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

Webinar: How to get great videos made with Vodafone

Posted by Nick Francis
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We're extremely grateful to Vodafone's Global Head of Learning, Catalina Schveninger who was kind enough to share her time and ideas with us in the first of our Better Video Power Hour Webinars. We managed to cover a wide range of thoughts and ideas in just 40 short minutes so there's lots in there for commissioners and producers to benefit from. 

Catalina started out in HR in 2002 working for GE. Since then she has worked in a variety of international roles, including T Mobile in the Netherlands. She joined Vodafone in 2014 as their Global Head of Resourcing and Employer Brand. Over the year she has commissioned a wide variety of content projects and so is well placed to share how to get really effective work made. You can watch the recording of the webinar here.

Vodafone - Hero

Vodafone - Youth Hero Film

This is one of the films that we discussed with Catalina - an attraction piece for younger potential employees. She was at pains to say that if your finance department don't like the content you're producing to attract a young audience to find out more, the chances are it's about right. She shared how you can build support to help to get the content that needs to be made made. Given the amount of noise in the online environment, making content which doesn't differentiate is not an option.

Some of the questions we covered include:

  • Why use video?
  • How to get creative ideas made within a large corporate?
  • Who is doing it really well?
  • How to get your videos seen?
  • The importance of purpose in internal engagement?

If you missed it, don't worry you can watch the recording right here. We will also hold another one on the 18th September (exact time TBC) on how to get the most from your existing videos/assets. Special guest to be announced.

Vodafone Attract and Recruit Casual Films 2Click on the image above to watch the recording


If you have a project that you would like to discuss, please drop us a note, an email or a call. Our experienced producers are ready help make your next project the best ever.

If you are keen to kick your project off on the right foot the best thing to do is to get your brief exactly right. You can download our guide to doing that right here.

Topics: Attract and retain the best candidates, Train and develop staff, Production process, Being a better commissioner, How-to

Captive corporate audiences are a thing of the past. All is not lost though…

Posted by Nick Francis
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Once upon a time, corporate communicators could produce materials which were either read out at departmental meetings, shared in company magazines, or played from VHS tapes to teams in smoke filled magnolia washed rooms. They sat there once a week or month to hear what the overlords from head office had deigned to share. They had no choice. They were effectively captive. This was not a golden age for communication quality.

Now your audience are rather more… dynamic. They can choose what to watch and when to watch it. For good or ill, you have the power to reach them almost 24 hours a day and yet engaging them can be as hard as ever.

Attention is the new currency

Applications designed to capture and sell our attention have turned our time into a commodity. This means that everyone is now fighting for it. Their Instagram or Facebook feed, their families and friends, billon dollar box sets and your piece of comms. It’s noisy out there. You need to cut through that noise to be noticed. Why is this so challenging?

This has made the quality of content skyrocket 

The technological revolution which has put the power of television studios and distribution networks in our hands, has pushed the bar up drastically on what constitutes quality. From Netflix to HBO, and Amazon Prime to network on demand, broadband Internet has substantially increased the amount of excellent content available. From live sports coverage to stunning wildlife documentaries, new technology is enabling a level of access and production values that were pretty much unimaginable just a few years ago. We’re living through the golden age of glossy TV.

What does this mean?

This means that whomever your audience are – external or internal – they are judging the content you share against the most sophisticated systems to capture human attention that have ever existed. I know that seems pretty tough – and it really is – but there are ways that you can still reach them… 

Most important: deliver genuine value

The number one thing that you need to do to cut through to your audience is to deliver them value. For more information on what I mean by this check out this blog here. As Seth Godin says, you should create content which your audience would miss and seek out if it wasn’t there. A simple way to think about this is through the mnemonic TRUE – Timely, Relevant, Useful, Entertaining. Lead with the value with the material you share – make it easy for them to consume. 

Be consistent

Whether you are sharing material internally or externally, it’s important that you are consistent with the material that you share. Once you’re sharing work which is of value to the audience, they will begin to look forward to each iteration. Meet them half way by sharing to a schedule.

Think creatively

Are there other ways that you can cut though? Of course –  you just need to get a little creative. There are a number of ways that you can do this. One is by using new technology.  There is now 360° video/virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and interactive video. They represent new and ever-improving ways of providing immersive stories to the audience. They are a goldmine for corporate communicators who are willing to push them and use them with a little creative flair. They provide an opportunity for a different type of immersion in your brand narrative from what was possible before – enhancing and enriching the stories that you choose to tell around your brand. 

Don’t forget about emotion

Video’s ability to communicate emotion is the most powerful asset in the communicators bag of tricks. This means that whatever you are trying to communicate, you should look for to include a human angle to help it to land with the audience. That might mean using animated characters, finding the stories of individuals that illustrate the experience of the many, or just getting a member of your team on the screen to explain the point. This will help the audience to make sense of it and remember it.

We hope these help. Whatever you’re trying to achieve, for whatever audience you’re trying to reach, our highly experienced producers are ready to help you get there. Fill in the form on this page and one of our producers will give you a call back to discuss your project.

Topics: Train and develop staff, Production process, Being a better commissioner, How-to, Content Strategy, Brands as broadcasters

How can corporates use video?

Posted by Nick Francis
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One of the major challenges we had when we started Casual was that video can be used for such a wide range of things. Before we realised the importance of focus, we would answer the question “So, what can you make films about?” with the pretty useless “Almost anything”. Over time, we learned to be a bit more specific, and, in the last 12 years, we have made films that bring the whole of the employee lifestyle to life, from initial awareness, through recruitment, and on to ongoing engagement, and learning and development. We’ve even made films that retain and build a network of alumni for those who’ve moved on. We’ve made product promotions, adverts, discount films, branded content and conference openers. Some of these with actors and others with online influencers, with helicopters, drones and bodycams.

Casual Films Different ways of using video

Casual has made over 8,000 different films for almost everything a company could want a film for. It’s really important to understand that film or moving images can enhance any message you might have to share. Video is a great way of weaving emotion into selected facts. This increases their impact, memorability and the chance that people will act on them. Let’s look at some of the ways that video has been used by corporate communicators.

We use the following classifications at Casual to separate all the different things that our clients have used our work for in the past. This is not exhaustive, but it does give a picture of the breadth of uses. Some of these are quite similar – or even overlap – and rely on similar attributes of video for their effectiveness.

Boost sales 

“Shoppers who view video are 1.81X more likely to purchase than non-viewers.”

– Adobe

The most common films made by companies, which we see in our day-to-day lives, are those designed to sell things. From the dawn of TV, advertisers have been promoting their wares, using every trick in the filmmaker’s book to introduce, promote and explain their products. Films that are able to do this remain the kings of corporate films. From the time in the 1940s and 1950s in which advertisers were able to show that there is a direct line of correlation between the amount spent and sales increases; the budgets for these short films have grown, in some cases to become eye-watering. The annual colosseum of televisual advertising – the US Super Bowl – boasts vast audiences, and hence has a cost of around US$2 million for a 30-second advertising spot. Each year, companies compete to outdo one another and be recognised as having the best commercials of the night.

 

Greater Anglia - Spring Campaign

 

Promoting sales with animation: Greater Anglia Railways

At the other end of the spectrum, the prevalence of regional TV and now the spread of the Internet have made this type of marketing accessible to any business that wants to use it. There are a wide range of approaches available, from the relatively indirect to the focused sales activation described previously.

Encourage donations/funding

The emotive power of video makes it an excellent tool for pulling on the audience’s heartstrings, and getting them to part with their money or time. I’m sure you are aware of the way that charities have used videos since the 1980s. These can also extend to Kickstarter and crowdfunding campaigns. Video’s ability to simplify a message into a really compelling minute or so makes it excellent for this.

Introduce a business

As with encouraging funding, the ability to compress time and turn a ‘who we are’ PowerPoint presentation into a punchy 60-second promotion with music and branded graphics/colours makes video a useful tool to clarify exactly what your business does. The majority of websites that we have audited – over 1,000 thus far – are not using video on their homepage.11 They rely on the visitor being able to grasp what the business does in the few brief seconds before they click elsewhere. It is a truism that people/businesses tend to market to themselves. As such, there is always far too much assumed knowledge, which makes websites impenetrable.

A video is a great way of capturing attention and explaining, in an accessible format, what the visitor should be looking for. This is why having a video on your homepage can improve click-through rates by up to 80%. This video can also be used in presentations, pitches, reception areas and for new joiners/potential recruits – anywhere you might want people to quickly understand, through compelling media, who you are and what you do.

Promote a product or service through explanation 

“4x as many customers would rather watch a video about a product than read about it.”

– Animoto

Explaining succinctly what a product or service is or does is another effective use of video. Once again, most businesses communicating anything assume too much background knowledge. In this instance, video can break down exactly what the product is and does, and build trust and understanding in an accessible package. This may be through an animation, which is effective when used to illustrate complex messaging, because of the ability to ‘show and tell’ at the same time as using accessible metaphors.

Another effective way to promote a service is through interview-led videos with experts, clients or users. These increase the audience’s trust in the product by borrowing from the featured subject’s standing: their expertise or experience. Interview-led films or ‘talking heads’ are useful because they are pretty much the cheapest videos to produce, and we find human faces innately intriguing.

Get people excited

The moving nature of video makes it a great tool for exciting an audience about something. Admittedly, this could be an extension of promoting a product or service. However, it is distinct in that the method is less based on relaying information and explaining, and more focused on generating a positive emotion in the audience. One way of looking at it might be to say that explainer films engage the logical left side of the brain, while a film to get people excited targets the feeling, creative right side. These usually employ a stirring script and a voiceover with powerful music to do this. Both of these types of film, explainer and exciter, aim for the same outcome, though – getting the audience more engaged.

Increase brand awareness / tell a story

In reality, all the video content that companies share has the effect of building (or, unfortunately, sometimes damaging) their brand. Some videos are made specifically for this purpose, though. They may aim to align the business with a cause that matters to their target audience, or reflect on someone or something that they’re interested in. It may extend to them wanting to share a story related to the company – the history or something that has inspired them.

 

Glenmorangie - Evolution of Craft (1)

 

Increasing brand awareness: Glenmorangie - the Evolution of Craft

Attract the best candidates

Video is an excellent way to illustrate relatively intangible things, such as a company’s culture. Most people looking for a role at a new company will research what the job is about, beyond what is included in the job description. Video is a great way of sharing some of the things that make your company special.

Casual Films SGOSS Recruit and Engage

Illustrating your culture: SGOSS - Become a Governor

In the hypercompetitive job market one of the best areas for businesses to compete in is through an engaging, motivating and, crucially, well-communicated culture. Video can be invaluable in helping to build that culture, through communicating what the concept of the brand means. This is where video can be invaluable – it allows you to communicate with your potential (and current) staff on an emotional level. One point to note is that, in the age of resources such as Glassdoor (which allows employees to rate employers for all to see), it is important that the offer and reality align. Recruitment videos are split into two categories: employer/employee value-proposition brand films and profile/day-in-the-life films.  

Videos to promote and clarify a company’s diversity and inclusion policies should be included here too.

Train my colleagues

Another type of internal communication that uses video is learning and development. The zero cost of distribution, and the ability to make changes and amendments to videos on an ongoing basis makes them useful for sharing information and training across a large organisation. Animation works well for information, and interactive video is good for training, because it allows viewers to choose responses and outcomes. The functionality of interactive video also allows for scorekeeping and sharing, which is a useful way of injecting a little competition into the learning process. Beyond that, simply being able to show videos and then have people discuss them helps to increase the effectiveness of the learning.

Change behaviour

The external equivalent of internal training, making films to inform and change behaviour, is nearly as old as film itself; for example, the public information films that were used to keep the population up to speed in the first half of the 20th century. The modern equivalents are usually produced by governments or charities.

Start a discussion/conversation 

Video removes any unnecessary information and pauses. This condenses the amount of time it takes to share different viewpoints in an argument, which makes it useful for setting up a discussion. Such videos are usually played at the beginning of an online/offline discussion, or to change to another subject.

Recording an event

The quality of an event film is, understandably, usually tied to the quality of the event itself. It is a useful way of encapsulating what happened, what was discussed or featured, and who was there. With some appropriate music and a dynamic edit, the video becomes a useful tool for promoting forthcoming events too.

But not everything – emotion vs information

All this having been said, there are some things that video is not great at. Emotion and information exist in a balance in all films. Too much focus on emotion – with practically no information – and the film can feel superficial and lacking in substance (think of most fashion ads). Too much information and not enough emotion, and the film will be dry, difficult to follow and impenetrable (some corporate reports embody this pitfall).

They should be like yin and yang. In every informative film you should have a bit of emotion, and in every emotive film you should have a bit of information (even if that is a basic narrative structure). Because of this, if you have lots and lots of information to get across, video might not be the best way to do it. You will probably find it more effective to create a PDF document, use video to outline a few salient points and promote reading the PDF through a shorter, more engaging film.


Whatever you're making a film to do, it really helps to be clear on what you are trying to achieve from the outset. We pulled together some top tips on how to get your thoughts aligned before you pick up the phone. Following the ideas in this document is the most significant step that you can take to maximise the effectiveness of your project spend. Check it out here:

DOWNLOAD BETTER BRIEFS

 

Topics: Attract and retain the best candidates, Train and develop staff, Explain or promote products and services, Increase brand awareness and appeal, Boost sales and encourage donations, Production process, Being a better commissioner

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