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In a world where Hollywood film sets have been shut down and production of some of our favourite TV shows have been put on hold, you’d assume that producing branded video content is a complete no-no. But while the reality is that some video formats are not viable at the moment, there are still a lot of opportunities for forward looking brands to still create video content. And right now it’s really important that they do. Audiences  are spending more time than ever consuming content and looking at screens, so it’s vital that brands continue to communicate with customers using the most powerful marketing medium they have. So here are 5 ways your brand can create video content right now:

1. Animate Your Story Instead

This seems like the most obvious solution, but animation is a technique that can be created entirely digitally. From their homes, talented writers and animators all across the globe are bringing stories to life. I talk from experience as we’re working remotely on a number of exciting animation projects for clients right now!

Animation still taken from our NHS video.

Perhaps the less obvious advantage of animation, is the creative potential it gives to brands. As Walt Disney said “Animation can explain whatever the mind of man can conceive.” It ultimately allows us to portray anything we like on screen. And in a world where access to things we take for granted is severely restricted, this is a very powerful tool in telling your story.

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2. Re-cut, Re-use, Recycle

The last 10 years have seen an explosion in branded video content. We are producing more video than we ever have. So brands have acquired a massive back catalogue of footage which presents a huge untapped opportunity for marketers during COVID 19. 

It’s amazing how when you use a new musical track and powerful script over archived material, you can tell an entirely new story from those raw ingredients. By slicing and dicing this footage and adding a new voiceover or on-screen copy, brands can deliver content that has a more relevant message for their customers right now… This recent video from Guiness is a great example, utilizing a mixture of old footage, stock video and photography to tell a fresh story of togetherness on a very different feeling St Patrick’s Day:  

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3. Shoot in splendid isolation

Live action filming is the most challenging production element to take on right now. But there are still ways of doing it. Using closed environments like film studios, production teams just need to think a little differently to work within social distancing guidelines. Depending on the space, scaled back crews can still operate safely.

Behind the scenes picture from our Intimina shoot.

This month we created a table top stop motion product film for one of our longest running clients. What would normally take place on a single shoot day with a crew of 6 plus client, we spread out across three days. Day 1 saw our art director come in and prepare all the sets and props in advance. On day two a gaffer came in and lit the studio for filming, while on the filming day itself we had a Camera Operator alone in the studio filming with the Art Director, Gaffer and Director all dialing in on Zoom to oversee what was being captured. We are extremely fortunate to have our own film studio which gives us the flexibility to operate in this way.

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4. Embrace Virtual Production

Virtual Production has already started to revolutionise the way filmmakers tell stories. It’s a combination of technological advances that allow productions to combine real world ingredients (such as actors and presenters) with virtual sets and locations in a way that’s never been possible before. We’re all heard of green screen, but that requires a whole host of work in post production. VP is next level stuff – using powerful gaming engines to generate worlds in real time. So filmmakers can shoot in any direction and get instant photo realistic backdrops. So while the real world may be closed for business right now, you can shoot inside a studio and still be virtually anywhere!

Behind the scenes picture from Star Wars.

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5. Get your message right

As the first 4 tips show, there are still lots of ways of creating branded video content right now. But wouldn’t it be a shame to put all that effort in, only for your message to fall flat. So it’s not just about HOW to say it, but WHAT to say, and that’s never been more important.  Brands need to walk a fine line between trying to make themselves and their products feel relevant, while at the same time being sensitive and empathetic in the midst of the pandemic. 

Ultimately how you deliver your message will depend on your brand, its relevance, and the reason for creating the video in the first place. But be wary of creating something that audiences have seen ten times before! And you know what, the “Generic Coronavirus advert” already exists! This video very neatly shows production tropes that are fast becoming Coronavirus advertising cliches: 

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If you’re trying to keep video rolling then virtually get in touch to discuss your brief.

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