Catherine Bayfield
Catherine Bayfield
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Debunking the great corporate video myth (it doesn’t have to be boring!)

Think about the last corporate video you watched. Were you gripped to your seat, engaged and entertained or did you turn it off half way through because – to be frank – it was pretty dull?  The thing is, they don’t have to be!

The rules of corporate video production should be the same as for television – whatever the subject it needs to engage. How you do this depends on the brand and the audience.

The truth is it’s easy to put down a couple of sound bites with the CEO ‘pasted’ together with some general office shots a voiceover  and perhaps some cheesy music thrown in for good measure too.

Corporate video is such a broad term – which means there is so much flexibility and a plethora of choice for brands including, the classic company profile, testimonials, how-to instructional videos, training videos and promotion of a product.

Sometimes it just takes a good idea. The more dull a product is perceived to be the more daring and creative you have to be to pull the audience in.

The Blendtec corporate infomercials  for example, demonstrating blenders, especially the powerful Total Blender have become cult viewing and made a star out of founder, Tom Dickson. He’s blended everything from an iPhone 5 (see the video below) to a camcorder and a crowbar.

The key to a good corporate video is story telling – whether it’s a 10-second viral or a more complex training video. Feature real people but don’t just focus on the boss particularly if they are a reluctant performer. Avoid the voiceover and let the interviewees tell the story.

A corporate video has to reflect the brand but take a risk, have some energy and inject a little humour. Think about animation or cartoons. We produced a short video cartoon of live animation for the NHS as an innovative and fun way of explaining complex government strategy. Take a look at the video below:

Research suggests viewers of corporate online video fail to watch the material to the end. To counteract this we introduced an optional interactive version of the video which enabled viewers to choose to view either a cartoon based on the NHS as it is now, or the NHS and how it could be in the future.

It’s also important to reflect trends.  A successful brand ambassador or ‘ creator’ can help make a corporate video more entertaining, increase your visibility, make your brand more trustworthy and increase sales. They don’t have to be a celebrity but ideally the audience needs to relate to them.  In our experience what people like is funny, shocking , thought provoking but approachable the sort of person you’d like to be your mate. Current  ‘Creators’ like Lauren Luke with her make up tutorials (see below), Jack Munroe, low budget recipes and Jenna Marbles low-production-value “no-holds-barred, profanity-laced” videos that she shoots in her home.

What they all share is a natural inclination to appear on camera and build an audience.  An enthusiastic performance is key.  At the moment corporate tutorials, reviews and vlogs are a novelty, but ride the wave it could soon become a fad.

In conclusion a good corporate video generally tells a story and or gets fantastic reactions from people on screen. The same rules apply to a corporate video as a film: its needs to be original, with great dialogue, and story telling. It has to look and sound good too, be well shot and edited. Corporate videos don’t have to be boring there are so many options available to ensure they appeal to your audience.

Take a look at some other corporate videos we’ve done that turn dry topics into engaging visual stories:

The Institute of Visiting Health

Shout! produced two dramatic films showing good and bad examples of health workers dealing with sensitive issue. The films are used as training material by the Institute of Health Visiting.

9Bar: Ed Clancy

A corporate video starring Olympian Ed Clancy which promoting the energy bar.

Find out more about how to harness the power of PR video – download our free guide on optimising PR video production for your brand.

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Related Work

English Apples

Shout! worked to promote the start of English apple season with a national and regional radio day and creative corporate video for English Apples’ social media pages.

See full case study >