How to Tell a Compelling Story Through Video

March 23, 2012  

The world of branding is much broader than logo and identity work. That’s because the way we communicate is changing. One major shift is the prevalence of video. In the next minute, about 35 hours of footage will be uploaded to YouTube. Worldwide, 249 billion multimedia text messages were sent in 2010 alone. And chances are you’ve received at least one video from a friend or coworker today. So how can brands use video to help tell their stories?

  1. TELL THE TRUTH

    This seems simple enough, yet it’s a step that’s often overlooked—or worse, blatantly ignored. A brand communicates best when it conveys its own character simply. So no matter how much you’d like to have a Michael Bay explosion in the climax of the video for your financial services corporation, stick to what honestly describes your strengths.

  2. HAVE A LOOK

    Even the simplest message needs a creative idea behind it to catch the audience’s attention. Take Prudential’s “Sunrise” spot, for example. The agency, Droga5, could have shot it over the course of a month. Instead, they set up more than 100 cameras to capture the same sunrise in one day—from coast to coast. That kind of dedication to an idea is what produces video with emotional power.

  3. LET THE STORY LEAD

    We all have a tendency to want to include more rather than less, but the best editors leave a lot on the cutting room floor. Even a 30-second spot should have a plot arc. So pare the narrative down to its most compelling parts to make your story stand out.

  4. BACK IT UP

    They say seeing is believing. We think evidence is still necessary. What’s the goal of your piece? Inspiration? Interest? Action? Be sure to give viewers somewhere to go, something to do, or some facts to prove your point. A video’s real conclusion is when you convince the audience to become a bigger part of your brand.

  5. GET THE SHOT

    Good video doesn’t come easy. Making the extra effort to get original shots instead of using stock—or to shoot new footage instead of using leftover b-roll—pays off. See some examples of the lengths Ologists go to in order to get the shot.