Start-ups and stock
Because a start-up doesn’t have enough to worry about, there’s the small matter of getting word of your killer idea/product/service/app/non-profit out — then hoping others believe in it enough to spread the word farther. We’re going to go ahead and assume you’ve read the stats, or watched some video about video, and have decided video is the way to do that.
For start-ups, the talking head is a popular format. A less ambitious undertaking, it’s relatively less expensive as a result. Just grab your head, sit him in a boardroom, and roll while he talks. Well, not exactly, but … Unless you’re dealing with an engaging speaker, relying solely on your spokesperson is an iffy proposition.
Take the before part of the Goodpin video. Don’t get us wrong. We love Jay. He’s actually an interesting guy. But had he continued going on, you would have soon aborted. Part of telling an engaging brand story is removing your “you.” When a person talks on and on like that, it comes across as me-centric.
It’s also good to remember that people have a “story” button. There’s not much of a story in the “before” for viewers to relate to, is there? (Besides, even back in 2005, usability legend Jakob Nielsen declared that talking head video is boring. Imagine now, given attention spans.)
Stock footage doesn’t just help keep eyes from wandering. It also illustrates concepts. Perhaps most importantly, footage pushes the story button. Viewers see themselves in those moments, or remember a similar experience of their own, or aspire to one. They coo at the baby, smile at the surfer, or lust after the ice cream cone.
The point is, those moments evoke emotions — and emotions are the stuff of sharing. Your explainer video becomes less about you and your brand objectives and more about what your killer thing can do for others, how they can use it, and how much better their life will be as a result. The video unfolds a story that, with any luck, people picture themselves a part of, along with everybody else in their networks.
Meet Derek Armstrong McNeill
Derek McNeill has been telling visual stories most of his life. The Seattlite first honed his eye working as a photographer in the US Air Force, then worked in advertising art direction and design. He now divides his time shooting his own documentary projects and stock footage. “After carrying around a camera kit for years, telling visual […] Read more