04 Oct Why have a corporate video?
Increasingly, companies want a corporate video on their website. But often they’re unclear about what they want or why they want it. “It should be sort of You-Tubey” or “I don’t want just a cheesy promo” can be the extent of their instructions.
Corporate videos should follow that old adage, ‘form follows function’.*
Anyone considering commissioning a corporate video should ask themselves 3 questions:
- What do I want to convey?
- Who do I want to do that conveying for me?
- And lastly – How do I want to convey it?
The What? must revolve around the perceived benefits of the company to the viewer/potential client. So a printer shouldn’t focus on the clever technology of his fancy new press, but on the better quality and cheaper prices it’ll bring to his customers.
The Who? is crucial. Video can make machines look good, but most of all it can convey what kind of people a company consists of. So interviews with the bosses or the workers are a powerful tool in a corporate video.
Even more powerful are testimonials. To have a satisfied customer wax lyrical about the company on video is worth a fortune. In one recent video for a builder a former client sang the builder’s praises and said she’d recommended him to friends. That’s worth thousands of pounds of advertising.
And finally, the How? In other words, what should the look and feel of the video be?
People get hung up on this. By “You-Tubey” they often mean a jerky, amateur look that they think is cool. That can work for certain brands but it’s become a cliche. And there’s an obsession amongst some with flashy graphics, endless zooms and very loud music.
This is where form follows function comes in.
Zooms and loud music can work, but not for undertakers…
A video must shot, lit and edited to fit the client.
Take a look at these two videos. Century Dental is a short film about a dental practice. It’s deliberately lit in a clean, bright style to reflect a high tech practice. But most people assume that dentists’ surgeries will be clean. They are more interested in the dentist himself – so we also spent a lot of time making sure that the dentist’s interview conveyed his care for his patients and his love of dentistry. And there are no nasty drilling shots…
This one, Patrick Wyatt, about a bespoke jeweller, has a different look and feel. It’s been lit to bring out the intimacy of the jeweller’s office where he discusses with clients the design and detail of their commission. Again, we focussed on getting the jeweller to talk about his own feelings about jewellery and about the trust that he wants to develop between him and the client, as well as about the technicalities of his business.
And there’s some wonderful footage of Hatton Garden jewellery workshops that brings out the hand-made, bespoke nature of his work.
So if you’re thinking of a corporate video, focus on the “What” and let the production company come up with some ideas for the “Who” and the “How”.
(A note for pedants only: this famous phrase was not, as many people think, invented by Le Corbusier but by a more obscure architect, Louis Sullivan, and he actually came up with the rather less catchy “form ever follows function”.)