Videomaker – Learn video production and editing, camera reviews › Forums › General › Video and Film Discussion › What makes a promotional video great, engaging and worth watching?
October 16, 2016 at 1:08 PM #91479dfarmiMember
I am creating a production company whilst at university and I m looking at creating promotional videos for companies and wanted to know if anyone has any advice on what makes them great and worth the watch.
October 18, 2016 at 11:16 AM #214677Kevin McMember
Well now, that’s a very tough question to give just one answer to. The trick, for me at least, is to listen to the customer/company. Humor is always a good additive to a video, but only if it fits the theme of the final production. I recently produced a promo for a friend with cancer. She’s trying to raise money for her treatments. This piece required two things, truth and emotion. But, when I created a promo for our county fair, it was about color, movement and humor. So, in each case it’s different. Much of it depends on the client and what they are looking for, or, what represents their company the best, and/or which genre of video presents what they are promoting the best.
I tend to walk into first time client meetings with very few ideas to share up front. I want to spend time getting to know the client and formulating what would work best *for them*. Then, and only then do I begin to put ideas together for their video. Some clients already know what they want. You need to evaluate if their ideas will actually work. Don’t just say, “Yes!”, and start production.
For product promos, your video should present a “need”, something viewers can identify with, then present the solution – the product you are promoting.
So, as you can see – there isn’t just one answer. But, if I had to narrow it down, I’d say – listen to the client, get to know them, look at other marketing pieces they’ve done, learn how they’ve already presented themselves to the public… Then see if you can do it better.
October 19, 2016 at 11:26 AM #214692JackWolcottParticipant
To Kevin’s excellent advice I would add this: try to shoot in an environment that reflects the product and the client’s enthusiasm for it, and don’t be afraid to be both demanding and flexible.
I had a client whose business was selling leaf-proof rain gutters. He wanted to sit behind a desk and describe his product, with closeups of artwork to illustrate it. From discussing the shoot with him it became clear that he was happiest when on site nailing up rain gutters. He hated being in the office. I suggested we go on a job site and shoot there; we couldn’t, for several reasons, but compromised by setting up the roof-like booth he used in trade shows, renting some potted foliage to sell the location as outdoors, and doing the entire shoot in a warehouse.
In another shoot the client again wanted to talk about his product. “Where will this be available,” I asked. “In the middle of Sunshine Mall,” he said; “I’ll be on hand to demonstrate it.
The mall management agreed to let us set up the booth and shoot the promo before the mall opened early one morning. With an “acting company” made up of the client’s friends and family walking by the set looked like a busy day at the mall, with several “customers” stopping to learn about the product, which the client demonstrated enthusiastically.
Finally, you have to be willing to be in charge. A client wanted to read his own comments about his product, sitting behind his desk. He wore tiny reading glasses, perched at the very tip of his nose. We had a teleprompter for him which he would consult through his reading glasses, then lift his head and look over the glasses to address the camera. After working with this impossible setup for more than a dozen awful takes I suggested — quite forcefully — that bring in a professional actor to play the role of the businessman was absolutely necessary. The client was disappointed — until he saw the finished commercial and realized what a difference a pro could make. We and the actor were hired for two subsequent commercials.
Shooting promotional material can be fun, and a very good source of income. Stay flexible in your approach and never ignore serendipity. Sometimes the very best comes from chance moments that happen on-set.
October 19, 2016 at 1:06 PM #214695Kevin McMember
To Jack’s excellent advice, I would add: Taking absolute charge of the shoot can take many forms… I had a construction company owner who wanted to be on camera for their promo. Every time I turned the camera on his brain turned to jello. He was quite personable off camera, but the camera turned him into a mumbling fool every time it was turned on. It was late in the day, and I suggested that we pick up in the morning. That night I took black electrical tape and covered every light on my camera. The next morning I already had the camera turned on and attached to the tripod before bringing it into his office. I was ready to go, but I also brought a bag of cables. I set up the camera and framed the shot all in just a few seconds – and immediately started rolling (recording). I pulled out the bag of cables and just started running random cables behind the camera, as if I were still getting gear set up. I wasn’t. The cables were just a prop to give the impression that we weren’t yet ready to shoot. I asked him to practice what he was going to say. I stood directly behind the camera and avoided making eye contact with him, as I continued to run my fake cables from nowhere to nowhere. I did not want him to be at all self conscious during this “dry run”. Long story even longer – he nailed it! Afterwards I asked if he was ready. He said, “Yes.” And I began tearing down my gear. He was confused, until I told him that we were all done. I had to trick him to get the shots, and it couldn’t have worked out any better. So, read your on-screen talent, know what they are capable of, and adjust accordingly.
November 2, 2016 at 9:37 AM #214762dfarmiMember
Thanks guys!!! Really helpful information, it’s clear from what you’ve said how important pre-production is in these shoots, getting to know the client is a must!
Thanks again guys
November 9, 2016 at 5:21 AM #214810HarithaMember
Better visitor engagement
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Promotional Video Marketing – MeetingSocial media
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March 20, 2017 at 2:07 AM #215266followerslikeMember
Very informative site.
August 29, 2017 at 5:00 AM #216066zweezleMember
Any video that you create, it should be related to your topic and it must be presented creatively. You need to have the best team, best here refers to the expert Cinematographer, creative team, professional equipment and finally an excellent editing team. All of these, when coordinated at their best, leads to a great promotional video.
September 7, 2017 at 2:12 AM #216104TorenceMember
Hello, guys. Thanks for you such helpful guide post to teach more in this field. A part of comments are very useful.
September 9, 2017 at 12:25 PM #216120paulearsParticipant
The other thing you need to do is try to understand how the average viewer will receive it. A common fault with really keen MDs and other industry key people is that they are really sold on their own product, their systems and their people and kind of expect others to be the same. You have to explain to the MD that their new super dooper multi-million pound rivet making machine is actually not going to be gripping viewing when all the interesting stuff goes on hidden inside. They get excited about the new vacuum knurling tool and other turn off items, so you have to look at their idea in purely visual terms, and look for the interesting stuff they might not have noticed. You might have to re-write their text because it’s boring, dull and a turn off. You need to become an expert at massaging their egos.
A good tip is to watch the How It’s Made series – an excellent way to see totally dull processes made interesting. You will have to find alternatives to many things they want that are practical and look great. A picture is worth a thousand words is a great mantra if you can find that exact picture. They also have unrealistic intentions – they want to show history of the firm, their attention to customer service, the benefits of their new green approach and special attention to the disposal of the byproducts of the manufacturing process. They want safety to be covered and their company ethics. They want to emphasise the economy of investing in totally new and energy saving equipment and of course include the new premises just opened. They then say they’d like it to be no more than two minutes running time, and be a ridiculous low figure for production costs, plus it needs to be completed in a week. All this from work completed in the last year.
You need to be really good at turning a wish list like the one above into something that will work!
September 15, 2017 at 9:26 AM #216150
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