If you have been following this series, you will know just how important video is in a modern marketer’s toolkit. Part one of this series discussed mining consumer curiosity to craft a winning campaign, while part two focused on the importance of narrative and character. To complete this series, let’s get to the fun part – the execution. Creative execution is just as vital as the other two components. After all, it is what your audience is consciously digesting and will hopefully remember. This blog post will refer to creative execution as what your audience is seeing and hearing on screen and the approach taken to achieve these results.
Do you have a lot of information to convey in a short period of time? It’s possible you need to explain the functionality of a new web tool or the benefits of your proprietary process in a concise manner. Animation may be the best approach to accomplish your desired effect. Animation refers to graphical and textual elements which move on screen, usually accompanied by voiceover. There are innumerable styles of animation, each with their own benefits and downfalls. Nowadays, most animation is accomplished “in the box.” In other words, solely created via computer as opposed to early animation which required a team of illustrators working to create photographable elements that would be edited together to form a moving image. Though the process is more simple today, it isn’t without its challenges.
Regardless of the creative approach, pre-visualization is key to getting a worthy product. This can be especially true for animation. Each stage of the process demands that everything before it was properly completed and approved. For instance, before you can begin designing graphical elements, the script must be completed and triple checked. Before you add motion, the graphical elements must be designed and exported in the proper format. The downfall of many animation projects is a lack of commitment to preceding creative. The animator can only begin his or her work once all the necessary graphical elements are in hand: a voiceover recording and music.
It’s more than just what looks best aesthetically. Some styles are better suited for different results. This is where you’ll need to reanalyze your brand’s voice and tone as well as the goal for the video. Is your brand funky and geared toward a younger audience? Consider a saturated color palette and a sparse script in which much of the information is conveyed through visuals. Is your brand sleek and modern? Style matters. Stick to the brand.
Live action simply means video captured by a camera. Personally, I feel this approach is best when you want your audience to truly connect with your brand. It is easier for viewers to insert themselves into your narrative when they can relate to a character on screen. While anyone who has watched a Pixar movie such as “Up” can attest to its emotional value, humans feel naturally empathetic toward other humans. Therefore, seeing a real one – that is, a human – onscreen is a quick way to trigger an emotional response. How you generate and use this emotional response depends on the goal of your campaign. On one end of the spectrum you have Sarah Mclachlan and precious dogs coaxing you to donate money to the SPCA, while on the other end of the spectrum you have Terry Crews flexing his pecs to sell deodorant. Each of these campaigns have been wildly successful and they may be more similar than you realize.
When crafting a live action campaign, it is important to generate a formula. The most essential ingredient is a good script. The script should contain all of the information you wish to convey to the audience and it should be formatted within an arresting narrative. This narrative is crucial no matter if your content is comedic, dramatic, or informational. An important thing to consider with your script is sacrificing perfect brand language for brevity and realism. Meaning, your compliance department may use a specific phrase to describe a product or service, but it’s unlikely that consumers will respond and relate to legalese. After you have a solid script, you should consider your visual approach. Nowadays much of the video content we consume is on social media and it often plays without sound, therefore your video should be visually appealing. Favor innovative camera moves over a static shot. Don’t be afraid to push the bar creatively – it will pay dividends in the long run.
Hopefully this blog series has convinced you of the importance of video in today’s marketing landscape while providing some basic tips for how to approach your first video project. A successful video campaign requires a specialized team who is focused on achieving a unified goal. As with anything, communication and coordination is of utmost importance because mistakes in this medium can be especially costly. That said, they do happen so try to take it in stride and use it as a lesson for next time.