Using Communications Videos for a Greater Cause

I want to show you a great video I came across recently that effectively communicates a message, rather than sells a product.

Now in this video by charity:water, sure, you can argue that they are still selling: they’re appealing to you to give money to a charity. Every video is pitching some angle, selling some message. It’s the video makers job to get an idea across to you – aka sell it to you – and hope that you’ll buy it. But what makes this non-product video so powerful is it’s communication – it very much mimics what we are used to viewing in commercials that entice us.

Firstly, it’s shot very nicely. It’s dynamic, the colours are rich and vibrant, and the whole video is set up to be an exotic adventure. I’m not gonna lie: at the very start when we were running through the forest, I was hooked. And I stayed hooked, which is impressive.

I mean, let’s think about it, this video is about charity. Not wanting to be cruel, but charity videos and I don’t have a rich history. They are often bleak, depressing and seem to beg for my help. They pull at heart strings in hope to get through the purse strings. I much prefer this exciting journey, which I feel I’ve experienced through the narrator and main characters eyes.

It’s good storytelling, and they have certainly used the assets available to them – the landscape, the people, relatability with a westerner – to good effect.

When thinking about your next video, think about the content you have available, and how you can best use it. As I said before, this video could have been another bleak, pleading video – which is perfectly fine and used many times before. But instead they’ve added a bit of engaging theatricality and narrative, without ever compromising on their message.

It also hooked me long enough to build another powerful emotion – empathy. I’m really thirsty! Thanks to empathy, I can’t shake off the link between my own thirst and the people of Bayaka!

It doesn’t matter what you’re communicating – whether it be a product for sale, or a charity that needs help – there a host of effective ways to engage and hold an audience through communications videos.

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