As humans, we yearn for authenticity. In our personal lives we gravitate towards those we perceive as genuine, and equally, we keep at arms length those we feel ‘aren’t being themselves’.
While defined as the genuine original, authenticity in marketing is actually more a perceived quality rather than the real thing, communicated in the way that something looks, feels or acts ‘authentically’ on screen.
We’re told that audiences value this kind of authenticity most, especially in an age where consumers can easily access other ‘authentic’ narratives through their social networks. …
In content marketing, campaign objectives are the entry requirements of every story we create. Objectives need to be delivered on and stories often need to be bent (gracefully) to better hit those objectives.
At the same time, we also have a powerful commitment to engage the audience. We know audiences value authenticity and transparency, and we know that while brand integration is largely the norm in content circles, it’s easy to step too far and sacrifice authenticity for brand fit.
In our work as a video agency, it’s not uncommon to get feedback on edits requesting a greater role for brand in the stories we make. It often comes in the form of particular sound bites asked to be added or given more prominence. This is presumably to better hit brand objectives and to strengthen links between product and story. …
Thinking is a powerful force. How we think leads to technological advancement, competitive advantage and new innovative ways of working through problems and developing solutions.
Similarly, telling stories of thinking can inspire our co-workers to follow our lead. More persuasive than information, stories about thinking can make us feel part of a larger company momentum, which motivates us to want to take part.
Most of all though, we need stories that feel like thinking.
Spend any time in a school classroom and you will see the makings of a story about thinking. In secondary schools, teachers draw out the internal machinations of thinking in order to shape, develop and direct positive habits in students. …
In our private lives, when we are home on the couch, scrolling through our social media platform of choice (mine is Instagram by the way) we find ourselves quickly drawn to successful, famous and beautiful people (usually all three at once).
These people seem to exude an effortless significance, so that even their most minute daily tasks seem engaging. We tune in each day to hear the secret to their success, from working out to making fruit smoothies.
When it comes to service focused businesses, it’s easy to believe that clients and prospects will be similarly drawn into our stories of success. …
“Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.”
The common interpretation of that statement is that the wasted half can be minimised through metrics. Digital marketing promises as much. Its key strength over broadcast or print is its ‘knowability’ which can lead to vast leaps in marketing efficiency.
This knowability leads us to strange places. In content marketing for example, we’re encouraged to think that we can use engagement signals alone to guide our way through the fog of mediocre work and emerge into the garden of great work.
I think that is only half the story. …
Video will no longer be special in 2019.
According to Buffer’s 2019 State of Social report, marketers who never publish video dropped 25% to 14% from 2017 to 2018. In the same period, those that publish video daily doubled (6% to 12.9%). Imagine that a few years ago. 13% of marketers using video daily. Daily.
With LinkedIn jumping (late) on the bandwagon last year, native autoplay video is now in every major social network platform, from B2B to B2C. On Instagram, videos created each day quadrupled from 2017 to 2018. …
For four years my small video production business has been running its media backup systems on swappable 3.5 inch hard disk drives. In June 2018, we upgraded that limited system with a new Magstor Thunderbolt 3 LTO7 drive to complete the circle of a robust off/on site backup system impervious to the failure rate of spinning disk drives.
We are not a large production company. We turn over about 20–30 projects a year, with most productions turning in around 1–2TB of footage each. Our projects are made up of 4k footage shot for short branded content pieces and TVCs. …
Tips for guiding unscripted stories
“My advice to all interviewers is: Shut up and listen. It’s harder than it sounds.” — Errol Morris.
A great interview is the bedrock of engaging unscripted branded content.
As audience hunger for narrative continues to build, marketers are faced with great opportunity and risk; today there are more channels and avenues to reach audiences than ever before, with a renewed interest in short format unscripted content. In such a world, increasingly the way a brand speaks, acts, and is perceived by its audience, depends on the characters it chooses to speak for them.
Such characters are not always ‘on board’ with campaign objectives. They are not media trained. They possess schedules and priorities independent of ours, the filmmakers, and yet, because of their capacity for authenticity and emotional context, these same characters are an opportunity to reach new levels of audience connection. …
You might think that since brand films (or branded content) are typically concerned with positive emotions, they should be largely devoid of conflict. But the truth is, brands need conflict to bring their stories to life.
Conflict builds tension, drives narrative and acts as the catalyst for transformation, from bad to good and from point A to point B. Bound up in conflict (and its resolution) are a whole bunch of emotions that make a story good — like suspense, triumph, connection, love, loss and inspiration.
Conflict can come from almost anywhere, but there are a few key types usually spotted in brand films. …
My five most frequent stops for daily inspiration and perspective.
Simply put, it’s the days most fascinating news delivered to your inbox. Curated with wit and intelligence by Dave Pell. A consistent source for inspiration for stories, and just a great way to understand more about the world we don’t read about.
The source for Directors commentaries, behind the scenes photography and video essays. A must for any enthusiast of the dark arts. It keeps the ideas flowing and doubles as your daily filmschool attendance.
You can find just about everything at BOOOOOOOM! — art, film, music, design, misc. …