Commercials are dead. The modern audience attention no longer responds effectively to standard forms of advertising. Displaying a product and its price tag does little if nothing to connect the desires of viewers to your company. It must be realized that your company is selling a brand that describes what you stand for and profit results as a symbiotic relationship between company brand image and customer communication. Ideas of native advertising have opened markets to creating what is known as the “Brand Film” and takes on many forms from documentary style interviews to entertaining stories that can rival their cinematic counterparts. There are similar aspects to achieving a powerful brand film that overlap with great movies including a brilliant story idea, proper lighting and production value, and efficient editing techniques. However brand films are created with the intent of eventually selling a product and for this reason they differ slightly in their pre-production stages. Here are a few ideas that to create a short film for your brand that connects with viewers on a much more powerful level.
Assert Your Goals – Every company has a reason for existing that transcends profit. Your company might be selling a useful product but there is a lifestyle hope they are more trying to achieve. Your clients should know what values their company stands for and how they intend to better the lives of their customers with their product or services. Let this corporate mission statement be the motivating factor in how you want to tell the story. Before you introduce the product itself let the beginning of the film assert what the company is there to do. Be consistent and steadfast about this. If you create a similar film for a different product for the same company then this message should be identical to previous films used by the same company. When doing a brand film for a nonprofit the message is very clear because it defines itself with trying to help a cause. Corporate messages should be quite similar. Your company stands to help the world in some manner and intends to result in profit from that change. Prime the video with these goals and reassert them throughout the video to appear as strong and focused on these goals as possible. Your brand film will be a form of storytelling for how your company sees the world and how it hopes to change the problems it sees, even if it is beyond reasonable. Storytelling is a form of imagination at work so take advantage of it. View this short brand film for Kenzo fragrance You will see how they define a world as they see it, bland and uptight with too many rules and before introducing their product suggest a different way of living. The video takes on a life of its own with choreographed dance moves and special effects to entertain the viewer before finally unleashing the products name.
Define Your Aesthetic – Great film directors are known as auteurs but no one earns this title until they have refined a specific aesthetic look that is their artistic signature. Your campaigns should have the same approach. Clients and their video production companies should work closely together to define the visual aspects of the company. The integration of a corporate aesthetic takes in pace the corporate logo and fonts along with the market they do most of their business with and sometimes the origin of their company. Radio Flyer toy wagons have been a mainstay of American culture for almost a century. They conjure up ideas of Norman Rockwell paintings and suburban America. This short film from Moonbot Studios takes those visual concepts and applies them in an animated short film. When working with smaller companies there will be a lot already defined but that gives a rise in opportunity to create a desired aesthetic.
Be Creative – George Lucas did not write the original Star Wars with the concept of how to sell plastic figurines in mind. He wrote an interesting and relatable story then spiced up the film aspects with genius special FX and today I have a humidifier designed to look like R2-D2. The point is your brand film should stand on its own as a creative force. Consider story elements that might seem a little far-fetched but take your viewers into that imaginary world and let them forget about products for a second. This does not always have to be a fantasy world as seen in this film from General Electric “A Snowball’s Chance in Hell” where they take a phrase literally and combine humor, drama and science into a 3 minute video. GE is a company that can afford to create content like to celebrate their success but this is not exactly a “pat on the back” ad. There are some real components as well as bizarre fictions that combine to make a video worth watching and there is no shortage of creativity implemented form the story concept to production value to edited graphics. Some corporate films even take these shorts to film festivals and put the award leafs on their titles.
In the world of brand films, you are providing a form of entertainment that viewers will associate with your product. Viewers will see your company as being able to support, sponsor and endorse an artistic video and carry that awareness into what your company does for its own products. Even for smaller business there is real potential for them to create a small film that gets their brand name out there or at least to learn a few tips and apply them in their own videos. Sometimes this type of film-making is used for internal videos to explain the story of the company’s origins and growth. Hopefully your next corporate video can take a small piece of this and profit from it or at least have something a little more remarkable to identify yourself as.