Q: We manufacture wire fencing, and have three depots throughout the UK. We’d like to make a corporate video to show our production line. We’ve never done this before, so what can you advise?
Marketing & Pricing Analyst
A: In four words – use music and captions
Now let’s step back and explain what this means.
The traditional approach to corporate video, developed during the 80s and 90s, is to shoot a visual tour of the factory and production facilities, and set this to voiceover, or use a professional presenter as a tour guide.
Typically the audience gets to see where the raw materials come in, then look at production-on-the-move, to the technical and possibly laboratory facilities, and shots of the customer service and support team in an office, and sales coverage – the whole manufacturer message.
This might be backed up by some thoughts on sustainability, safety or environmentally friendliness, or Investors in People.
This style of programme frequently concludes with an exhortation such as “we’re the best” or “be our partner”.
There’s nothing fundamentally wrong with this approach, and it’s served many companies well.
But it has flaws, and it misses opportunities.
> It doesn’t stir the emotion. It may be interesting, but who cares?
> It tends to focus on “what we do” rather than “what you want”
> It tends to be too long, and tries to cover too much territory.
> It lacks style, which is an all-important ingredient in the Noughties we live in today.
Now let’s go back to Music and Captions, as stated at the beginning
Here’s an example of what we mean by music and captions in a factory environment
Go to this page and view the Industry Showreel. You’ll see it there in the Marketing Gallery
You’ll see a visual pastiche of factory shots set to stirring music. It’s uplifting in style.
Hopefully you’ll notice that it also grabs the attention, and holds it there.
With a little imagination you can see a few captions sprinkled here and there, delivering a sales message, such as:
> Unrivalled technology
> ISO 9001 accredited
> Flexible output
> Custom solutions available
> UK coverage – timed delivery
> etc, etc
My own feeling is that a Music and Caption video tends to focus on delivering the essential messages, and eliminates the fat that tends to creep into voiceover and presenter-led productions.
But to make this caption-music approach work you need brilliant music that stirs the audience.
So expect to pay extra for a popular well-known tune, or commission original music.
Now ask yourself:
Which sends out the better message?
> A guided factory tour with a presenter or voiceover
> A stirring pastiche set to stunning music, with captionised benefits
If it was my factory I was making a video of, I’d choose the second option.
© Studio Rossiter 2007