Using Flash instead of Video – 1

Q: We’re interested in creating a short animated flash or video presentation to introduce an overview of our IT product:

overview
benefits
features

2-3 minutes long with voice over

Director of Marketing
Maryland USA

A: Using flash in stead of video for product sales is innovative thinking.

Flash offers a number of benefits that video doesn’t deliver quite so well. Here’s what springs to mind:

Flash is portable.

It can play from a laptop, a website, an email, a document. Video can do this too, but it requires streaming from a video server, and the file is overall much bigger compared to a flash file. Video is also needy in that often requires a DVD player, a screen and a room to view it in.

Flash stands out from the crowd.

Great video is great to look at, but there are a lot of them about. On the other hand, a great flash has a novelty value that captures the imagination. Flash can be great fun for an audience. Of course, there are a lot of cheap flashes about that look exactly that – cheap. But if a flash production is properly funded, then there’s no reason why it can’t look absolutely fantastic, totally corporate and utterly convincing.

Flash is cheaper.

Great flash will still cost money, but maybe 30% less than a video. Consider that a while a video may cost, say, £8,000-£10,000 then a flash might cost only £5,000-£7,000, which is a big saving.

Flash can show abstract ideas.

If your product is IT network-based then a large part of the presentation will be graphic, showing the flow of information, with corresponding feature-benefits appearing at key points. A video can this, but it would be very graphic, so it makes sense to use a medium that is essentially graphic in the first place, ie, flash.

Flash can create a “call to action”

When a flash presentation ends, the final screen can be a “sign-up here” banner with a link to an enquiry form on a website. This is good as the whole purpose of the presentation is for viewers to make enquiries, or buy. Flash connects Viewing to Buying, while video doesn’t have this “call to action” feature.

Flash is interactive

Video is very linear, in that it starts at the beginning and plays non-stop to the end in a one-size-fits-all manner. Interactive DVD goes some way to alleviating this by offering choice, but it’s relatively cumbersome compared to using a flash. For example, a flash can have menu buttons such as tabs at the top, so viewers can browse the presentation and look at the different areas in the manner they choose, which is quite unlike video.

From these pointers, hopefully it can now be seen that using flash instead of video is feasible, and quite possibly desirable.

Looking at the pros and cons of video versus flash, it’s clear that there’s a strong case for using flash for presentations, especially if there’s a strong graphic element, or the subject matter isn’t something that is easily filmed.

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