Styles of Corporate Video and Which One is Best for You

Styles of Corporate Video and Which One is Best for You
September 14, 2017 storyfrontier
Is your corporate culture relaxed or more professional? What message do you want to communicate and how much do you need to control it? Knowing the answers to these questions is key to creating an effective corporate video. In this article we break down the 3 main styles of corporate video and explore which one best fits your organisation. (Animation is not covered here, but is often part of any corporate video and should be viewed as just another tool to communicate your message). 

(1) Scripted voiceover 

This visionary style is perhaps the most commonly seen corporate video. In this type of video, script, storyboard, lighting and camera movement are all planned, and we may do multiple takes of each scene as we have time to perfect each shot. Having such control allows us to heighten the reality and emotion and therefore more powerfully communicate our message. Picture a customer and client shaking hands in slow-motion at an airport, whilst a voiceover says “the customer is at the heart of our business”. It could sound a bit cliched, but this method is effective in the same way that a movie is effective –  they both have strong control over the words (script) and images (storyboard). Whilst most if not all words will be voiceover (or text), any interview will be completely scripted. So the interviewee will read out a pre-written message, rather like the news. Frequently, we might also incorporate ‘stock footage‘ to further enhance our vision.

Con’s

Whilst this style of corporate video looks professional, we do lose a bit of the authentic touch that helps make a video more relatable, as we are not hearing from your customers or employees in a natural way. It also takes more time to plan and film, so it could be more expensive to produce.

Watch an example of a ‘Scripted Voiceover video’ we shot for a local engineering company

(2) Semi-scripted/ documentary style 

A very different method then is making the corporate video feel less like a corporate video. Here we capture moments as they happen in a natural way rather like in a documentary or real-life. In place of a voiceover and tight script, we use interviews with customers and/or employees to ‘tell your story’ and convey what your organisation does. Interviewees will look off-camera, like they’re having a conversation with someone. We may often follow interviewees around on their day and capture spontaneous moments ‘in-action’. (This is referred to as ‘b-roll’). E.g. an employee giving a boardroom presentation, or a customer selling cakes in her shop. This style is great for giving personality to your organisation, communicating your ‘values’ and making you relatable and authentic. It will likely be faster to produce too.

Con’s

Whilst this style of video is more personal, we do lose a bit of the corporate professional feel and it can be more challenging to get the exact words we need. It might also take longer to communicate all our points than a properly scripted version.

Watch an example of a ‘Semi-scripted Documentary Style video’ we shot for a local snack company (Note: example is not a ‘corporate’ client, so is for stylistic purposes)

(3) Mix of voiceover & interviews 

Who says we can’t have the best of both worlds? Another ‘trick’ is to use scripted voiceover for some sections and the documentary style for other parts. By mixing both styles, we can show our professional side and our personality at the same time. This method can be a great way to go about making a corporate video as it could also be more engaging due to the play between the authentic and visionary styles.

Con’s

This approach is more complex and therefore could require more preparation and planning. And careful attention has to be paid to getting the right balance.

Watch an example of a ‘Mix of Voiceover & Interviews video’ we shot for a global money transfer company

Conclusions 

So which style is best for you?

You should think about the following questions: What message do you want to convey and how much do you need to control it? What feeling do you want to get across – Is it that big emotional impact or more authentic and natural style? How much time do you have? And ultimately, what kind of company do you want to be perceived as? In most cases we’d likely recommend either style (2) or (3), as nowadays you’ll see even the biggest companies spending a lot of time and effort to break their stiff corporate image and appear more human and authentic. Even a B2B audience may appreciate some focus on appealing to the end-customer.

Is a corporate video right for you in the first place?

As a ‘corporate’ organisation, if you don’t already have a corporate video, then the short answer is YES! A corporate video is essentially a more dynamic and digestible version of the ‘About Us’ tab on your website. Not to mention tabs like ‘Our Mission’ / ‘Our Story’ and ‘Our Products & Services’. So any company with an online presence should have a video that explains who they are and what they offer. Alternatively, rather than make one long video, it may be more effective to create a series of shorter videos. E.g. a video for each tab, or separate out videos according to your divisions.

Turning the corporate video on its head

As a final thought, In an age where our attention is getting harder and harder to engage, it helps to remember the ‘educate or entertain’ principle. Meaning that, if we want people to watch our video, then we need to make it engaging. And the key to engagement is to either educate or entertain our audience. This is something that all the above video styles should bear in mind.
But another way we could interpret this is to turn the corporate video on its head and make it feel like an actual documentary or news-story that people will learn from. For example, an engineering company that design roads and railways could create a news-worthy video about new technology advances within their field, incorporating interviews with key experts and customers. The video would then spark genuine, organic interest from your key audience, and subtly soft-sell your own company and its services, culture and values.

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