One of the electronic publications that I read faithfully is MediaPost’s Online Video Insider.
The latest column – Bulleted Points Miss the Point, by Jerry Bader, took me on a little trip down memory lane and at the same time gave me some very interesting facts about online video marketing.
As a video producer and scriptwriter in a former life – I spent long hours with colleagues discussing what it was we were actually supposed to be doing for the client. Guiding them to the right media for their message was what we all hoped would be the answer from the bosses. And most of the time, in most of the companies I had the pleasure to do business with – either full-time or as a free lancer – we were afforded this power.
And our job was to make sure that the client’s message was delivered to their specific audience within their budget and time frame in such a way as to achieve the desired effect.
Many times while I working full-time in the video and film department of a major defense contractor, the client would show up at our door wanting to “make a video.” And after reviewing their needs, it became clear that in fact, they might only need a PowerPoint presentation – with bullets! But that was 20 years or so ago – and making video presentations has come a long way since the days of 1″ machines and linear editing. Surely it is easy now to make a video! Or is it!?
From the article (which focuses on marketing)…
However using the right tool is only effective if you are using it correctly, and using it correctly means more than a technical understanding of what buttons to push. Video marketing starts with concept that is implemented by means of an appropriate script and delivered with an entertaining performance. Much of what we see on the Web is either off-the-cuff winging it by do-it-yourselfers who think they know what they’re doing but don’t, and mind-numbing corporate videos that go in one ear and out the other. The overall quality of business videos on the Web is appallingly bad — both amateur and professional alike — and it’s often the result of business’s failure to understand how video communication works, an unwillingness to invest in hiring firms that do, and a penchant for being too impatient to stick to a clear, consistent brand messaging strategy.
From the first time PowerPoint appeared on the desktops of the engineers we have seen the quality of business presentations sink lower and lower. As software advances and everyone can “make a video” we will see more and more marginal messages being produced by people who know how to move a mouse, but don’t know how to communicate.
This quote from the article – actually the summation – clearly states the importance of the multimedia producer knowing how to communicate.
Listing a bunch of features as bulleted points is not communication, even if those bulleted points are presented as animated fly-ins beside a sterile spokesperson spouting platitudes. Real video communication requires context within the script and subtext within the performance in order to reach deeper into an audience’s psyche to create a meaningful, memorable message — that’s the essence of real video communication.
In my former life as a scriptwriter, I strove for that deeper understanding of the audience and their wants, needs, expectations as I found the “right” hook for the script. Now, as a voice talent and occasional on-camera actor, I use my background in scriptwriting and understanding the client and the script to find the right subtext as I deliver the words – looking for the “right” read.