Unfortunately, it's just as easy to create the wrong image by creating a video that's stiff and awkward or overly boastful. To find out the best formula for successful corporate identity videos, we spoke to a master of the form, Thomas R. Clifford, a corporate video filmmaker with 23 years of experience. Clifford has created videos for Deloitte, the Hartford Financial Services Group, Loctite, and others.
- Story is King
"Story rules," says Clifford, so don't think you can get away with not having one just because you're profiling a company. Viewers still get hooked by a good story, so let your company's story come out naturally.
- The Employee Is the Storyteller
You don't want your video's story to look like a press release spit out by marketing. Let the employees share their own stories, and tell about the company in their own words. When Clifford creates a video, he calls the storytellers "heroes," since he thinks it's heroic for people to stand in front of a camera and lights to share their stories.
- Look for Common Themes
Spend some time on the casting process interviewing employees and looking for common themes in their stories. These common elements will form the DNA of your video. Clifford spends two or three days carefully casting his videos, and doesn't worry about what he'll film until after the story is set. What drives the employees?, he asks; what makes them come in everyday to do their jobs at their company? That's the story. Also, look for variety when casting, and try to get different viewpoints and backgrounds.
- Capture Authenticity and Integrity
This comes from letting employees tell their own stories in their own ways. Your video will look genuine, not like an animated press release.
- Create a Conversation
When viewers finish watching your video, Clifford says, it should resonate enough to make them think, feel, say, or act on something. When you've touched the viewers that deeply, you're engaging them in a conversation. If the video doesn't engage viewers and provoke a response, Clifford says, it's a waste of money.
For more tips on creating a corporate identity video, see Thomas Clifford's blog.
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