Q: My client, a multinational, needs a new group corporate video. We want something different to the usual list of all the divisions on film, of which we have a lot of stock footage. My client reckons the video will be 10 minutes or more in order to tell the full story, but I’m not so sure about this.
We’re really looking for a fresh approach. And so are they. What can you advise?
A: Group corporate DVDs are always difficult to advise on, so here’s the simple facts as I see them.
The main uses of a group corporate video are:
> For divisional reps to play to customers, usually during a sales presentation
> At corporate hospitality events
Outside of these, the group corporate video is rarely played. In practice it is probably one of the least played videos in any organisation.
Another fact is that reps hardly ever play the group corporate video to customers because they’re too long, or not particularly relevant to developing the customer.
To overcome the reps’ unwillingness and provide them with a communications tool that they want to use, I’d suggest a twofold approach:
> short 3 minute version that reps will want to play to customers, a version that doesn’t eat into too much valuable meeting time
> A longer version that customers at hospitality events will enjoy watching (usually with alcohol in their bloodstreams!)
Rep Version for Divisional Use
A good story is a timeline story, starting from the group’s foundation, and hitting milestone dates on the way such as takeovers, acquisitions, IPO, big investments, and hallmark products or services
If the group is really old, then start from a suitable date in the 70s.
Finish with Where We Are Today or similar
Having got a storyline, we need an angle. I’d suggest Strength & Compassion.
Translating this into practice:
Show how the group contributes to wards the lives of individuals, families, communities, and how it reduces environmental impacts. Portray the Group as someone whose broad activities do a little bit of good in the world.
For example instead of saying that you flog more insurance policies than anybody else (old school), simply indicate how you protect millions of families. Same difference, but actually a lot different.
This is in stark contrast to many Group Corporate videos I’ve seen that are usually boasting exercises-writ-polite.
The Strength part is important too, as the sales rep will want to use the group corporate video to underline their divisional strength, perhaps to demonstrate that they can be better trusted to handle a big contract, because they have the support of a large and prosperous group behind them. Their clients will then appreciate seeing the group corporate video.
It offers a reassurance factor.
Avoid voiceover, and use text captions to highlight the milestones on the timeline. Voiceover is boring.
Support this instead with customer written music so you have a really great soundtrack, one that everyone will be moved by.
> Tell a timeline story
> Show strength and compassion
> Use captions and stock corporate footage
> Use a really great soundtrack that everyone will love
Long version for use at Hospitality Events
Convert the above sales rep version of the video into a longer version by adding some documentary footage, such as interviews with leading lights, or greater detail in leading edge technologies.
Most CEOs will be happy to talk for a couple of minutes on where the group is going. Likewise, senior directors can fill in more of the blanks.
If you shoot these, and get some supporting footage to illustrate key points they’re making, you shouldn’t have much problem getting up to 10 minutes runtime for your corporate video
Which is what they asked for in the first place!
A group corporate video is a hybrid, designed to meet the needs of widely varying audiences, so producing two versions is both practical and sensible.