Throughout my years of producing marketing videos for large businesses, I’ve noticed a tendency among clients to request a single video that answers all possible questions and covers every single product and service the company delivers. I call this the “kitchen sink video.” Oftentimes, this occurs over a democratic effort to please everyone.
These used to be called “corporate overviews.” But that never made sense to me. Do you ever see “overview” style commercials for Coca Cola or Nike? How about an overview style infomercial, Netflix show or anything? Perhaps “overview” is a loose term leftover from the old days of corporate films.
Corporate films are alive and well. A quick search on vimeo.com reveals many powerful and incredibly beautiful and effective films being made today. They harness the powers of what makes a great film: powerful imagery set to an inspiring story that evokes emotion.
Yet, there’s still a tendency to make the be-all and end-all corporate film that encapsulates everything about the company. Everything means all products, services and departments, history, vision statement, interviews, and the list goes on. All of this information amounts to a very long video. It has become a laundry list of information that appears to be taken from a brochure: A blunt instrument; a sleeping pill. Yes, a lost opportunity to tell the world what the company is really about.
In simple terms, you can take a high road or a low road. The low road is choosing the easy, more expository route that lists all of the obvious things a certain company has, like an attentive customer service department or award-winning software (zzzz). Then there’s the high road, a place where fewer go: the righteous path that brought the company to where it is today. Here the company confidently and proudly displays pride in their story of success. Stuff like how it took a lot of hard work, character, ingenuity, and bright minds to solve problems and become an industry leader. We want to hear this story.
Avoid wall to wall narration that leaves no room to inspire the viewer with human stories. Let the visuals and music inspire faith in your company. Of course, that product does look beautiful in a carefully lit scene. But it looks even better when we know the story behind it. Give us the blood, sweat and tears – the pride that goes behind the invention and how it has affected our lives. Save the technical bulletins, white papers and case studies for the brochures and web pages. Of course, not all subjects lend themselves to an emotional story. The point is that we should never inundate the viewer with minutiae: sell the sizzle.
Finally, a company needs multiple short films. One film cannot do it all. Find stories within your company and bring them to life with all the great video technology we have at our disposal. Social media is always looking for a good story to share and go viral. Shine the light on what we really want to know: your story.
Chase Roberts is the director of video production company VISIONSOUND FILMS, located in Southern California: https://visionsoundfilms.com
He also operates https://videocrew.com a Los Angeles camera crew video crew service provider for producers and directors of documentaries, commercials and corporate video.