). She makes Upper Class sound really special, without detracting from the other options. At the point of booking she makes the subtle yet persuasive suggestion to upgrade. And it works. Virgin saw a 30% increase in their sales of Upper Class Flights. She is Natasha, one of our web presenters, and is dressed and selected to represent the Virgin Brand.

Baby Bjorn

BabyBjörn, Travel Crib Light: This product demonstration video uses pace brilliantly, showing how simple it is to calmly put the travel cot up, with a baby waiting to go to bed, whilst timing each of the people doing it and showing the ticking stopwatch. The music chosen as a soundtrack is a slowed down version of a lullaby, and engages with everybody who has ever battled with a travel cot when their baby is desperate to go to sleep! The backdrop is a simple clean white Scandinavian looking room, with nothing to distract from the message. Perfect for this Swedish brand which is about simple, clean design which makes life easier for families. If you are searching for a travel cot, you can probably relate to at least one of the people putting up the cot.

In any company you are likely to have a number of people who really embody your brand and culture. They can be an invaluable resource if you involve them in shaping your video production. If your employees are proud of the video and feel it reflects how they want to be perceived, then it has a good chance of them posting it on social networking sites and spreading the word. These internal brand advocates can potentially help you to distribute the video and manage the response mechanism, even taking on the responsibility as company bloggers, vloggers or tweeters, and be the voice and or face of the brand. This article gives a useful overview of how to get your employees talking about your brand online.
Video production is a hugely powerful and still under used area of marketing, which brand savvy companies are beginning to exploit to their great advantage.

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