Case Study: GoDaddy: Celebrating Entrepreneurs

Posted by Nick Francis
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This year we've traveled across the country profiling entrepreneurs for GoDaddy. Highlighting people who are following their passions and carving their own path, these 2-3 minute mini-documentaries showcase inspiring stories from GoDaddy's customer base. These stories are then pushed out on their YouTube, Instagram, and other social media platforms.

This campaign is cultivating a community of people who are committed to the small-business economy and inspiring others to pursue their own side-hustles and follow their dreams.

GoDaddy: Cubs the Poet is Out to Show the World Poetry Still Matters

Cubs is breathing new life into a classic form of art: poetry. What started as reciting rhymes on the street became a business when he recognized a demand for custom poems. Cubs draws on the vibrant energy of the New Orleans community to craft pieces that allow him to meet people where they are and help them evolve. Written on an old school typewriter, his poems weave together emotions with words to deeply connect with people’s innermost thoughts and feelings. Most recently, Cubs launched his own publishing company to produce a book and help other poets and writers share their work with the world.

Learn more about Cubs...


GoDaddy: Whitney Mitchell is Capturing the Beauty of New Orleans Through the Eyes of it's People

After a career-ending track injury at LSU, Whitney knew she had more to offer the world. She knew she had a story to tell. Picking up her camera, she became dedicated to capturing the beauty of her friends, showcasing the vibrant culture of New Orleans right along with it. This passion led to Twomacks, a brand rooted in music, art, clothes and kicks and a celebration of all her city has to offer. As her business grew, she began connecting with folks deeply rooted in New Orleans culture, tapping into something special to paint a picture of the city’s flamboyant spirit. Through her content, Whitney highlights the characters and views that make this buzzing New Orleans community so unique.

Learn more about Whitney...


 

GoDaddy: Danielle Smith is Designing the Bag that Every Music Producer Needs

After graduating from FIT, Danielle Smith found herself immersed in a community of musicians, singers and artists. Music producer and friend SKI BEATZ asked her to create a bag that could carry his MPC, which became the first SOUNbag prototype. SOUNbag allows creatives to pack up their equipment and carry their studio on the go.

Check out the design studio of SOUNbag founder Danielle Smith and get the scoop on how her company got its start, right here!


Is your company making great stories happen? If you want to share them in the best way possible you should get in touch with one of our team. Our experienced producers who will be happy to bring them to life with you. Make a no obligation enquiry by email or right here.

Topics: Explain or promote products and services, Increase brand awareness and appeal, Production process, Talking head, Case Study

Case Study: RB: Are you Listening?

Posted by Nick Francis
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We get to work on a wide range of work at Casual. It's great when we get to produce a piece of work which stands for something that we believe in. It's even better when we get the opportunity to be really creative in producing it. That is what happened with this film for multinational consumer goods company RB. To give the project a real cherry on top we were over the moon to win a Gold Dolphin at the Cannes Corporate Film Awards.

THE BRIEF

Produce a video for social distribution about RB’s 'Reduce, Reuse, Replace and Recycle' commitment to plastics. Through that commitment they aim to remove or reduce plastic packaging wherever possible. They are also investing in research into alternative materials that can replace its use.

So the film should reinforce RB's commitment on plastics, in the framework of their purpose
- Generate interest on their commitment on plastics
- Drive behavioural change
- Create connections with stakeholders and boost conversations

It style is should reflect RB’s identity (confident, direct and simple). Have a human element and be factual, but emotive.

RB is inspired by a vision of the world where people are healthier and live better. RB invests in innovative solutions for healthier lives and happier homes. "Everyone has a role to play. A cleaner world is everyone's responsibility.“

THE SOLUTION

RB: The Planet is Speaking: Are you Listening

A thought-provoking and emotive sound-design led film that compels the viewer to take action.

In this simple yet visually powerful film, we will capture moving tableaux of beautiful landscapes and evocative natural elements, and create matching soundscapes for each tableau, out of non-recycled plastic.

It is not until later in the film that we reveal that these ambient nature sounds have all been made out of plastic products - straws, water bottles, plastic bags - by Foley artists in a studio. The viewer is led by on screen text that sets up the story, challenges them to really listen to the plastics problem and join in the commitment for a cleaner world.

The emotive power of this film starts with the beautiful and evocative natural images we are seeing, and ultimately builds until the final reveal.

It’s time to listen to our Planet.

 

RESULTS

"Sometimes in corporate life you get to work on a project that can really make a difference and means a lot to you personally. Are you listening? The RB film we made with our friends at Casual Films is one of those projects. It outlines how we see the issue of plastics at RB, and encourages others to take action too. And all in 90 seconds! We’re very proud of it - and tonight have another reason to be, as we won a Gold Dolphin at the Cannes Corporate Film Awards. Watch the film, share the film, and most of all - let’s all do our bit to reduce plastics.

- Jo Osborn – VP Internal Communications & Corporate Brand, RB

“It seems I am already late sharing it, but I really want to say how proud I am of this film about plastics and how strongly I believe in it. Since the first meeting about the concept I have had goose bumps about its impact. Today we are celebrating it in Cannes with a Gold Dolphin Cannes Corporate Film Awards. It was a lot of work, but worth all the reviews and discussions!”

- Federica Di Persio – Corporate Brand Manager, RB

 

AWARDS

The Planet is Talking: Are you Listening also won a Gold Dolphin for Environmental Issues and Concerns at the 2019 Cannes Dolphins Corporate Film awards.

Cannes Dolphins RB Are You Listening Award Win


Whatever you're trying to achieve with your video project, the most important step you take is the first one. Get off on the right foot with our no nonsense guide to writing a really effective brief. You can download it here.

If you would like to discuss a project with one of our team of experienced producers - no salespeople - please drop us a line here. We look forward to helping you make your next project the best yet.

 

Topics: Increase brand awareness and appeal, Production process, How-to, Case Study

Promoting diversity and inclusion with video? You should read this...

Posted by Nick Francis
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Homogeneity is never a great thing - unless you’re a pint of milk – in which case you’ve probably got other things to worry about other than this blog post. Diversity brings strength; differing viewpoints, ideas and experiences. Being different but all the same is one of the things that makes the world the place that it is. Variety is the spice of life, as they say.

We get to produce films for all sorts of different reasons at Casual. Some of the ones that we’re most proud of are the ones which help to increase tolerance and understanding, making life tangibly better for those who don't fit the stereotype of normality – whatever that is. Fair enough, some of the greatest crimes against music have been committed in the name of diversity. “Ebony and Ivory”, while noble in aim, is so terrible that Sir Paul deserves to have his plaudits from the Beatles expunged from the ledger. Stevie Wonder frankly should have known better too.

Anyway… we’ve pulled together some of our favourite Diversity and Inclusion projects to inspire you to get started:

Rolls-Royce - live action/animated profiles

Rolls Royce - I&D Kaz (1)

Celebrating our People - Kaz's Story

This series of films celebrate all the different people and backgrounds that comprise the staff at Rolls-Royce. They're relatively simple treatments, with animation and additional footage adding colour and depth, but that doesn't stop them from being really effective. They're a great example of how video can be used to bring intangible concepts like diversity and tolerance to life.

This project was initially kicked off by Global Employer Brand Manager, Dan Perkins. If you want to learn more about diversity, inclusion, internal engagement and employer brand at Rolls-Royce, check out Nick's conversation with him here.

Rolls Royce - I&D Shaid (1)

Celebrating our People - Shaid's Story

 


Action Sustainability - live action humour

Action_Sustainability_Language (1)

Language!

Films with worthy aims don’t have to be worthy in nature. Sometimes a little humour doesn’t go amiss, as with these films, highlighting bullying and wellbeing on construction sites. They were shown at the beginning of a discussion amongst employees. They're a good example of creative designed to engage and educate a very specific audience.

Action Sustainability - Well-Being (1)

Well-Being


Standard Bank - animation

Standard Bank - Conflicts of Interest

Conflicts of Interest

OK, so this animation was technically produced to help employees to understand potential Conflicts of Interest at Standard Bank. This one focuses on an important part of inclusivity - namely, treat your colleagues as you would like them to treat you. It shows how damaging simple thoughtlessness can be and encourages viewers to think a little more about how their actions affect others. The animation is kind of great too.


Vodafone - set piece discussion/visual metaphor set-up

Vodafone - LGBT+ Empowered

LGBT+ Empowered

Vodafone has set the goal of being the number one employer for women and LGBTQ+ in the markets in which they operate. Over the years, we have made a number of D&I films with them, most of which we've shared in this blog. For this film we asked Vodafone employees to discuss some of the challenges around being a LGBTQ+ person in the workplace. The production is relatively simple, with a selection of interviewees talking around a table. We pulled out a number of key facts to help underline the points being made.

Vodafone - Equal in Work

Equal in Work

This film is part of the same campaign. The treatment does a good job of making the challenges faced by LGBTQ+ individuals in the workplace really tangible. There is also the neat visual metaphorical pun of the burden they shoulder.

To learn more about Vodafone, you can listen to Olly and Nick's conversation with Global head of Learning, Catalina Schveninger here.


 

Whatever you're trying to achieve with your video project, the most important step you take is the first one. Get off on the right foot with our no nonsense guide to writing a really effective brief. You can download it here.

If you would like to discuss a project with one of our team of experienced producers - no salespeople - please drop us a line here. We look forward to helping you make your next project the best yet.

 

Topics: Attract and retain the best candidates, Train and develop staff, Increase brand awareness and appeal, Being a better commissioner, Purpose driven video

Five videos to inspire your tech brand / start-up to the next level

Posted by Nick Francis
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So, obviously your company is going to change the world - changing people's lives in every corner of the globe. The problem is that they don’t know that... yet.

Video brings your company and your data alive, helping to share your ideas, attract customers and even secure your next round of finance. Video has an amazing ability to capture the essence of what you are doing and share it in a compelling way that will make people sit up, notice and remember you after you have left the room.

This is one of the reasons we have produced so many videos for tech businesses. You might be thinking that a video could help you and that's great. Here are five examples to get your creative juices flowing. Enjoy...

1. Verve Street Team

Verve - Street Team US

 

We love animation because of its ability to illustrate processes in a clear and engaging manner. They also allow you to bring your brand colour palate to life. This film for influencer platform Verve makes a really great job of this. There are other benefits to animation like this too – once you have the illustrated assets you can use them in other productions, you may also choose to use them in other marketing materials too. Animation also allows you to show functionality which is either in development or is difficult to film.


2. Moveworks

Moveworks - Brand Video

 

We love this brand film we recently completed for Moveworks with our friends at Emotive Brand. It’s got energy and more than a little verve. The animated captions do a great job of illustrating the problem and solution all the while driven by the sound track which conveys the no nonsense approach of the platform.


3. Lattice Semiconductor

Lattice Semiconductors

 

Maybe you don't want an illustrated animation but your product is still difficult to film. That’s cool – that’s where using stock video can really help. This film for Lattice Semiconductor was relatively simple to produce but that doesn't stop it from being extremely effective for explaining exactly what the business does.


4. Glint

Glint - Testimonials 04

 

It can be really useful to enrol the help of an expert to build trust with the audience. Interview led/talking head remain one of the most effective and cost efficient ways to get your message across. Here, the interviewee explains the product in a simple and easy to follow interview. When combined with the overlaid footage of people using it, it makes for a very strong product promo film.


5. Pavegen - Crowd Funding

Pavegen CrowdCube 2019-1

 

Sometimes you might need to wrap it all together in a package to persuade people to invest in your idea. We made just such a film for smart cities firm Pavegen. Their innovative technology captures the energy produced by pedestrian footsteps and turns it into energy - approximately 5 watts per footstep!

This video featured on their CrowdCube funding page and helped them to smash their original target of £950,000 with a total fundraise of over £2.6 million! We wouldn't be so crass as to say that our film was the reason for this success... but it probably didn't hurt. 


So there you go – five examples of ways that you can bring your tech business to life with video. We’d love to talk to you about how video can help you. Drop us a note, or send us an email, and one of our experienced producers will be happy to help you find just the right idea for you and your budget.

Topics: Increase brand awareness and appeal, Boost sales and encourage donations, Being a better commissioner, Content Strategy

Five branded content examples to make you want to shakedown the CFO

Posted by Nick Francis
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One of the most exciting developments in corporate/brand video production over the last ten years has been the growth in content which is very light touch on branding or marketing messages. As audiences have become more empowered to choose how they spend their time online brands have looked to align themselves with the types of content which their audiences go out of their way to find and watch.

This has led to some really cool, very watchable examples. Because we really love a list here we thought we’d pull together five of our favs to whet your appetites for the opportunities that are available. As Red Bull showed with their Stratos Jump even the sky isn’t the limit when it comes to this stuff…

Star Alliance – Connecting Cultures

WSJ STAR ALLIANCE TRAILER

Jobs don’t get much more desirable than being an actual travel journalist. Star Alliance and Wall St Journal tasked Robert Reid with going to six of the destinations serviced by their airlines around the world. The challenge was for him to have an adventure in each which went beyond the standard experience that visitors to those locations usually enjoy. Cue Muay Thai kick boxing in Bangkok, racing with huskies in Canada and performing live at the Native American Gathering of Nations. Beautifully shot, dynamic and brilliantly presented by Robert, these are a gem.

WSJ - StarAlliance USA

Robert Reid drums at the Gathering of Nations in New Mexico.

 

Allianz – #CarStories ‘Safari’

Allianz - Hamers Safari-1

How can branded content work for an insurance company? Well, armed with the insight that by providing car insurance, Allianz facilitate the huge amount of family life experience which is lived in the family car, we set about creating a series of videos for social which illustrated what that means. The short, honest portrayals were a massive hit and generated huge engagement on Facebook, where their short length made them easily consumable and sharable.

“The YouTube view completion rate was 85%!

Which was so high that the YouTube team got in touch with

us to find out how we did it.”

In order to be real the production team set up a fixed rig of cameras in each car and then let the families get on with it while the production was monitored from a car behind. The director was able to communicate with an ear piece in one of the adult’s ears to keep them on track.

 

Adobe – Jonathan Adler

Adobe - Jonathan Adler Teaser

Adobe have created a wide range of really lovely content for their Create channel – which is well worth checking out. We really like this video because Jonathan’s character comes across to clearly and amusingly. This goes to show that if you can find a great interviewee, the ‘talking head’ and b-roll format can be extremely effective.

Adobe - Sharm

We also recently delivered this film which features London graphic artist Sharm Murugiah. Again, thanks to Sharm's stunning work and some overlaid graphics, the film looks kind of delish.

 

Glenmorangie – Evolution of Craft

Glenmorangie - Evolution of Craft (1)

 

Prestige whisky brand Glenmorangie wanted to illustrate the craft that goes into making their Scotch. What better way of doing that than getting celebrity chef Marcus Samuelsson to take a trip to the distillery and see the process for himself. His presentation and genuine passion for the product really shine through.

Upworthy – Acting Stereotypes

Upworthy - Acting Sterotypes

Sometimes branded content can be about something that really matters. This film for Upworthy excellently illustrates the challenges of racial stereotyping in one of its most blatant forms - the way non-white actors are asked to respond to casting and direction. A hard hitting point made powerfully and all the more effectively thanks to the tiny bit of humour added by the actors at the offensive bizarreness of the situation.


Whatever you're trying to create, getting the brief just right gets you off to the very best start. You can download our free guide to writing a really effective brief right here.

 

Topics: Increase brand awareness and appeal, Being a better commissioner, Purpose driven video, Content Strategy, Brands as broadcasters

What's it like filming in a rainforest in London?

Posted by Nick Francis
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We’ve recently delivered a series of films for London Zoo on Behalf of Evening Standard Independent Group. It’s been a real labour of love for the crew, particularly Olly Atkinson, who has always had a bit of a soft spot for our furry friends. In his rich and varied careers before Casual he produced none other than the Secret Life of Hedgehogs. David Attenborough watch your back.

To find out a bit more about the process of shooting in the zoo we caught up with Olly to ask him about some of the challenges of shooting in a synthesised rainforest. Misty camera lenses and plastic cased GoPros watch out – the climbing anteater is about…

London Zoo Olly Interview

Casual's London MD, Olly Atkinson, who produced the films explains some of surprising challenges of shooting in a zoo! Keep watching to see the film at the end


Whatever you want to make a video about or expert global team are on hand to help. Fill in your details and thoughts on the form on this page and one of them will get back in touch very shortly. We've produced work from the Canadian Arctic to the Iraqi Desert (and a fair few conference rooms in between), so our staff understand your challenges and how to translate them into effective video content efficiently, whether your films subjects are going to try to break open and eat the camera, or not.

You can find the book a call back form here.

 

Topics: Increase brand awareness and appeal, Production process, How-to, About Casual

What is Big Rock Content?

Posted by Nick Francis
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“What you’re really seeking is to be trusted, to be heard, to be talked about, and to matter. And if we look at any brand that’s succeeded, that is what they have done.”
- Jason Miller, Content and Social Marketing Leader, LinkedIn

The term ‘Big Rock’ content was initially coined by Jason Miller, LinkedIn’s Head of Content. He describes it as a piece of content so substantial it allows the brand sharing it to ‘own the conversation’. This is the ultimate extension of Google’s hero content. Red Bull’s ‘Stratos Jump’ is a perfect example of this; it’s so audacious and the brand’s ownership is so complete that it excludes anyone else from getting involved.

 

However, this is maybe pushing the realms of possibility for 99.99% of brands. Nike’s ‘Breaking 2’ was one of the standout pieces of content in 2017, where the brand got together three of the fastest marathon runners in an attempt to break the 2-hour barrier. The attempt created a large amount of support - atomised - content, and earned large amounts of online coverage.

Talks at GS Malcolm GladwellMalcolm Gladwell on Talks at GS

A slightly more accessible example of this is Goldman Sachs Talks at GS series. These productions – reminiscent of TED talks in their approach and quality – feature presidents, actors, and business and charity founders, who are some of the most interesting thinkers and personalities of our time. The interviews are up to 20 to 30 minutes in length, which means that there is loads of content that can be repurposed into shorter outputs to be shared elsewhere. The channel sets the bank up as a powerhouse for global business and financial success, and has earned over 30 million views on YouTube so far.

Whatever you decide to make your ‘Big Rock’, there are a couple of things to keep in mind:

Make it really big and really desirable. It needs to be audacious and eye-catching enough for your audience to share their personal details with you to get involved. This may just be an email address, but it could be so significant that they will actually pay for it. Whatever the goal – make it big.

Consider two points: What conversation do you want to own? What is the number-one question on your audience’s minds? Where do these two questions intersect? They may well not, in which case you need to think about how you can transpose the two without compromising too much. This is where you should place your ‘Big Rock’.

Once you’ve made the investment in your ‘Big Rock’, you can repurpose parts of the output again and again - 'atomising' it if you like. You can use these smaller pieces of content to drive engagement with the central story. This can, in turn, massively increase your return on the original investment.


Whether you want some guidance on what your 'Big Rock' might be, or if you just want to make sure you're sharing the right kind of content in the first place, a free consultation call is a great place to start. Click here to book a call back with one of our content experts and learn just how much more your content could be doing for you.

 

Topics: Increase brand awareness and appeal, Being a better commissioner, Content Strategy, Brands as broadcasters

Learning from Nike : How context supercharges content effectiveness

Posted by Nick Francis
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Timing, they say, is everything.

Your audience are faced by a deluge of content every time they browse their social channels. Which is why it is getting harder and harder to cut through to them. Like random banner ads before them, so much content is subconsciously filtered out before they even notice it. The only way to get around it is by creating work that your audience are predisposed to engage with at the moment they see it. This is why the context in which it is viewed is essential in landing your content with them.

Subconscious Filtering?

This filtering of information is essential to allow us to focus on what is important and to stop us from going crazy from monitoring the huge number of stimuli that our bodies sense at any given moment. From thousands our brains limit us to being aware of only around 40. To do this, our RAS or Reticular Activating System (the brain’s CPU) instantaneously filters out anything which our subconscious judges to be extraneous information. This part of the brain learns very quickly what to look out for – it is why when you are looking at buying a red Volkswagen you suddenly see red Volkswagens everywhere. It, of course, also works for the things that we have learned to ignore.

1280-reticular-activating-systemThis is why we can see a hundred different ads while scrolling or browsing and never really notice them, but then one pops up with just the right thing at just the right time and boom, we click-through and buy. This is the essence of context. This is the importance of timing, which is why programmatic retargeting has been so successful (the process that continues to advertise products to you after you have visited a certain webpage). It’s why Google has grown to be, well, Google.

Get the timing right and an ad which cost you pennies to place can become the most valuable piece of advertising you do that day.

Nike put Tiger Wood's Masters win in context

Last weekend you may have noticed that Tiger Woods staged one of the most impressive career come backs in the history of golf, if not sport. He was once the global megastar of the sport, winning 14 major titles and being accused of ruining the game by making the rest of the world's best compete for second place. His implacable, uncompromisingly focused facade hid some challenging truths which came home to roost in dramatic fashion. He fell from grace, he lost his game and dropped out of the World's Top 1000. Most people wrote him off. Last weekend, he came back back and won his 5th US Masters - one, if not the, of the hardest fought tournaments in the sport - at the age of 43, the second oldest winner ever. It was a stunning moment in a story that has captivated the world of sport for nearly over 20 years.

Nike's Same Dream Spot - shared in the moments after Wood's win

Behind the scenes on Sunday, there was another level of genius/fortunate planning at work. In the moments after Woods donned the cherished green jacket of the Masters winner Nike shared an ad on their social channels which nailed the feeling of the moment. A relatively inexpensive edit which allowed them to capitalise on the estimated $22.5M worth of publicity that the brand received while Woods completed his final round. Sunday was the most watched round of golf in history. As far as content goes the edit was pretty basic – a few recuts of old footage of Tiger playing with some inspirational interview audio from his early life. For a brand like Nike the production of a piece of content like this is almost as basic it gets – it was after all a punt on their man actually winning– but it paid off in spades. 

Oreo - You can still dunk in the dark Super BowlOreo shared this image on Twitter when the lights famously went out during the 2013 Super Bowl

Like the Oreo – “you can still dunk in the dark” tweet – it smashed any goal the brand might have set because it was timed to utter perfection. It was amusing and impressive that they were ready with someone who knew what they were doing to be able to create and share it. But it was the timing that really nailed it. That was why it was retweeted 10,000 times in the first hour and was regarded by many as the prestigious 'ad of the night', beating out competition from spots which cost literally one million times more.

How to think about Context

Given the depth of data now available about your audience online, traditional demographic data – the meat and gravy of traditional (pre-digital) audience targeting is fairly lacking. This is because you ultimately want to target anyone who might buy your product or be the right fit for your job - it doesn’t matter where they live or how old they are. A more effective way of thinking about audience targeting is through Behaviours, Emotions and Moments or BEMs:

Behaviours:
Have consumers demonstrated (or exhibited proxy behaviour) that indicates interest in a specific or related product area? Have they actively sought out or mentioned a particular product or service? 
Emotions:
Has a particular product or service suddenly become more relevant to them? Are they posting emotional responses that suggest they would be receptive to certain brand messages? Ice cream can be great for lifting the spirits, a new job for those dissatisfied with work, a glass of champagne for someone feeling elated.
Moments:
What event might trigger a desire to buy or interact? Possibly changes in weather, transport strikes or sports events? Has the consumer entered a specific location which might make them more susceptible to your message - there is always a surge in job searching and relationship breakups around and immediately after Christmas.

Thousands of golfers will have been thinking: "I wonder what putters there are on the market at the minute?" Bang. That was the moment the video hit. That is the essence of context.

The reason this timing is so essential is that it allows the marketer to take advantage of the specific triggers that will lead your audience to engage in any given moment. How many people reached for an Oreo while watching the Super Bowl after seeing that tweet and in all the press it got afterward? More to the point, the Nike video was perfectly timed because it was shared at the moment that the audience are at their most inspired. Thousands of golfers will have been thinking about dusting off the clubs and maybe replacing their putter before playing a round. "I wonder what putters there are on the market at the minute?" Bang. That was the moment the video hit. Building on the positivity and oozy feelgood-ness of the moment and tying the brand into his glory. Making sure it was front of mind for anyone thinking of getting back out there and 'spoiling a good walk' - as Oscar Wilde would have said.

How can you find out about the BEMs of your audience?

The best way to work out the BEMs that work most effectively for your target audience is through testing and measuring. Make some sensible assumptions and then try them out. How can you use the information that you know about your audience to create content that will hit them while they're doing just the right thing, at just the right time, in just the right mood to engage? Test, measure, reiterate and improve.


Wherever or whenever you are targeting your audience, according to Google/YouTube the key to effective content campaigns is really great content. Download our free ten step guide to making sure the material you share is as good as it can be right here:

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Topics: Attract and retain the best candidates, Explain or promote products and services, Increase brand awareness and appeal, Boost sales and encourage donations, Being a better commissioner, Content Strategy

Your business is now a media company. What does that mean for you?

Posted by Nick Francis
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No matter what your business does, advances in technology mean you now have the ability to create and share more content than ever before. This puts you in charge of your own content channel. Your audience expect you to use it. This post will show you how.

Media company?

Advances in technology have put the power of production studios in the palms of our hands. At the same time, global distribution is easier than ever. This has major implications for all of us, particularly those in business communications. Many brands have taken advantage of these evolutions to take on the role of broadcasters in their own right – the leaders in the space have generated brand value which challenges that of the actual product.

Nearly every business is creating and sharing more content than they have in the past. Whether you like it or not, your audience – customers, staff, shareholders – expect you to use the channels available to you to communicate with them. To capitalise on this you need to make a series of mindset shifts about the content that you share:

  • Your content is a product
  • Your purpose is your cornerstone
  • Increase your timeframe
  • Combine different content threads
  • Think multichannel

 

1. Your content is a product

The most important shift towards operating like a media company is to value your content like any of the other product that your organisation produces. Traditional broadcasters, of course, have to think like that as it’s their only output. Whatever your company produces, if you’re serious about building your brand’s cachet, you need to think of your content as additional element of your product offering to your customers.

Autodesk - 3D Printing

Your content should be TRUE - Timely, Relevant, Useful, Entertaining

Why is this? In your audience’s minds, it’s difficult to unpick the different elements that contribute to your brand’s value. If you create and share material that hasn’t been properly thought through, incoherent or poor quality, what does that say about the rest of the things that your business produces? There was a time in the early days of having video online when you could be forgiven for sharing substandard work. That time has passed – with modern tools almost every member of your audience has the ability to create and share quality content. They are also used to consuming high quality content through YouTube and Netflix. The material you share has to be of value to the audience in order to cut through to them.

 2. Your purpose is your cornerstone

Like any traditional media channel, there needs to be a degree of coherence to the content you share. Think about watching BBC2 or Channel Five in the UK, or Fox News or HBO in the US. They have a feel about them, which if you’re familiar with them, you will be able to pick up on. The branding and tone of voice of your channel is a post for another time (or maybe a call). For now, suffice to say that all the content that you share should have an association with your purpose as a business.

Your business purpose is useful for defining your content because it leads to that important coherence and more impactful content. Most businesses now have a purpose which goes beyond the simple profit motive – what Simon Sinek calls their ‘Why’. This forms an excellent jumping off point for all of the content that you produce. It doesn’t necessarily mean your content need to all be about your purpose, but there should be a straight-line association between the two.

3. Increase your timeframe

Another shift to make is to understand that to see the returns that this approach offers you need to be prepared to build your audience following over a longer term that you might currently be used to. Traditional marketing tends to take place on a seasonal cycle. Spring follows winter follow autumn etc. This is largely the effect of the quarterly and annual business reporting cycle. It will take a longer period to build the following and brand affinity with your audience that being a broadcaster can generate.

Traditional broadcasters tend to think in decades. They aim to engage viewers in their mid-to-late teens, and then keep them, with different types of programming, throughout their lives. Now, of course, this is completely unrealistic as a timeframe for the majority of businesses, but the evolution of content that a network offers over a lifetime can be condensed into the different types of content that you should share over a prospective customer’s sales/engagement-lifecycle journey.

Long-term business value relies on finding, keeping and growing customers who come back to our brands for years. We do that by becoming so much more to our consumers than just a soap or shoe supplier. We want our products to be as useful to our customers as they possibly can be, so why not aim to make the content that supports them as helpful as possible too? We want to provide the customer with as much value as we economically can – whether that is in the quality of your physical product, or in the material that you share to support and promote it.

These businesses don’t think in discrete, cyclical campaigns, but in a rolling, evolving journey for their audience – much like a traditional network TV channel. There are – of course – quick wins to be had, and video can drive very immediate results, which is all that the majority of businesses are going to use it for, and that’s fine. There is no reason why your business can’t positively transform its standing in the market on the back of a carefully considered, creative content strategy. To do that, you need to start thinking a little longer term.

4. Maximise your content

In terms of engagement rates, video is the most important type of content for you to share, There are many different types which can back this up, providing engagement in different spheres on the many different platforms. These might include written blogs, Instagram posts or podcasts. It is often possible to repurpose or reedit content to maximise the return for your investment. This might include pulling images for Instagram or ripping audio to be shared as a podcast. The production of video and blogs take time so you want to make sure you get the maximum mileage from them.

Social MediaIn the old cliché - 'fish where the fish are'

5. Think multichannel

Your audience engage with different platforms in different ways at different times of the day. You need to share the content in the way that they want to consume it – not the other way around. For example, your audience might engage with short form ‘snack’ content on Snapchat in the morning but be prepared to watch a longer piece of content on YouTube in the evening. They don’t necessarily see the distinct definitions between different platforms that you do. Whatever the platform you are sharing content on, it is important that the underlying brand narrative is consistent (See point 2). 


Whatever stage you’re at in your content journey we’re keen to help you get to the next level. Drop us a line and we can help you make 2019 your best year yet.

If you want to read more about how to create a content strategy, or if you just want to learn about the difference between a Gaffer and a Focus puller you should check out Nick’s new book: The New Fire: Harness the Power of Video for Your Business.

Topics: Increase brand awareness and appeal, Being a better commissioner, Content Strategy

Five Awesome Brand Films to Get You Inspired for 2019

Posted by Nick Francis
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Being an almost limitlessly creative medium makes video an exciting and rewarding tool to work with. One of the things we like about making video for businesses is that we have very clear constraints within which to work. Unconstrained creativity is anarchic. Within constraints creativity flourishes. This is why having a well thought out brief is so central to creating work which is memorable and effective. You can download our guide to writing a good brief here.

Before you start with any project it helps to have an idea of the kind of thing you want to produce. To that end, we thought we’d pull together a few films which nail it - to help you to channel your thinking. Have a watch, have a think, and then maybe get in touch with an exciting production company you might know...

Dramatised Charity Film: 

Oxfam – The Heist No One is Talking About

 

This is probably my favourite charity film of all time. By reframing the issue of tax evasion, it makes the subject far more tangible for the audience. It is as illuminating as it is memorable. The cinematic production really adds to the drama and impact.

Inspiration point:

Films with this much gloss and thought require a significant investment. You can get a long way to a result like this with some decent creative thought up front. Once you have an idea as powerful as this, there are almost limitless ways of producing it - Hollywood production values or not.

 

Repurposed Material:

BMW Careers

BMW - Careers (1)

We love this film because it demonstrates how effective video can be at illustrating company culture. It was produced from the large amount of material that BMW already had. This was combined with some library footage and a punchy soundtrack, to deliver an effect that is eye-catching, memorable and effective.

Inspiration point:

Even if you're not BMW with endless amounts of great footage, have a think about the material you already have. Maybe you can update it, add to it or repurpose it easily to give you great content that you can get more mileage out of.

 

Business Mini-Doc:

AutoDesk – History of 3D Printing 

Autodesk - 3D Printing

Most companies are associated with interesting stories if you look beneath the surface. I like this mini documentary because it allows Autodesk to give real depth and context to the work that they do. It builds trust with the company both internally - with employees - and externally - with customers, prospects and potential recruits.

Inspiration point:

Admittedly, 3D printing is kind of cool and looks good on camera – especially the time lapse footage. There are always interesting stories that you can use to build trust with your brand if you look for them. Keep an open mind and ask around. Ask your employees/colleagues/clients. Video is a magnifying glass on issues. You can make a film about an individual or an event and reflect the story of the many.

 

Interactive:

Aloe Black

 Love is the Answer InteractiveThis will link you out to an external site.

This isn’t a brand film, and the interactive is pretty basic, but we still tend to go to this as a great example of the medium, because it’s so satisfying. It doesn’t hurt that the track is ace too. As with any new creative technology, some of the early  interactive has been a little prone to gimmickry. This confidently avoids that because the interactive adds to the narrative of the band coming together. It manages to inspire excitement as we switch from storyline to storyline, seeing what the next band member is up to. This could be used in a corporate context to show almost any process where different threads run concurrently - a recruitment process, a product being assembled or an even being prepared.

Inspiration point:

Interactive video is a great way of increasing engagement with your audience. We have seen engagement rates on some of our interactive films rate at nearly 4x live action video. It may seem a little intimidating, but it just requires an understanding of the mechanics and a little preplanning.  

  

Mixed Media Product Launch

Apple’s Big News

 

Sure, it’s Apple, so it’s stylish, glossy and delish. Producing something like this doesn’t need to cost an Apple budget though. This video works because it combines a number of elements effectively: live action video, on screen type, beautifully rendered animation, powerful audio blended with a strong dash of humour. Most of these elements are inexpensive to create, it just requires a good script and some planning. They can come up with the creative idea and then produce it quickly and efficiently. 

Inspiration point:

 

It's easier to create something like this than it looks. Being clear on what you're trying to achieve before you start is the key. Once you have this, a professional producer can help you to create something memorable and effective.


It helps the production team if you have an idea what you want your video to look like. Whatever you're trying to achieve take a moment to consult our easy to follow guide to writing briefs which will make your video more engaging, memorable and ultimately effective.

Topics: Attract and retain the best candidates, Increase brand awareness and appeal, Boost sales and encourage donations, Being a better commissioner, Repurposed content, Content Strategy

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