The Death of Corporate Videos

From time to time we post articles from guest bloggers – Here is one such article :

Over the past 3 or 4 years we have seen a major reversal in the power of the individual consumer and consequently a dilution of the influence of brand controlled messaging.

The traditional corporate video is typically a PR exercise in portraying the brand as seen by the company, or as the company want the brand to be viewed externally.

These are typically boring as hell to watch and have little emotional impact on the viewer.

I believe that this form of corporate video is now dead and that brands need to tell their true corporate stories.

Take a look at this traditional corporate video from 2005:

This video is informative and impressive in a corporate way, it may stimulate something in the mind, but for the heart there is nothing. How does it make you feel? Are you more interested in the company and likely to fly with them now? What do you remember from the video? Did you have any emotional stirrings in your gut?

Here is another one from the aviation industry but that was uploaded to Youtube in 2010:

OK, so it is for a small local airport so not likely to be a blockbuster or one that has incredible relevance to a large audience but at least there is a more human element to it compared with the Malaysia Airlines video from 5 years earlier.

Finally, I want to show you a corporate video that I think is doing it the right way. It is a warts and all story showing how a few people’s passion and dedication got them through years of obscurity to become a successful business.

How did you feel at the end of that? Feel like dusting down your old board and taking to the streets?

We have now moved to a phase in ecommerce where information is readily shared between businesses and their customers, customers to businesses as well as between customers and potential customers. This means that marketing and company communications have to be more open and more human.

The days of corporate broadcasting with little interruption are over; what brands say in the public space is open to support, reinforcement, criticism and complaints. If brands do not speak honestly then it will be exposed and will result in an embarrassing mess (e.g. Netflix) whereas if brands take the risk of being open and sharing all with their customers and potential customers then possibilities of true success through loyalty can become a reality.

Social media has been a challenging concept for many brands as they have had to make a decision to put trust in their staff to communicate responsibly in real time with their customers. With social mediums like Twitter, Youtube and Facebook there is no time to get approval on every tweet or every comment you make. It has to be fast and it has to be real and human.

People use social media for fun and for efficiency; if you are not adding to their experience then you will lose their attention. This is also true for video content. The Sector 9 video above is fun and engaging to watch, not just because the product is fun but also because it is a human story.

More and more businesses are using video as a medium to communicate the work that they are doing and many are achieving great results; well known examples are the “Will it Blend” series of videos (http://www.willitblend.com/) promoting the Blendtec product and also the fabulous Wine Library TV (http://tv.winelibrary.com/) series by Gary Vaynerchuk. He doesn’t hold back and worry about the branding too much, he has enough confidence in himself to just be natural and this has helped him to build a massive business through a small family wine shop; his personality is the brand.

Corporate video no longer has a set format, it can be whatever best fits your brand. The corporate story style video as shown in the Sector 9 example does not have to be expensive or incredibly time consuming to produce.

You can use existing images and video footage and then just write your story as if you were telling it to a family member or friend.

Once you have the bare bones of the story and the media that will help you to tell the tale well then it is a matter of planning it out and piecing it together.

It is rare that people set up a business with the sole aim of making money, there is normally a compelling story to tell and this is what you need to communicate. How does your business help people improve their lives?

Guest Blogger Profile

This post was written by Neil Davidson, CEO of Mywebpresenters who are a video production company specializing in corporate video for the web. They are also the pioneers of the web presenters (http://www.mywebpresenters.com/) technology. If you would like to have a conversation about how to tell your corporate story then please email Neil at neil.davidson@mywebpresenters.com.

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