This is a great parody of the corporate video we’re all trying to avoid making, but every C-level executive wants to see. It’s full of great stock footage and made by a stock footage firm to demonstrate how meaningless stock footage can be. Hmmm. Not sure about that as a business practice but it certainly is smart and funny.
I’ve lost count of the number of meetings I’ve been in to discus mobile product demonstration videos when I realized that the client just wanted a cheap clone of the early Apple iPhone and iPad videos. Yes, those ones with the jingly, jangly guitar and simple piano music and After Effects faked product and even phoney finger interactions. Everyone who knows nothing still wants that. I try to sell a more modern POV aesthetic with the app being present in real environments but it is a difficult sale. After all, if it’s how Apple sold a million iPhones my clients want it.
I love how this video begins with that old Apple style product video, before putting on the brakes, shifting gears and then cranking up the NOS. If you want to show your client the difference, this is the video to show them. Of course, it helps if you have Spotify’s budget for the soundtrack but it is inspiring nonetheless.
Exactly how much story can you tell in 2 minutes? Surely it’s not enough time for time-shifted, instead of telling a simple, linear, story. Due to the time constraints you’ll have to resort to telling, not showing won’t you?
… this short from Intel’s “Look Inside” proves everything you think you know about short-form story-telling wrong. In two minutes it tells a complex story, plays with time, engages you emotionally and has amazing visuals. In fact, the majority of the story is told in 1 minute 35 seconds; the rest is Intel branding and wrapped around some supporting text and figures. It proves that you don’t have to dumb-down the message, or your approach, just to fit in the time available. If you can tell stories like this, 2 minutes is plenty of time.
In part 1, I talked about the 11 categories of corporate videos that I see on YouTube. I often see people confusing types of videos with styles of video. Animation, for example, is not a category of video but a style. The animation style is better suited to certain types of videos (explainer and overview videos) than others (I haven’t seen animation used in customer testimonials before) but it is best to separate the two. When you are tasked to create a type of video, you should then look for the style that is best suited to that: working the other way around is putting the cart before the horse. When you ask a client what kind of video they want to make, and they answer “Something animated” you need to cut to the type of video they really want before you get to the medium to render that message. You can also use a combination of styles: elements of screencast, animation and live action are often all blended together in overview videos, with high production values.
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There is no definitive list of different kinds of corporate videos that you can create. This list is constantly evolving and changing, but these are the kinds of external-facing, corporate videos that I see most commonly. These kind of videos are the ones you’ll find on YouTube associated with a company or brand. Video can also be used as a very effective internal communication tool but those videos are more typically found inside a company’s firewall rather than out in the public view on YouTube. All these types of videos in this list are the kind a company sees fit to release for public consumption.
One thing to remember is that you may create any of these kinds of videos with a specific purpose in mind, but your audience may use it for something entirely different. For example, I’ve created many, tightly-edited, feature demonstration videos that were intended show new and existing customers, features in a new release that they might be interested in. I’ve found sales guys using those videos instead of a demonstration, to save time, or to show a feature not yet available on their demo environment. Expect and encourage this. Once you put a video out on YouTube it may have it’s own life that is very different than the one you intended. I have seen managers panic about this and try to shut this ‘abuse’ down by taking videos off line. This over-reaction is to be discouraged.
I also see people confusing types of videos with styles of video so I have tried to list both separately. Animation, for example, is not a type of video but a style. The animation style is better suited to certain types of videos (explainer and overview videos) than others (I haven’t seen animation used in customer testimonials before) but it is best to separate the two. When you are tasked to create a type of video, you should then look for the style that is best suited to that: working the other way around is putting the cart before the horse. You can also use a combination of styles, with elements of screencast, animation and live action often all blended together in overview videos with high production values as a common example. Read more about styles of video in the second part of this piece.
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