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Q: We have a client, an international industrial group, who need their corporate video replacing. I’ve looked at a few samples here and there and would like your opinion as to what you think makes a good corporate video. Can you oblige?

Creative Director

A: Yesterday we looked at core principles, which aimed at getting the viewer to watch the corporate video message from start to finish, while being totally absorbed and undistracted.

Today we can look at practical rules to help achieve this Total Absorption, a list of 9 Do’s and Don’ts.

1 – Focus all of your message on what you deliver to the customer. Audiences are very interested in what you deliver, what you give them, what you offer them. This is Noughties.

2 – Avoid explaining how you operate. No one wants to know. Avoid explaining your structure and personnel. No one’s interested. This is 90s.

3 – Know the difference between Bigness and Boasting. Audiences are impressed by bigness, so tell them. But don’t boast. This is also 90s.

4 – Base your message around your top three Unique Selling Points (USPs). Develop your message from these USPs as they’re the proven winners that you and your audiences know and understand.

5 – The script is the engine of the video, so your script should be prepared and agreed in advance, prior to shooting. It should read flawlessly, feel so good, and feel so exciting that it could almost be published as a podcast.

6 – Never split the message. For example never have the voice saying one thing and a text caption doing another, such as the voice talking in a general way while a statistic flashes onscreen.

7 – Never use split screen when you want to explain something. The audience doesn’t know which screen to look at and ends up losing their absorption and looking at nothing, daydreaming. Always stay focussed on the single message line, and promote its flow.

8 – Don’t try to be like television. Everything in television is based around developing a theme that half slumbering audiences will want to return to week in, week out. TV ads can be visually exciting, and are at the leading edge of effects and technique. But they’re designed for a very short brand-focussed 30 second format, which is quite different to corporate video. The best ones (that you probably like) are usually horrible expensive for a corporate video budget.

9 – Don’t be fooled by technology. Style is important, and technology helps. But some of the best corporate videos around are simple in their style and don’t over rely on special effects, which can often be distracting, rather than informative.

I hope these few simple rules will help you better shape your corporate video message.
© Studio Rossiter

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