The danger of casually made “selfie” videos

Has this ever happened to you: On LinkedIn you stumbled upon a shaky “selfie” video of a talking face trying to impose his/her messages on you, and you just couldn’t wait to click away, as if shooing away a fly?

My heart goes out to those who create these kinds of casual videos that have sadly achieved the opposite of their intended result – turning away your prospects and audience, instead of drawing them to your narratives.

The power and bias in face-recognition

There is power and bias in face recognition – the human face is the first object a baby can recognize. A baby learns to judge a human face for self protection: Is it my Mom’s face? My Dad’s face? Or a stranger’s face? When a video has a face talking to us, we humans judge quickly, often irrationally, and always with bias.

Authentic and effective video messaging requires much preparation

The above described casual videos may be good for unleashing whatever is on your mind at the spur of the moment in an uncontrolled fashion, or to document an event as it unfolds on its own. But if your goal is to get your messages across authentically and effectively to impress your target audience, to market to them and to build your brand, a QUALITY video requires in depth analysis, storytelling power, voice and visual preparation, business savviness and artistic skills and talents.

Even professional videos often fail to deliver substance

On the other hand, some professionally-made promotional videos shot with Steadicam’s smooth transitions and even with professional lighting, often fail to accomplish the desired intent. Have you ever clicked on a video out of curiosity, only to impatiently wait for the display of a logo with or without music and some sort of an “intro” without cutting to the chase about what the video is all about? Personally I have no time or patience to be a captive audience of even 2 seconds for some utterly substanceless stuff. My time and attention span is always at a premium (and so is yours and the time of your prospects). If I really have to watch it, I fast-forward it to skip the fancy intro with some resentment for wasting my precious time. Most of the time I don’t watch it at all since I know a bad beginning hardly ever leads to a good story.

We always provide options to watch a video or read its script

For all our clients’ brand-promotional videos that anchor their websites’ home pages, we provide two options: visitors can either choose to watch the video, or click on the designated script button below the video to read the script.

From my market research, 50% of viewers watch the video, the other 50% read the script.

What makes a top quality brand-promotional video

So while everyone is talking about how powerful videos can be on social media, no one really talks about how to make a video truly powerful in both substance and style. Allow me to give away a few gems in the science and art of making a classic brand promotional video.

A top quality brand promotional video is a hybrid of advertising, documentary, and visual art.

First, a video is only as good as its script.  At 10+ Visual Branding, we brainstorm with a brand owner drafts after drafts (the record being 16 drafts) until we distill a brand’s essence into the “music to the eyes and ears” of a brand’s target audience. And that’s not all. In production, we direct and coach every voice rehearsal before and during shooting. During filming, it is never a completely controlled and choreographed process, but always a balance of getting out one’s authentic best self for the camera and being spontaneous in the moment.

Why the fuss? Because it is your brand, your brand’s image and substance matter a lot.

A top quality branding video needs to satisfy at least these basic elements:

A top quality video is based on a carefully and masterfully written script.
The verbal content either makes or breaks the video.
No one can make a great movie based on a bad screenplay.
No chef can cook a great dish without good ingredients.
The narrative must be engaging, interesting, short and simple storytelling.
It’s messaging must be authentic, business savvy, and imaginative.

Only an experienced director can get the best out of the narrator, in both speech and visuals:

Use the brand owner’s own footage and voice instead of acting/voice talents, as much as possible. “You’re your own best brand.” It is unthinkable that Apple would use an actor instead of Steve Jobs in its presentations. Yet even Steve Jobs had to painstakingly script, prepare, rehearse, over and over again, for each and every presentation.

If acting talents, voice-over talents, or commercial stock footages have to be used, use for very specific and very good reasons. The more original, the better.

Let the director run the show during filming. In our case, the director was always the one who branded the business together with its owner. Deep trust was established and keen understanding was developed during many hours of brainstorming to hone the brand. When creating the video, the brander/director knows exactly what actions, facial expressions and body language are needed to enhance and multiply the verbal messaging.

Only experienced editing teams can process all raw visual materials into a final piece of art.

This is not delegatable to editors who don’t understand a business’ brand intimately well. Editing is one of the most creative parts of the production in addition to filming and storyboarding.

To create the heart, soul, and mind of a brand, to dress it up with not only matching but artistically enhancing visual art, is to piece together everything that visually tells the verbal stories, then adding music, captions, logo, and other brand elements.

Both in substance and in style

There is a lot more to making a knock-out brand promotional video. We at 10+ Visual Branding are proud to be both the left and right sides of the brain for our clients, in creating both brand strategies and messaging along with classic videos with visual stories that fit all budgets, and withstand the test of time.

With solid training in law, business, journalism, and artistry, we can strategize, position, and market your brand both in substance and in style.

Check out our portfolio of promotional videos we’ve done for clients of all backgrounds, professions and industries: https://10plusbrand.com/portfolio/videos/

Please email info@10PlusBrand.com, or call (925) 284-9083 for an initial consultations. Thank you!

© Joanne Tan, 2018.  Edited by Glenn Perkins.