How to create a brand video for your company (and how not to).

Is it my imagination or does every business now care as much about what they are as what they do?

I recently visited a famous tyre fitting company and behind the counter – where previously a poster showing their best price deals used to be – now sits a screen playing a video about their company values. I only went in for a tyre, but somehow, I now know their philosophy on ‘customer journey’.  Companies large and small, local and global, are trying to connect with their audiences through a new P – Personality – just as much as the famous old P’s – Price and Product – and to be honest, it’s much better this way.

With our timelines, feeds, browsers, and even our petrol station queue’s bombarding us with advertising, Price and Product blur into one giant cloud of ‘Meh’. But a Personality is much harder to ignore. It is also harder to fake. Us humans are pretty good at sniffing out a fraud (more of which later) and when we meet a ‘personality’ we’re not going to get on with, we generally know straight away. So, producing a video which perfectly, and more importantly, genuinely captures what our business stands for, is, well, a tricky business. Enter the Brand Video.  Brand videos (I’ve also heard them referred to as Culture Videos and Values videos) are everywhere – and for good reason – if done well, they can connect with your audience more directly than a traditional Ad or promo as they appeal to you as a human rather than a consumer.

Let’s take a look at a successful Brand Video.

Go Pro perfected the Personality over Product/Price video many years ago and to this day absolutely nail them. They don’t sell you how durable their cameras are, or how much the new Hero 5 costs, or even the amazing picture quality they produce. No. They show you how their customers use them, and the best part is they let their customers produce their Brand videos for them. In other words, they show, not tell. A good example of this at nearly 37m views is the famous Fireman Saves Kitten video which was recorded by Fireman Cory Kalanick on a Go Pro and uploaded to their site. It became the focal point of their ‘Be a Hero’ campaign. Somehow, by accident or design, this video shows the world what can be achieved with a Go Pro by your side. A simple human act which resonates with what the brand is. If that plays when I’m queueing up for fuel and a Double Decker, I’m watching it!

On the flip side of this, Pepsi recently, and famously, misjudged how they presented the personality of their brand with the Kendall Jenner video Not wanting to kick a brand video whilst their down, I would suggest that even without the controversy of cosying up to Police at a demonstration that perhaps, as humans, alarm bells may have been ringing at the ‘personality’ they were presenting to the world. Let’s just say that if the Pepsi brand video approached you at a bus stop, you may be a bit sceptical.

These examples go to show how important it is to get your brand video right. But how do we translate how a company feels and acts into an engaging video that people believe?

We were recently approached by the software company Synectics Solutions to do just that, and as previously mentioned, it can be a tricky business. On the one hand, Synectics Solutions is an IT company that develops software and analyses data. They do incredibly important work in helping to fight cyber-crime. They do this very well and are globally respected for it. On the other hand, Synectics are one of the warmest, friendliest, and most people-focused company I’ve ever met. The minute you walk in the door you can feel the positive and nurturing atmosphere they have built – due in no small part to the amazingly approachable and caring attitude of the Directors to all of their staff and clients alike.

To create a Brand video for Synectics, we needed an idea which would capture their personality, what they do, and what Synectics ‘feels’ like. In short, we needed to produce a video which did the hardest thing in film making – showing, not telling. A traditional approach to this brief would have been either a scripted voiceover artist telling you about the wonderful values the company live by or talking head employee’s telling you how innovative the culture is at Synectics. Both would be fine. Functional. Informative. But neither would actually show you the personality of the company. They’d just tell you about it.

Our approach was to create an atmospheric journey from the smallest of data forms to the people who create them to the world in which we live and beyond. We wanted to show the global scale of the company’s goals and the people on the ground floor making it happen. Whether we’ve been successful, I will leave to your judgement, but the initial reaction and feedback from client and public alike has been very positive.

Now, in keeping with the message of this blog, I’d like to stop telling you about it, and start showing you.

The finished video can be seen here…