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  • Is corporate video relevant today and how ?

    Posted by Mark Alexander on November 25, 2008 at 5:41 pm

    The other day I had a very successful business person tell me that video was all “fluff” and not necessary in the corporate world. Ouch!

    Personally, I think these companies need video more than ever to get their messages out, but that’s just me and my rather biased viewpoint.

    I thought I could answer back with a convincing explanation of “well, you need video because it’s a cost effective way to deliver your message in a compelling way to many users”. He wasn’t buying it. He’s got brochures and other print materials and says that’s all he and everyone else needs.

    So, I’d like to ask you folks what are probably, in some form or another, a couple of the most asked questions around: In your experienced and valued opinions, WHY do companies need video and WHAT do they need it for that they can’t get from “cheaper” printed and Power Point materials?



    Dan Asselin replied 15 years, 4 months ago 18 Members · 39 Replies
  • 39 Replies
  • Andrew Tarpinian

    November 25, 2008 at 6:25 pm

    Well as someone who has spent the last 7 years creating graphics and video in the event industry I can tell you that video is becoming an even bigger part of corporate events. Especially given the state of the economy, corporations are using video as a cost effective means to get their message across. I have way too much corporate motion graphics work in my reel to prove it. Trying to replace some as we speak.

    For instance, a typical multi-day event could have,

    An opening video: Fast paced high impact video to get across the concepts of the meeting in an exciting flashy way that gets attendees excited, think 3 min commercial for the event.

    Intro bumpers: Animated intros based on theme graphics for announcing speakers coming on stage.

    Candids video: Video created on-site using photos or video taken of the event and attendees, shown on the last day.

    These are just a few ways.

  • Nick Griffin

    November 25, 2008 at 7:55 pm

    [Mark Alexander] “video was all “fluff” and not necessary in the corporate world”

    To my way of thinking this is a ridiculous generalization which assumes all video is alike. Hello??? Sure a video can be fluff. It can also be several dozen other things. It’s all about the content.

    Many of our clients often use video as a way to show the multi-million dollar machines they make in operation — to demonstrate capabilities in ways that a brochure never could. But it’s not an either/or kind of thing. There are occasions where a brochure is appropriate, others where a video is useful and still others where only an in person visit to watch a running machine can make the sale. And that’s usually the progression from “suspect” to “prospect” to “customer.” The more serious the buyer is, the higher level of engagement they require.

    We also recently completed a trade show where videos were being used everywhere to show things either too big, too complicated or too dangerous to bring into a booth. One of our videos consisted of interviews of existing, top earning customers of our client’s products talking about their businesses and what had made them successful. The video provided many different insights and subtly said “oh, by the way, each of the highly successful guys uses…” (our client’s machinery.) The basic goal was to provide something of value to the viewer — what do these guys do differently from the average owner, what can I learn from them — and not just “fluff.”

    Producing a “fluff” piece means that you have little respect for the viewer and assume that he or she will mindlessly watch a screen for no particular reason. When you respect your audience and approach a topic from their point of view, providing what they want to know and see, then your chances of being effective go up tremendously.

  • Mark Alexander

    November 26, 2008 at 12:44 am

    Thanks for your replies so far.

    This may be a silly question but does anyone have any idea if there has ever been a survey done about the use of video in corporate America? How used, budgets, how often – that type of thing.

    Maybe having some “statistics” at hand could helpful when pitching to a fence sitting prospect. Any pointers?



  • Chris Blair

    November 26, 2008 at 6:00 am

    To add to what others have said…video is also a great way to save money and time and guarantee a consistent repeatable message in a training video. For instance, if a company has a corporate trainer in XYX city, but their stores are all across the country. It could get VERY expensive to send either the trainer on-site, or conversely, send employees to the corporate office to be trained. Enter the corporate training video. It can be produced for anywhere from $15 to $50k, then duplicated and sent all over the country for a couple dollars a pop, then viewed repeatedly for several years by employees. Your corporate trainer is freed to do other things, your message is identical over and over, you save tons of money on travel, lost productivity etc. on both sides.

    Another great use for corporate video is “how to” videos. We produce a bunch of these for a large Kitchen Cabinet manufacturer. They’ve proven wildly popular among their sales reps out in the field, as well as interior designers, who use them for ideas as well as instruction. The reps report the videos have made it MUCH easier to convince designers to choose their cabinets (because they understand them better) AND more importantly, learn new design techniques from the videos. The spent probably $50k on the series of videos (which are VERY basic, no “fluff” at all), but sales among those product lines are way up over their product lines that don’t have the videos. So guess what…the cabinet company is now producing the same type of videos for ALL their lines of cabinets, which number in the teens. We even tried to tell them they could produce one installation video since cabinet installation is almost identical from one brand to the other, but they insist on producing custom install videos for each brand. Who are we to argue!!

    We do a lot of medical and weight related video work, and those industries are heavily influenced by emotion. What I mean is when people make decisions about weight loss or medical procedures, it’s an emotional and psychological experience. You can’t tell me a brochure, even the most well-written one, conveys the emotion and power of a well-produced video.

    What about industries where sound is important, like the music industry. Are you going to tell me a brochure tells a story better than a video or audio presentation??

    Lastly, I believe that video, dollar for dollar, is a much better investment than print. How likely is a client to read or even skim a brochure more than once? But I bet videos get watched over and over. And a really well produced video will get watched many times by many different people. Video can also be delivered intact via DVD, online, satellite, at trade shows, at presentations etc. (meaning it doesn’t have to be reformatted the way print often does). Try looking at a print piece online. Even as a PDF it just becomes cumbersome and sometimes unreadable.

    I’ve gone on long enough. But hopefully this gives you some ammunition.

    Chris Blair
    Magnetic Image, Inc.
    Evansville, IN

  • Steve Wargo

    November 26, 2008 at 1:31 pm

    One of our major client recently changed CEOs. The former CEO did a video each quarter and they were a basic “Here’s what’s going on” info piece. The new CEO dumped the video method because of cost and decided that traveling to each city and seeing everyone in person would have much more impact and it would bring the company together and, it would save lots of money. After one year, over 70% of the company has yet to see the CEO in person. It seems like there is rarely an occasion where everyone from a given city can be on hand for the personal presentation. And, of course, the employees who attended are expected to brief those unable to attend. The cost of the year of travel exceeded our cost by over 1600%.

    Maybe she needs to print a quarterly brochure.

    Steve Wargo
    Tempe, Arizona
    It’s a dry heat!

    Sony HDCAM F-900 & HDW-2000/1 deck
    5 Final Cut (not quite PRO) systems
    Sony HVR-M25 HDV deck
    2-Sony EX-1 HD .

  • Mark Alexander

    November 26, 2008 at 4:11 pm

    You guys are great! I really appreciate your replies. Thanks.


  • Bob Zelin

    November 26, 2008 at 6:04 pm

    corporate videos are relavant because corporations WANT THEM. Lockheed Martin does sales presentations of their missles with a video (not by doing an actual demonstration !). Darden teaches their chef’s how to cook the new Olive Garden dishes with a video.
    There are already corporate videos in our industry (like how to install a Cal Digit card into your MAC). The professional AV industry is rapidly becomming bigger than the production or post market. When you go to an InfoComm convention (NAB for the AV business), companies like Crestron and AMX are just as big as Sony and Panasonic. Know why – because CEO’s at corporations are willing to pay the BIG BUCKS to hit the play button on a Crestron remote panel, to have their video play back on a Panasonic 65″ Plasma display their conference room. And what on earth are they playing back – CORPORATE VIDEOs.

    The person that told you that corporate videos are no longer relavent is an idiot, and you should ignore their statements. WE don’t make the decision to create corporate videos – the corporations do – the management does – and they ask US to create them. And these corporations are spending more than ever to create productions that make “professional productions” look pale. Going to a trade show for Pfeiser Pharmacuticals (for example) is like going to a major rock concert – if you haven’t seen a corporate convention like this (that is done in cities like Orlando, Phoenix and Las Vegas), then you can’t even imagine how much money is spent on these “corporate” events. It never ceases to amaze me the staging, projection, lighting, and PA rigs – that look like a U2 concert – for a “corporate” event.

    Bob Zelin

  • Brendan Coots

    November 26, 2008 at 6:55 pm

    – It’s been proven that people, by sizable margins, learn and retain information better when they see and hear something being explained on video – much more so than print or any other media can ever hope to provide. Whether it’s training or an internal meeting video, corporations with thousands (or even tens of thousands) of employees can’t afford to have 1/5 of their audience miss the key message or require retraining. Think about the lost productivity, error rates, customer dissatisfaction and retraining costs a company might incur if their materials don’t connect with even a small portion of their employees.

    – My personal observation is that a frightening number of people in the “professional” world can’t spell or write to save their lives. I would guess that people who can’t spell or write probably have some problems reading as well, and they might not even realize it. Studies have shown that when you don’t know the meaning of a word, or the wording of a sentence confuses you, your brain does not properly processes the surrounding paragraph and you fail to retain the information provided. A lot of people also tend to speed-read (especially true if it’s dry training literature they have been forced to read) and they will NOT re-read a paragraph if they didn’t understand it on the first pass. Relying on people’s reading skills and ability to process written information is nowhere near as reliable as show and tell, where the pacing and information delivery can be highly controlled, and where visual entertainment can keep the audience engaged while they learn.

    – When was the last time you actually read a sales brochure sent to you? And I mean read it from cover to cover, thought about the message, and considered buying on the strength of that brochure. I don’t know that I ever have. But a B2B sales video, or even B2C, is going to get a lot more attention, play and consideration, especially if it’s produced well. Dollar for dollar, upping response rates and, as a result, sales, is worth every penny a good video will cost you.

    – Remember all those large brick-and-mortar companies who, in the late 90’s, refused to build a web site because they thought it was just some fad? Well it wasn’t, and their late entry to the game showed that they were a little out of touch. This is the era of New Media and, much like web sites in the late 90’s, the companies who are last to come on board with video will get left behind to some degree. People consume a lot of video these days, and I would wager that within ten years or so video (primarily on the web) will almost completely replace printed direct mail as a sales tool.

    – When I think of corporate video I don’t focus on meeting videos or CEO speeches. My shop gets a lot of work doing B2B sales videos, training, product demonstrations, web videos, technical breakdowns, viral videos, product install walk-throughs etc. In my mind, all of these areas are considered corporate video simply for lack of a more appropriate category. Framed in that way, I doubt anyone can honestly say corporate video has no place.

    Brendan Coots
    Splitvision Digital

  • Tim Wilson

    November 26, 2008 at 10:58 pm

    We devoted an entire issue of the Cow Magazine to Non-Broadcast Video. M variations on corporate video:

    **an orientation film for the 3,500 employees at Wembley Stadium
    **in-house video for Elvis Presley Enterprises (archiving, sales, training)
    **production for the Atlanta Braves: stadium displays and marketing

    We also have an article on real estate video called “We Don’t Do Real Estate Video.” The writer is a corporate video guy who got sucked into doing a couple of real estate videos on very interesting properties, with clients who wanted something creative. So the author treated it like a corporate video.

    So not exactly an issue to wave at your “who needs corporate video” boo-bird, but a truly inspiring set of stories with very specific examples of relevance.

    A free download….and you should subscribe if you’re not.

    Here’s the PDF.

    Here are other issues. If you haven’t taken a look, you’ll be flabbergasted. Amazing stories, all written by Cows. There’s really never been anything like this before in our industry.

    Here’s where to sign up.

    Yr pal,
    The Cow (well, not THE Cow, but one of ’em)

  • Mike Cohen

    November 27, 2008 at 4:38 am

    As others have said, when corporations seek out a video producer to make a video, that means corporate video is relevant for that corporation.
    Any corporate boss who asks for statistical proof that video works may be under the influence of Six Sigma (which has its uses as my brother would tell you).

    Here are some examples of corporate work I have done just in the past year:

    1. A medical device company held a big event to celebrate 100 years of a particular surgical device. They gave a lifetime achievement award to one of the inventors, had some cool speeches by both doctors and sales guys, and followed that with an open bar and finger food. They shot the event single camera, then came to us for polishing and a DVD. They had requests from all over the world to take the show on the road, which would have been impossible, so the DVD was a big hit.

    2. Several medical companies wanted to show live surgery at their trade show booths. however live surgery is not allowed at some meetings due to liability, so we produced live-on-tape videos which they showed on the biggest LCD monitor I’ve seen outside of the sports arena. Very cool.

    3. A medical society wanted a video to recruit medical students into their field.

    4. A sales training consultant created a series of web videos to teach new sales people how to develop sales strategies. The content was quite interesting regardless of what you sell.

    5. I created about 20 sample videos to promote products on our own website.

    6. One video on our YouTube page has over 40,000 views. That sounds like fluff to me (Mike looks at camera with raised eyebrows like Jim from the Office).

    This thread could go on forever as just about everyone on the COW does some form of corporate video.

    Good question.

    Mike Cohen

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