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Why have a brand video at all? Our goal was to have a way of explaining what we do in a clear and fun way to the thousands who frequent our site and meet our team each week. A brand video is a way of succinctly sharing who you are and what you stand for. Exactly how did we end up with an Award-winning brand video? Well, you’ll just have to read on to find out.
A brand video is your company’s image and voice brought to life. But before you start wandering off to think about WHAT your video could look like, you should figure out a few important things first: Who are you making this video for? Where will this video live? And what does success look like?
In our case, we were looking for a unique way to engage our customers, director level marketers, senior level marketers, producers, VPs and directors in digital and social marketing roles. So we spoke with customers and prospects at our industry event, Summit to discover how they use Spredfast to solve the marketing challenges they face. We wanted this video to speak to the solutions we’ve found for thousands of businesses over the eight-plus years we’ve been in business. Tip #1: Speak with your audience in-person. You'll start to see your brand through their eyes. And this will help you make better creative choices when you put pen to paper.
After the blood, sweat, and (joyful) tears of wrapping up a big brand video, you have to push it out to the world. But deciding where your brand video will land must come before the production process. Why? Because there are technical and creative constraints to consider that ultimately affect the look and feel of your final draft. For us, we knew the video would have a home on our about page. So, we went cinematic with a widescreen video format rather than restrict it to a box. It’s a big story after all.
Now that you know your audience, where it will land, and of course why you’re making it in the first place, it’s time to start thinking about what it could look and sound like. But before you begin pulling #inspiration, take a look at what your competition has done — You want to blaze a trail untrod. We found one competitor went for a straightforward product walkthrough — dry, but elegant; brief, but clear. Another went for an epic, big-budget approach — and while visually stimulating, it didn’t really tell viewers much about their own story or represent their brand's look and feel. What was clear was that none of our competitors had a sense of humor. And we believed a bit of wit was our best bet to stand out and deliver our message. So, we set out to combine clarity, brevity, and awe with our sense of humor. As you build your own brand story, remember to head for open space.
Now that you have your clear point of view, look for work that inspires you — Work that sounds, feels, even tastes like your brand spirit. Aspirational designs and stories that will help inform and improve your own creative impulses. Here is a selection of inspirational work that informed our own story.
So, you’ve got your big idea and now for the pitch. A pitch can come in many forms, but I suggest you provide a visual walkthrough to help explain your idea to the stakeholders involved. The visuals don’t have to be complex, but clear enough to tell your story. Tip #2: A pitch is a performance, so it helps to have props. Above is an image from the initial pitch for our brand video. I used cut-out images to convey each scene. It was simple but effective.
You are pitch approved. Now go off and write your story. If you are not a writer find someone who understands what you’re looking to achieve and work with them to tell it as best you can. For a quick review of common story arcs, here’s one of the masters of storytelling explaining just how to do it, Kurt Vonnegut. As the Creative Marketing Strategist for Spredfast, it is my job to write scripts for all our new media projects. That includes our brand video. So, with the pitch approved, I put together draft after draft until we found one that hit each beat like we wanted.
To deliver the visual style of live action with animation we teamed up with Revelator. They helped us film our star and Spredfast CMO, Jim Rudden, on a green screen. Then, our in-house design team created the beautifully placed motion graphics to bring our brand video to life! Finally, we collaborated with local sound wizards, Soundnoodle, to create an immersive sound design and score to fit the tone and flow of the story.
Success comes in many forms, so it’s important that you define what success will be for your brand video before you produce it. For us, we were looking to effectively tell our brand story across our site. Since it’s been added to our site, it has received the highest engagement of any of our videos and 20% higher than the industry average. And, this summer we received a Telly award for our brand video in the category of direct marketing. You've learned how it got made. Time to see how it turned out. Here's our story, now go out there and tell yours.