30th Sept 2020
3 Min Read

In the frame. Creative director Tony Beresford talks video

IC & Engagement

Film and animation helps us tell memorable stories, feel powerful emotions and are a great medium for spreading a message. And what will always be remembered as the lockdown style of capturing the moment has expanded into internal and external campaigns, bringing with it a raw, unfiltered authenticity.

So, what’s next for video? And in a sea of grainy webcam vox pops, how can we cut-through the noise and use video content to its creative potential? I grabbed some time in between Zoom calls to ask our Creative Director Tony Beresford how internal comms (IC) pros can master the moving image.

Why has video become such a game changer?

It’s about access and mindset. The industry has become democratised, now that we all carry editing suites in our pockets. And what was once the preserve of very big budgets and technical experts is now far more accessible and affordable.

Producing a film used to involve much more time and expense: the final result needed to have a much greater shelf life and there would often be a big reveal to make an event out of it.

Now we have snappy little 15-second clips popping up on our Enterprise Social Networks, scattered with graphics, animation or GIFs. It might feel less premium, but it’s far more immediate.

Why is video such an important part of the creative mix for IC?

To keep up! Video is an integral part of how we consume information and entertainment – it would be short-sighted to overlook it as part of a comms mix. Attention spans are brief and what we produce has to compete with everything else vying for our eyes.

While external marketers have room and budget to experiment, internal communicators often require proven methods and are at the mercy of more red tape.

Now, as we consume everything from TikTok and YouTube, to stunning commercial animation and rough and ready vox pops, translating these styles of film for our internal challenge is becoming the norm. It’s not a leap to use video to help drive our messages in much more relatable and engaging ways.

What has the last 12 months done to drive up video content and usage?

It’s broken some barriers for sure. Filming the CEO used to involve a scouted location, a quality camera, hair and makeup, lighting and a trained interviewer. Now it’s a Zoom call in their spare room. But it’s that raw authenticity and relatability people have wanted to see during this time. Although this approach was born out of necessity, it’s opened our eyes to the importance of good content and message over medium.

We’re all much more lens-literate as a result of lockdown. That means we can crowd-source more material, where we want to see and hear from our colleagues across the businesses.

But I predict a craving for new forms of creativity – to help us get our messages across and to digest them. There are only so many talking heads in squares you can take before they blur into one.

So demand will increase for media such as animation, which can beautifully convey more complex information like financial figures, data and statistics or bring you along on the journey of the organisation’s strategic narrative in a way that also weaves in a company’s brand and tone of voice.

For IC teams that want to introduce more film and animation into their storytelling, where should they start?

Don’t just do it for the sake of it. As with every channel in IC, start by looking at your audiences and asking whether it’s relevant. Can they access it? How will they respond? If video is the right medium, then consider what kind is best to help tell the story. And plan the launch and how you sustain it to really make the most out of it.

Ultimately, video alone isn’t a silver bullet. But it’s a fantastically powerful and captivating tool when combined with the other parts of your comms mix. We always look at communications channels holistically and take a mosaic approach to content. That is, thinking of how we can use content across multiple channels to build and reinforce the message you are communicating. Film is a key part of this.

If you think video would bring your messages to life, but you’re not sure how best to integrate it, talk to our experts who can look at your comms mix, audience and objectives in the round to help you maximise the impact of the moving image.

To find out more about how film and animation can help bring your stories to live, download our free guide

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