Thinking outside the online video ‘format’ for true audience engagement

August 26, 2014
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The great thing about online video is that unlike traditional television broadcast there is no limitation on the duration or style of the content chosen to promote or publicise a brand, product or organisation… It can be targeted, specific and unmoulded, designed for you to hit your perfect consumer… Right?
Yet we still often find ourselves putting very specific limitations on this content based on wanting to create some kind of set of norms or rules to replicate the success others have had and to fit within what has become the so called established “online format.”
Come on… You know what I’m talking about…
I’m sure that over the years many of you have probably been told by countless agencies and production companies alike that online content should be short, snackable and ideally no longer than two minutes in duration.
Or that your business would be ideally suited to a very specific style of content – whether it be icon based motion graphics for finance and business videos, presenter to camera for product demos or consumer news or animation because that’s what your audience wants and expects.
Where do these rules and the knowledge and wisdom that divined them come from? Well certainly not from consumers or audiences at large.
When you boil it all down most of these rules and guidelines are simply control mechanisms designed to shoehorn content to fit a model – a replicable model that allows agencies and production companies a like to easily budget for projects based on known parameters and in some cases to limit their creative scope and spend to fit within a desired duration.
When what they really should be doing is offering you the best solution for you not just to communicate to your audience – but to engage them! Not just peak their interest… Actively engage them and get them talking about you, your brand, product, service or organisation!
Because in the end if we are not doing that… What’s really the point?
Take a look at this campaign from Johnnie Walker for their Blue Label called ‘The Gentleman’s Wager’.  It tells the story of a wager between two men which results in a truly rare experience as part of their quest for personal progress. Filmed in the British Virgin Islands and London, the beautifully shot film sees Jude Law in the role of a man who, despite having it all, proposes a wager to Giancarlo Giannini as an excuse to challenge himself to create an original performance in order to win a money-can’t-buy prize.
What is great about this execution is aside from being beautifully shot and acted and a nice piece of advertising for the product with messaging that fits the brand image and identity to a tee…  It’s also engaging, fun to watch and audiences enjoy it and want to share it.  And at six minutes it’s not fitting into any format, it’s doing what story telling is all about – telling a story at the duration it needs to not at the duration it has to!
A recent example we have produced at Creativa which breaks the online video mould is the video we produced for our clients Chin Communications – The Mandarin Interpreter.

So when you are considering your next video, think about the story you want to tell. Who your audience is and let your imagination run wild! Of course later you will need to limit the scope to a budget that fits your spend but that’s the kind of creative challenge agencies and production companies should be able to solve through their years of expertise!

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Creativa provides complete video production and animation services for clients direct or for agencies nationwide, specialising in creating content that engages Aussie audiences. Working with local crews dotted around the country to capture live-action video footage, we manage all the coordination for you. Whatever type of video you need, we’ve got you covered.