Primal behavior. When you do it right in marketing videos it inspires trust. Which is exactly what you want.
Being at my core a filmmaker, no matter the project, it’s always my job to be one thing above all else. The audience.
A network TV audience at home after work looking to relax is a very different audience than folks buying tickets to the movie theater for a Sunday matinee. The audience sitting at a gala event watching the new fund-raising film for a non-profit is not at all the same as the audience for a corporate video portraying a company’s virtues.
So why would a website video be anything like the others?
It’s not. “Being the audience” starts with visualization, then intellectualization, and, finally, empathy. Where is that audience member? What is he or she doing when viewing this? Why is that person here at all? What will deliver what that viewer is seeking?
Website videos – and we’re speaking marketing videos here, not entertainment – are usually seen in the most intimate way. One on one with the computer screen in an office or, perhaps more likely, a home. The viewer didn’t get to the website by accident – chances are it’s the result of a search, meaning that viewer has found a listing of providers for a product or service he or she probably is thinking of buying.
In other words, when the audience – the viewer – arrives at a product or service site (as opposed to retail or informational), that viewer knows what it’s about. No education is necessary. They don’t need to know what you do. They need to know who you are. This is where video – the right video – can’t be beaten.
So, when putting together a website video, you must keep certain precepts in mind.
Because the setting is intimate, the right video doesn’t try to sell.
Because the viewer knows what you do, you don’t have to keep saying it.
In the context of what you do, you simply must give that viewer a window into who you are. Not simply as a real person. As a real person who is, in your field, a professional.
There are specific ways to address these issues in film terms. We’ll begin to get into those in the next posting.
Read Part 1 of Appreciating the Primal
About the Author
Richard Clayman, Cloudwalker VideoWorks
Richard Clayman’s multiple award-winning career has spanned 30 years as a director, producer, writer, executive, and actor in television, theater and film. Projects on which Richard has directly worked have won dozens of Emmys, Golden Globes, and many other awards.