There was a time, not so long ago, when video was a rare thing in B2B marketing. Every now and then a company would put together something for an exhibition or conference, maybe for a big product launch, but that was about it.
Then a combination of events meant that almost everyone could knock out a video pretty quickly for not a lot of money. They could whack it up on YouTube and embed it easily on their site. They could get a quick talking-head clip in full HD. They could find someone to do a low-cost animation with type or something a bit more cartoon-like.
So they did.
And for the most part, the results were pretty good. So what’s the problem?
The more people have piled into video, the more the resulting videos are beginning to look eerily similar. You know the type – they look a bit retro, a bit 1950s, and tend to start with something like: “Meet Dave. Dave is the owner of a small manufacturing business just outside of Birmingham. And Dave has a problem…”
Of course, the first few you see look pretty good. And in some markets, the chances are that most customers will only ever see a limited number. So maybe I’m being a bit harsh. But surely we can do better.
The first step is to look outside of the usual for inspiration (if all we ever see is faux-1950s animation or a sweating man in front of a pot plant, that’s likely to be all we’ll ever produce). So let’s look a little wider…
Case studies are stories about people first and foremost. Take a look at the following – is there any reason why your next interview couldn’t take this approach?
The Shoemaker from Dustin Cohen on Vimeo.
Yes, animated numbers and kinetic type-based explanations can look cool, but they’re not the only option for getting facts across. Check out this opening title sequence for a way to mix data with live video.
MK12 // Stranger Than Fiction: Opening from MK12 on Vimeo.
Of course, sometimes it’s just a sheer obsessive focus on detail that can make all the difference. Watch the following to see how the type and imagery play so very nicely together. Outstanding.
Six Feet Under Main Title from DIGITAL KITCHEN on Vimeo.
Now there will always be budgetary constraints on any video project. But the principles behind what make these videos work so well can be applied to even modest productions.
Header image by Sarah Reid