‘Video is the new html’
In digital marketing it’s generally a quantity game. In creative, it’s a quality game. In marketing the business model is about squeezing every drop of value out of what you already possess. This often sadly leads to a race to the bottom, and in video, the audience can spot it a mile off. As Benedict Evans reminds us, video is the new html*. Learning the video language is something that needs to be learned, adapted and developed. The video language however isn’t a ‘one size fits all’ universal one, this is proven with broadcast numbers being challenged, and large companies using their TV commercials as a skippable ad – only to realise no one is interested. Instead, each platform, each social channel has different nuances, different cultures and it’s users and communities have different expectations. So the worst thing you can do is make one edit and use the same version across all platforms. Just in primitive language, a monosyllabic approach doesn’t work much better, so a cut down version of your original version is no longer good enough either. Neither do clips. Our audiences expect more value, more investment not less.
When planning creative, don’t merely think of your main or hero video and then work out a ’10 second cut for Instagram stories’ instead what different content could you imagine that compliments the wider creative, not merely the hero video?
To sweat your assets in video, you need to have a mind shift. The extra cuts are not to support your hero video; they’re to add to the campaign as a whole, or even the brand in its entirety.
Where to start?
The social guys have a certain insight into this, because what they want more than anything is engagement. Video people just want views (#ego)… so whats the answer? It’s of course a combination.
Story not for the sake of views but for engagement is how to begin shifting your thinking when creating a campaign. And when it’s a video first campaign, that doesn’t mean singular it means the story or narrative. The idea needs to have the breadth to be able to inspire engagement.
A simple example of how to do this?
If you’re planning a shoot with a known sports person and you’re creating a promo in a studio, you’ve got the smoke machine, Spark, and Grips on the ready, your audience are interested in three things, the sports personality, the filmmaking circus and the brand. Why not shoot a piece with the sportsperson making her way to the studio from home in the car. Ask her questions about her success, her upcoming events and just film with her travelling? Using the same selfshooter, you could also arrive with her, and from her POV see the ‘circus’, how she is greeted, where her green room is, how the brand representative engages with her. All of this has certain levels to it that can be used in different platforms. The way she talks in the car will be very different when stood in a lit studio and audiences are keen to see both sides of her.
How to use technology? When shooting an event why not use 360 live not as your main idea but as an accompaniment to the shoot? It enables the fans to engage live and provides them access whilst you can still create something of quality.
All of these things cost more money, to hire another shooter, the kit, the extra edits, but if you can promise a brand engagement, the investment is worthwhile. Like learning any language, when using it you need to get past the potential embarrassment of looking like an idiot. Continuing with the early stages of learning a language analogy, we’re at the point of ordering our food from the waiter in the restaurant… but video will get interesting when we start having conversations in this new language.