8 Videos And Films To Celebrate Hanukkah

True Film Production loves the holiday season. From comedic classic films to inspiring holiday advertisements, we can’t get enough holiday video. To celebrate Hanukkah this year, we’ve picked eight Hanukkah videos for the eight nights of candlelight. We’ve included six of our favorite online videos, one TV episode, and one movie that are an absolute must-see for celebrating and learning about this tradition.

 

1. Candlelight by The Maccabeats

 

The Maccabeats are a Jewish a cappella group that make being Jewish a blast of fun and music. They’ve covered songs from Hamilton to Les Miserables and beyond. This is one of their more popular videos with over 13 million views on YouTube. This music video teaches the history of Hanukkah to the tune of Taio Cruz’s “Dynamite”. They tell a “tale” using comedic visuals mixed with fun and exciting audio to create a captivating video that’s perfect for everyone.

 

 

2. JB Smoove Questions

 

This video uses celebrity JB Smoove to create a comedic “introduction” to this Jewish holiday. They connect JB Smoove with his friend Larry David, who often talks about his Jewish upbringing in his comedy. This is not only a hilarious video, but it spreads information about Hanukkah to people who may have similar questions.

 

 

3. JDate “Chinese Food On Christmas”

 

Brandon Walker found major success with his fun and relatable song, “Chinese Food on Christmas.” JDate, a Jewish dating site, adopted this song for their personal branding. Using this video shows the fun side of JDate, while also helping Jewish daters connect over similar holiday experiences—and a few laughs as well.

 

 

4. Chanukah vs Christmas (Mac vs PC parody)

 

Most people know the Mac vs PC advertisements; one man represents Mac and another represents PC, and they have a conversation about all their features. This video plays on that branded marketing awareness, creating a funny “advertisement” for Hanukkah. We love how this video shows the differences between the two traditions and religions, while also demonstrating how they can come together during the holiday season.

 

 

5. Latke Recipe by The Maccabeats

 

Here we have another song by the Maccabeats, sung to the tune of “Shut Up and Dance.” They again provide information and value through an intriguing narrative—and a latke recipe. They make it personal by inviting us into their kitchen to cook (and dance) with them.

 

 

6. Hanukkah Song Mashup by Key Tov Orchestra

 

Set along a New York backdrop, this is a “broadcast” of an event performed in NYC by the Key Tov Orchestra. They use quality “live” videography, showing the singers, dancers, and onlookers to make you feel like you’re right there in the action. This mash-up unites different cultural and pop songs in the spirit of Hanukkah; the video, in the same light, shows the effect it has on the mash-up of people in the crowd. Everyone stops to listen to the story and songs of the Hanukkah season, bringing together people from all walks of life.

 

 

7. Friends “The One With The Holiday Armadillo”

 

The TV show Friends is known for its wild and crazy holiday episodes—and “The One With The Holiday Armadillo” (season 7, episode 10) is one of our favorites. Ross tries to teach his son Ben about their Jewish heritage by dressing up as an armadillo. As he explains the Festival of Lights to his son, Ross’s friend Chandler shows up dressed as Santa. Santa then sits down to learn about Hanukkah… before Superman shows up. This is a fun and heartwarming episode to get you in the spirit of the season.

 

 

8. Adam Sandler’s “Eight Crazy Nights”

 

In 1994, Adam Sandler released the famous “Chanukah Song.” This made him the unofficial spokesman for the holiday in popular culture. You’ll find the Chanukah Song in just about every video or parody of the season. In 2002, Adam Sandler then released the film “Eight Crazy Nights.” This movie is about a delinquent who needs to redeem himself in the community during the Hanukkah season. It’s a great holiday film to get in the spirit of redemption, family, and community. (Note that despite its animation, it’s rated PG-13.)

 

 

Happy Hanukkah and happy holidays from True Film!

The post 8 Videos And Films To Celebrate Hanukkah appeared first on True Film Production - NYC Corporate Video Production Company.

12 Best Ways to Reach Potential Crowdfunding Participants

Question: What is the best way to reach potential funders when launching a Kickstarter or Indiegogo campaign?

 

Find Influences in Your Niche

 

“In the beginning of the campaign, I recommend reaching out to bloggers and influencers in your niche, either directly or through an early-stage PR firm. Find people who will join your mission and share it with their community. You want to focus on your niche and avoid casting too wide a net. This was a key part of our success — raising almost $600,000 on Indiegogo for our video doorbell.” ANDREW THOMAS – SkyBell Doorbell

Snowball Fast with Media Support

 

“Successful crowdfunding campaigns all have one thing in common: They launched with a bang. When sites like Mashable and TechCrunch write a story about a crowdfunding campaign, it creates instant credibility and the campaign snowballs into a funding monster. Establish media contacts well in advance and make sure your campaign has some major press ready to help you get it out there at launch.” JONATHAN LONG – LAWYE.RS

Work With a Strong Marketing and PR Company

 

“Crowdfunding is the future, no doubt about that. But success in crowdfunding is easier said than done. As this space continues to mature, startups will need to hire a qualified company to help manage the marketing and PR element of successfully raising capital.” KEN CAULEY – Advanced Media

Start Early

 

“We funded in less than two hours, and it was because we did a lot of promotional activities before the campaign launched. We sent press releases to the local media, which put us on air and in the papers. We let our social media fans know, and we sent out emails to tell previous customers the exact hour of the launch. I exported my contacts from Gmail and sent most of them emails using the BCC field.” WEI-SHIN LAI, M.D. – AcousticSheep LLC

Create a Video

 

“Create more content to encourage people to invest in your project. Consider creating videos like behind-the-scenes, inside the technology, or even a simple video that will update funders on the campaign progress. You want to create content that will make people excited about the product or service, leading them to share within their communities.” STANLEY MEYTIN – True Film Production

Connect With Bloggers Who Reach Your Audience

 

“Go after the major PR channels, but don’t count out the smaller, tier-two bloggers who still have a considerable following. It’s pretty easy to identify the audience they cater to based on their profile and the types of articles they write about. Many of them who would be happy to review and share your product with their followers without requiring a large budget to do it.” ANDY KARUZA – FenSens

Launch An Event

 

“An event already has a captive audience, press, influencers, bloggers and the potential for your product to go viral. The Pebble Watch, for instance, launched at SXSW. It surely helped Pebble get the word out there. They went on to have the most successful (potentially second highest grossing campaign) Kickstarter launch. You can even run an event-specific promotion for your campaign.” RAHUL VARSHNEYA – Arkenea

Find Social Media Influencers

 

“Unless you are a social media rockstar already, leveraging your social circles won’t yield much visibility. An ideal way to gain massive exposure is to reach out to existing influencers on Youtube, Instagram and other channels and tell them about your campaign. Additionally, write for sites like Buzzfeed, Medium.com and Linkedin Voices to get instant visibility.” MARCELA DE VIVO – Mulligan Funding

Give Back

 

“As an incentive for funders to put money into your Kickstarter campaign, give them something back for their donation and contribution toward your idea. You could give them anything from a branded T-shirt to a coupon to your products and/or services. You could even make them a part of your company in some way. This will push funders to get involved and even stay involved in the future.” MILES JENNINGS – Recruiter.com

Get Feedback

 

“Elicit feedback from potential donors and use this to improve your pitch and overall campaign. Folks will be more willing to invest when they’re engaged and involved.” ANDREW SCHRAGE – Money Crashers Personal Finance

Spend to Get Started

 

“Although you’re already looking for funding to help launch your business, spend some of that all important starting capital on hiring contractors to make your campaign a worthwhile endeavor. A well-designed, well-written page, with focused content and clear messaging, can go a long way — and it’s going to take a team of (part-time) professionals to ensure a win!” BLAIR THOMAS – eMerchantBroker

Ask Mom and Dad to “Kick Start” Your Campaign

 

“Successful Kickstarter campaigns generate social proof by getting backers right out of the gate. The most tried and true way to get early backers is to start with first level connections. Family (mom and dad), friends, co-workers, whatever it takes. Kickstarter investors invest in companies with traction. Don’t launch a Kickstarter campaign without having early friends and family backers.” OBINNA EKEZIE – Wakanow.com

The post 12 Best Ways to Reach Potential Crowdfunding Participants appeared first on True Film Production - NYC Corporate Video Production Company.

What To Wear When Starring In A Company Video

Whether you’re going on camera for an interview or starring as an “actor” in a scene, you want your message to be the star of the show. You want people focused on your face and voice, not distracted by what you’re wearing. Colors, styles, and shapes translate differently through a lens than they do in reality. What might be the right outfit for an in-person interview may detract from your content on video.

 

So what can you wear in a video to ensure your viewer focuses on your message and brand?

 

1. Avoid white and black.

 

White often appears too bright on camera, “blinding” the viewer and washing out the subject. This often means people won’t be as drawn to your face, which can damage the intimate connection you want to build between speaker and viewer.

 

Black has the opposite problem. Although black is slimming, it can absorb too much light and can make the speaker look dull. Black can often create a “hole” in the lighting of the video that can make the lens have difficulty balancing exposure.

 

Moreover, harsh contrasts don’t always convert appropriately through video. This means that you shouldn’t wear a top that will contrast heavily with your skin tone and hair color.

Suit /> <br> <p style=2. Wear dark, muted colors.

Bright colors may draw the eye in person, but in a video they can be distracting. Studio lighting prefers dark, rich colors like navy, grey, purple, dark cream, and olive. You can also wear light pastels depending on skin tone and background. These provide enough color to be interesting without distracting from the face.

Wear

3. Consider the background.

 

When choosing a color to wear, consider the background as well. If the video will be using special effects and green screens, you don’t want to wear green—or you could end up a floating head. If you’re going to be shooting in a cityscape, dark colors may make you lost along the buildings. If you’re shooting in a natural landscape, earth tones can wash you out.

Backdrop” /> <br> <p style=4. Avoid loud prints or patterns.

If possible, stick to solid colors. Patterns, even when subtle, can be distracting. This is true for shirts, suits, and even neckties or handkerchiefs. You should never wear anything loud or busy.

 

You’ll especially want to avoid pinstripes, herringbones, and tweeds. Lines that are too close together can look like they are “strobing” on camera. If your video will be played on television, you especially want to be aware of vertical patterns. Standard TVs use horizontal scan lines, so they have trouble displaying vertical lines like pinstripes. This creates a “moiré” effect, where the patterns compete for visual dominance and create a blurry, disrupted display.

Print

5. Know your body shape.

 

Everyone knows that the camera adds 10 pounds. This is simply because the speaker is emphasized on camera, taking up a majority of the scene with little context or environment around them. You don’t want to feel insecure or timid while on camera, so make sure you dress comfortably and in a way that will highlight your best features. Wear shaped (not tight) clothing that is fitted in certain spots to avoid looking lumpy or larger on camera.

Body Shape

6. Wear subtle accessories.

 

Shiny or sparkly jewelry can catch the camera lights and create an imbalance of light. Stick to small chains, pearls, and non-reflective watches. Moreover, your jewelry shouldn’t rattle or clank, as these can create disruptive noise in the microphone and take away from your message.

 

Avoid wearing sunglasses on your head or in your shirt, as these can reflect light and images. If you wear glasses, these too can cause glare off the lights. If possible, switch to contacts when filming. If you’re wearing glasses, let the production crew know ahead of time so they can position the lights in a way that will minimize glare.

Wear Accessories

7. Wear breathable clothing.

 

If you’re shooting a video, you’re likely using some form of external or studio lighting as well. These lights can make you hot and sweaty. You don’t want to sweat through your clothes and appear red and oily on camera. Choose thin, breathable, and natural fabrics.

Wind

8. Know your audience.

 

Wear what your audience wears. In most cases, you want to appear as relatable to your viewer. You want to connect with them through the video. What you wear and how you present yourself can create a deeper connection. For example, if your ideal viewer loves to workout, wear workout clothes. If they’re music lovers, you can wear a shirt of your favorite band. Use clothing and accessories to tell more about your personality and brand.

Clothes

9. Keep hair and makeup natural.

 

You want to feel comfortable on camera. Now is not the time to experiment with new hairstyles or makeup looks.

 

For hair, you may want to use hairspray to tame fly-aways, which can appear more prominent on camera. For long hair, pull back in a braid, ponytail, or bun to keep out of the face. Avoid products that make hair shiny, like lots of gel or spray.

 

For makeup, keep it neutral and natural. Most cameras now are advanced enough to pick up on makeup, so you don’t need to make it too heavy as was necessary in the past. Focus on makeup that will emphasize your eyes and lips, which are the parts of the face that viewers are most drawn to naturally.

Make up

10. Use logo shirts sparingly.

 

Wearing a shirt with a logo can subtly create brand awareness and soft-selling to your audience, but it can also distract viewers. We recommend wearing a branded shirt when talking about your company, like in an about us video. Avoid wearing a logo in videos that are focused more on customers or narrative.

 

Always wear clothing that will enhance your message.

Shirt

11. Have options.

 

Bring a few options with you on the day of shooting. You can then talk to the videographer to determine what would work best with the scene, the lights, and the brand. You may also want to bring a brush and makeup to do touchups before shooting.

Options

The Bottom Line

 

You want the viewer to focus on you and the content, not on your clothing. Wear something that will make you confident; confidence is key to effectively sharing your message.

 

Not sure what to wear for your big video debut? Contact True Film Production now to create the perfect shot list for your brand’s video content.

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The Face In The Video: Why Use People In Marketing

A UCLA study about communication found that words account for only 7% of communication of a message, tone of voice is responsible for 38%, and facial expressions communicate 55% of the message. Researcher were able to conclude that nonverbal cues had significantly more weight in communication than verbal ones.

The human brain is hardwired to respond to faces over all other forms of communication. We communicate and understand the world around us first and foremost through facial cues. Studies show that our brains are heavily activated when we look at faces, significantly more so than objects, animals, or bodies. There is a specific part of the brain that responds only to faces, called the fusiform gyrus or fusiform “face area.” Research has even found that people respond better to emoticons than text alone; even the shape of a face reflected in the emoticon spurs the firing of the brain.

Faces draw attention. This attraction principle is crucial in marketing and selling.

Businesses often make the mistake of assuming that spotlighting their amazing product or service will close the sale. But no matter how great your product is, it won’t sell itself. If it did, you would have no need for a marketing campaign. The best marketing campaigns appeal to the humanity in all of us. This connection is often best represented through the face.

Why should you use people in your marketing videos? What does “the face” do to the likelihood of conversion from viewer to customer?

1. Connects by emotion

Humans naturally pick up on emotional cues. We empathize with other people when we see their facial cues. Why do you cry when something sad happens in a movie? You have had no loss yourself, but you get upset because you see that the characters are sad. Even if those characters are fish in Finding Nemo, the faces of those fish reflect the same sort of sad facial cues we experience as humans sad. We are programmed to feel what other faces tell us to feel.

Recent research has shown that there are four basic human emotions: happiness, sadness, fear/surprise, and anger/disgust. Appealing to the positive emotion of happiness or empowerment increases the consumer’s receptiveness. The use of negative emotions like sadness, fear, or disgust, can “shock” people into buying.

Studies have proven that people buy with emotion, later justifying the purchase with logic. This means that you should employ emotion in your marketing to best convert your customers. The best way to use emotion is to show it on the face of another person in a video.

Emotions sell. Facial cues of emotion are contagious. Showing an emotional face in a video is thus one of the most powerful ways to sell an idea or brand.

2. Builds relationship through eye contact

Eye contact connects people. Studies about eye contact between two people—even through video—gives us a lot of information about how we can use faces in marketing.

We are more likely to remember faces and recall what the speaker said when we share extended eye contact. Studies show that eye contact “triggers mind perception,” meaning that our perception of another person is directly linked to our eye contact with them. We also consider emotional displays to be more intense while making eye contact. Moreover, research proves that we are more likely to believe someone is telling the truth when they are making eye contact.

This means three important things for marketing:

• Eye contact can improve memory and recollection of a brand’s face.
• Eye contact can intensify the effects of “selling with emotion.”
• Eye contact is more likely to persuade, convert, and sell.

Because of these benefits, you’ll often see vloggers and influencers looking directly into the camera. Eye contact can help connect the speaker or subject of the video with the viewer.

But don’t overdo it with the eye contact or it can come off as too intense. On average, people are most comfortable with eye contact for 3-4 seconds before looking away or moving to a separate scene.

3. Puts a face on the brand

Using a person in your video puts a face and personality to the brand or topic. Faces are the first impression of your brand, and repeated faces can become the continued perception of your business. Facial appearance changes the impression, perception, and response to a brand. The face you use in your videos becomes the face of your brand.

This is especially important in sales or customer service businesses. If you tend to work with customers via email or phone, using a video of the team can help your clients put a face to the voice. The same is true for CEO and leadership videos; using your leader in a video can place a specific face on the business and the culture.

Putting a face on a brand will help build a stronger and more intimate relationship between consumer and business.

4. Creates a narrative

Stories help people connect to the video content. Even if you’re creating a product how-to video, you can tell a story surrounding the product. Having a person using the product in their everyday lifestyle builds a narrative around the product or service.

It allows people to put themselves in the shoes of the subject. They can better imagine themselves using the product or service, because they see another person like them doing the same. This builds a brand or product narrative that directly connects with your ideal target member.

5. Boosts rapport

Emotions, eye contact, and narrative all come together to build a relationship between the viewer and the subject. Moreover, familiarity principle (or mere-exposure effect) says that humans tend to prefer those people and faces that they’ve been exposed to repeatedly. This means that putting a single face on a brand can help build a personal connection between the spokesperson and the audience member.

Think of Flo, the Progressive lady. We feel we know her because we have been exposed to her face and story for years. Even though we’ve also been exposed to other brands for just as long (if not longer), we feel a more intimate connection with Flo than we might with other marketing campaigns that don’t have a spokesperson.

This is because the familiarity principle doesn’t always work. Sometimes, people become ambivalent when they see the same brand or objects over and over again. But faces can actually cut through that ambivalence to truly optimize on the familiarity principle.

This means that the more impressions on your audience with the same face, the more likely they will have a connection with your brand—and the more likely they will buy from you.

The Bottom Line

Putting a face in your video marketing is the strongest way to build a connection with your viewer. Emotion, eye contact, personality, and stories all build a rapport that is crucial to both short-term and long-term marketing.

If you’re ready to start connecting with your audience through video, contact True Film Production today. We look forward to collaborating with you to building a video presence your customers will love.

The post The Face In The Video: Why Use People In Marketing appeared first on True Film Production - NYC Corporate Video Production Company.

Video Newsletter November 2017

The post Video Newsletter November 2017 appeared first on True Film Production - NYC Corporate Video Production Company.

How To Choose A Backdrop For Your Video

Location, location, location. The backdrop of your scenes creates the first impression for the entire video. The setting will determine your credibility and your branding within the first few seconds.

 

Viewers will instantly make conscious and subconscious judgments about your video based on the speaker or characters, what they’re wearing, how they’re talking, what they’re talking about, and the overall ambiance of the video—including and especially the backdrop. You want to tailor this snap judgment appropriately so you can engage with the audience and sell more.

 

The backdrop sets the tone and the feel for your video content. It is the foundation of the message you want to convey.

 

So how do you choose the right setting for your video?

Backdrop

1. Make the backdrop relevant.

 

The background you choose is the part of your brand. The colors, room, and props all tell their own story. They have an impact on your viewer’s perception of the brand and the content. Consider what story your backdrop is telling.

 

A video in your office gives a natural feel of authenticity. It sets the time and place within the workday in the employee’s natural environment. Showing the office also builds a sense of company culture. This is especially great for client testimonials.

 

A background of a library, classroom, or bookshelf gives off the sense of learning. This would be good for a training or educational video. You could also use a white board or chalkboard background to tap into the sense of teaching.

 

A background of Central Park might give a fun, community-vibe. A background of your living room gives a personal, intimate feel. A background of the beach could create a calm, tranquil atmosphere.

 

The place and props you choose becomes a part of your brand.

 

You might also want to consider a solid color background. You can use a painted wall, quality green screen, or paper backdrop. This creates a blank canvas that ensures the focus is on the speaker and message. This is a great way to show mood and branding through color (like your logo colors). Note that muted colors tend to work best, though, as some colors can wash out the subject or be too distracting. You can even try using textured backgrounds, like wood or brick, which are simple while adding dimension.

Library Backdrop

2. Focus on the speaker.

 

In real life, our eyes naturally focus. When you look at an object, everything else in the room blurs, even though you’re peripherally aware. The same is true in videos. You want to control where the eye focuses, so you need to create an emphasis point in the video. Blurring out the background will still set the subconscious tone and ensure the eyes are engaged at the correct point. Blurring helps to separate the subject from the background while minimizing distractions.

Focus

3. Remove distractions.

 

You’ll also want to remove other distractions that are in the setting of the room. Movement behind the subject or bright, misplaced props can cause a viewer to lose attention with the topic at hand.

 

Nothing should upstage the main speaker or subject of the video. Keep background props to a minimum. Avoid having people walking around or talking in the background. Don’t shoot in front of a messy room or cluttered desk space. Remember that noise is part of the background as well. Even a car honk or humming AC unit can be distracting to viewers.

Distraction Backdrop

4. Use product placement.

 

Subtle product placement branding is a strong way to soft-sell while providing value to your audience. However, you’ll want to keep this refined. For example, you could have a branded water bottle sitting on the speaker’s desk. You could have prepared dishes in the background of your restaurant scene. Keep product placement subtle so as not to distract from the content or appear too promotional.

Product Placement

5. Keep it consistent.

 

If the backdrop is a part of the impression your viewer has of your content, then you want to keep it consistent to build a consistent brand. This doesn’t mean using the same backdrop every single time. Consistency means that you find the relevant backdrop to the content of the video while also keeping overall atmosphere consistent. This helps your viewer subconsciously connect the scene with your brand. For example, you could show client testimonials with the same blue background, while company leaders always stand in front of a purple background.

Blue Backdrop

Video Tips

 

• Create a comprehensive shot list.

• Shoot on cloudy days to maintain a steady ambient light. Shadows can change position throughout the day, which can mess up the flow of your shots.

• Use a roll of photo paper to create a “paper background” anywhere in the office. These come in a variety of colors and styles.

• Use a scoop light behind the speaker to emphasize the subject. Or use floodlights to create a solid background.

• If using multiple subjects, change the location within the office or backdrop. Keep the general scene the same with slight changes.

• Don’t switch colors between people if using a plain background.

• Try breaking down the fourth wall. Show how you are filming the video as a way to create an honest, transparent connection with the viewer.

Lights

The Bottom Line

 

The setting of your video will help support the content and build your brand’s message. But constructing a “location” can be expensive. You need tools and resources to ensure the backdrop is appropriate. This means lighting equipment, location scouting, editing software, and more.

 

You don’t need to make a huge investment in equipment and research, though. Partner with a production agency to function as your in-house video marketer.

The post How To Choose A Backdrop For Your Video appeared first on True Film Production - NYC Corporate Video Production Company.

Why You Need CEO Spotlight Videos

A company culture is only as strong as its employees… and its CEO. How leadership behaves, speaks, and communicates impacts the tapestry of the entire company. However, in today’s economy of large, global corporations, C-suite executives often seem elusive and untouchable. Videos are able to bridge this gap to create a personal, “face-to-face” connection between employer and CEO.

 

Video content that spotlights your CEO and other leaders creates a more personal, actionable, and impactful experience with company employees, both locally and across the globe.

 

1. CEO Face Time

 

Many employees may feel that their company’s CEO is hidden away in an office somewhere, making decisions about the future of the company without communicating with employees. And that feeling isn’t entirely misguided. CEOs and leaders of large, medium, and even small-sized companies can’t be everywhere at once. As much as they may want to, putting in “face time” with every employee may simply not be possible.

 

Videos offer employees a similar sort of “face time” with the CEO without the leader’s physical presence. Whether an employee is in Beijing or Sydney, they can see and experience the New York-based CEO talking to them firsthand. Whether the leader is discussing a cultural shift or a public relations nightmare, the video shows his or her personality, expressions, and inflection in a personal way. The leader can look directly into the camera as if looking into the eyes of the employees. This creates a trusting, intimate connection that will build a rapport between employee and leader.

 

Ultimately, a video starring company leaders can increase engagement and relationships with employees at any time or place.

 

Consider training videos, which are a key tool for boosting new hire retention. A CEO welcoming new members to the team creates an intimate conversation, where new employees feel cared for and understood. They see the CEO firsthand and become immediately aware with how he or she discusses the culture of the company.

 

 

2. Builds Brand Voice

 

The CEO is often considered the “face” of the brand. In this way, how the CEO or leader talks in the video will set the tone for the voice of the entire brand, with regards to both internal and external marketing. No matter the content of the video, the way that the leader presents ideas will reveal the company mission and values.

 

Is he inspirational and motivational, focused on the growth of the individuals? Is she fun and excited, focused on a strong work-life balance for each person? Is he serious and domineering, focused on making metrics?

 

How the CEO appears in video marketing will set the tone for the entire culture.

 

Moreover, video is a canvas to create a narrative. Putting the CEO or leader at the center of that narrative helps to create a personal connection between the viewer and the organization’s story. Think of it as in-house vlogging. The leader is the “influencer” who has the power to build a following around the ideas, values, and goals of the company.

 

Consider Glassdoor, the top “rating” site for jobs and employers. One of the Glassdoor metrics is “approval of CEO.” This metric is important to current and prospective employees because the CEO sets the bar for the culture of the entire company. A high approval rating indicates a certain level of cultural satisfaction; a low approval rating demonstrates a wrench in the cogs of the company.

 

Listen to Benno Dorer, the CEO of The Clorox Cleaner and the highest rated CEO on Glassdoor, discuss the values of Clorox and of his people. From just this single video, you can gain a sense of the values that Brenno builds for his company.

 

 

3. Eases Transformation

 

A CEO-backed brand voice is especially crucial in times of change or organizational transformation. If leadership is looking to create some sort of shift in the company, employees can often get lost in the fray. Most people don’t like change. They don’t like change even more when their leaders don’t thoroughly and consistently explain and discuss that change.e

 

Video is a simple and effective way to keep everyone in the company abreast of changes as they occur. It creates a public, unified communication system that is more personal than an email and more consistent than a trickle-down of information. Video enables a roll out of changes with consistent messaging. People can watch the video whenever and however they want and as many times as they want. This sort of repetition of values and mission is crucial to building or changing a culture.

 

In times of change, success is only possible when leaders enhance their face time and build a strong brand voice. Video is the platform for that intimate exchange of information, ideas, viewpoints, and inspirations.

 

 

When To Include The CEO

 

In which kinds of videos should your CEO and leaders make an appearance?

 

In short, you can use a CEO in any video where brand voice is present. This could be both for dissemination within the company, like training videos, or for marketing purposes, like an “about us” video. We sometimes recommend that a CEO be present in client testimonial videos to show the relationship between the brand and their clients.

 

In the video, the CEO and leaders can discuss:

 

• Their passions

• Their experiences at the company

• How they got to where they are

• The obstacles they’ve had to overcome

• The mission and values of the business

• The purpose behind the founding of the business (if they are also the founder)

• What they believe the company culture is and why

• The goals of a new transformation or strategy

• News of the company, good and bad

 

Think of a CEO video as a company-wide memo with personality and presence.

 

The Bottom Line

 

Using your CEO and leaders in your video puts a face on the company. It helps to reveal vision, mission, and values firsthand. Video enables leaders to build a brand voice with engaging, effective top-down communication processes. Whether creating in-house or marketing videos, demonstrating a strong team of leadership proves a strong organization.

 

Put your CEO in your next video. Contact us to discuss how a leadership video would best work with your content marketing strategy.

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9 AI Applications That Will Streamline Your Business

Members of the Young Entrepreneur Council share the artificial intelligence applications they are most eager to see develop.

One of the promises of artificial intelligence is the ability to sort through data faster to automate decisions that do not require deep creativity. Programs can sort through information, filtering it for insights that organizations need to make daily decisions. How well is your marketing message working? Who’s available at what times for a meeting next Tuesday? How can you best autofill forms and data fields to save hours of effort, as well as reduce human transcription errors?

The nine applications below, shared by members of YEC (Young Entrepreneur Council), represent areas where AI can help your organization streamline business operations, freeing up time so your skilled staff can focus on more crucial tasks. Here’s what these entrepreneurs are excited about.

1. Chatbots

“Chatbots will start to play a huge role in your business development strategy. Adding a chatbot to your landing page will create an automated process that identifies customer needs, as well as gathers all the information you need to hone your follow-up approach. Knowing exactly what the customer is looking for will allow you to streamline your client acquisition process.” – Duran Inci, Optimum7

2. Content creation software

“My agency creates tens of thousands of pieces of marketing content a month. We’ve just started using AI software to help us create content, and that has already drastically improved our quality of life and the impact our content has on our clients. I’m excited by where this type of software can take us, as I expect more data-driven decisions in a workflow that’s more fun for the team.” – Brennan White, Cortex

3. Customized content

“AI and machine learning offer an incredible opportunity to identify, promote and present the right pieces of content to buyers, customize content for the audience, and deliver a highly personalized one-to-one marketing experience. With brands producing more content, customization will be key to breaking through the clutter. AI holds the key to scaling content aligned to each buyer segment.” – Dan Golden, BFO (Be Found Online)

4. Form-filling bots

“I am most looking forward to form-filling bots. There is so much filing as part of the patent process, and it would be a huge help to patent agencies, startups and academics alike for it to be taken care of as quickly as possible. This would keep the process piece to a minimum so everyone involved could focus on their work.” – Dan Hussain, American Patent Agency PC

5. Information filtering

“How do you know what you need to know? Entrepreneurs and business owners need to know a lot: what the competition is doing, legal issues, technical issues, business performance, news and much more. Today, I look at a ton of information I don’t need to know to find the useful kernels. I’m hopeful machine learning can filter the superfluous material, presenting what I need to know and nothing more.” – Justin Blanchard, ServerMania Inc.

6. Legal documents

“As CEO of a legal technology company, I would have to say that I am most excited about the applications of AI and machine learning in the legal space. Not only will it improve consistency and reduce errors, but it will save lawyers a lot of time, which will make the legal industry more accessible to people who need legal help.” – Tucker Cottingham, Mystacks Inc.

7. Meeting scheduling

“Scheduling emails are laborious and a thing of the past. Technology like what x.ai is offering is the future. No more back-and-forth and no more missed meetings. Artificial intelligence is going to make running a business much easier, and I’m anxious to see where else it can take us.” – Corey Eulas, Factorial Digital

8. OpenAI

“I’m most excited about Elon Musk, Peter Thiel and Y Combinator’s new nonprofit, OpenAI. They are working on technology that will help us with our daily chores. We spend so many hours of our lives doing chores, so this timesaver will allow us to spend more time on doing the things we love.” – Jared Atchison, WPForms

9. Post Intelligence

“To get better engaged with our social media followers and understand their trends, I have become a fan of Post Intelligence. It’s great for improving our social media strategies and brand awareness. It allows me to know exactly what my users want to see and engage with.” – Stanley Meytin, True Film Production

 

 

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How The Six-Second Ad Is Changing Marketing

We were introduced to the six-second ad in 2017, and it’s expected to completely dominate video marketing in 2018. Gone are the days of 30 and even 15 second ads; say hello to the six-second “bumper” ad. From YouTube to Facebook to network television, six seconds is becoming the standard length of advertising across all forms of digital media.

 

 

The Birth Of The Six-Second Ad

 

Video advertising has changed in recent years due to two main reasons: social media and television.

 

Social Media

 

Social media platforms have exploded in popularity. With this growth, marketers have been able to create successful promotions and loyal followings on these social platforms. Visual marketing, like video, has dominated promotional advertisements as a means of connecting with the audience.

 

For example, Facebook introduced the in-video advertisement. This is when promotional ads play in the middle of a non-promotional video. However, viewers quickly began losing patience for this unwelcome interruption. Thus, Facebook has since come out saying that they are working on implementing six-second ads as a way to minimize interruption and improve engagement levels.

 

But Facebook was not the first to introduce short-form video advertising. Google and YouTube have both been playing with the idea of six-second unskippable ads since early 2017. Google featured 10 six-second ads at Sundance in January 2017, which surprised and intrigued a number of viewers. This was Google’s first introduction to the growth of their six-second advertising plan. Throughout 2017, YouTube has seen a 70% quarter-over-quarter increase of advertisers using short-form video. They have reported that 1 in 3 advertisers now uses six-second ads on YouTube.

 

 

Television

 

Television has seen a change in advertising in tandem because TV itself has changed. Netflix hosts no ads and DVR allows people to skip through ads. When people watch live TV or view shows online or mobile, they tune out during the commercials. They turn to their phones or tablets to keep absorbing more content—but not the advertising content that networks want them to see. Thus, networks are quickly making the change towards shorter, more digestible ads that will maintain viewer attention without losing out on network profits.

 

In June 2017, Fox Networks Group announced they would follow in YouTube’s footsteps and support the six-second ad. Eric Shanks, president of Fox Sports, said in an interview, “When the six-second ads are placed in unique positions, it has the potential to gain even more attention than a traditional unit.”

 

In August, Fox tested this at their Teen Choice Awards. They told viewers the program would return in less than 30 seconds. They then had a series of six-second ads before returning to the program. Fox found that this improved the odds that people kept watching despite the short interruption.

 

This advertising scheme will even hold true during NFL games. Football viewership has decreased in recent years because commercials extend the length of the program significantly. The goal is to cut down on the time spent on commercials while maximizing “free” time during play. For example, if a coach is going to talk to the ref, Fox can quickly play a six-second ad on the side of the screen. This cuts down on the time people are sitting for a program, optimizes marketing time for Fox, and encourages engagement (people aren’t turning away to their phones or tablets during lengthy commercial breaks).

 

Now that the six-second ad has hit some of the major online and television platforms, more businesses and brands are hopping on board this form of video production as well. 2018 will be bursting with short-form content like never before.

 

 

The Purpose Of The Six-Second Ad

 

Figuring out ways to keep the attention and engagement of the viewer has always been a major marketing struggle. Balancing length with viewership is the quintessential question for every marketer. The six-second ad has stepped in to push aside this concern.

 

With the millennial viewer especially in mind, video has to provide some form of instant gratification. When an advertisement pops up on TV or online, viewers “tune out” to look at their cell phone or read from their tablets. Videos need to be interesting and engaging in fast, short bursts to maintain engagement.

 

Google performed a study of over 300 bumper ad campaigns. They found that 90% of six-second ads drove recall and 61% improved brand awareness. They concluded that bumper ads are an effectual, cost-effective way to keep brands top of mind and build impressions and reach.

 

People generally dislike ads. But studies are showing that viewers are willing to engage with six-second ads because they’re fast, on-the-go content. If these videos maintain a sense of entertainment, people actually enjoy these bumper ads. Rather than seeing it as “just another commercial”, viewers can actually participate with the narrative and brand because they don’t feel it’s a waste of their time.

 

Six seconds is the perfect amount of time. It’s not intrusive to the viewer, but it’s still long enough to deliver some sort of story or emotion. And with a human average attention span of eight seconds, a six second story is the right amount of time to engage the viewer from start to finish.

 

 

The Story Of The Six-Second Ad

 

There has been some resistance from marketers, who are desperately trying to hold on to the 30 second and 15 second ads. This is highly based on a fear that marketers won’t be able to convey their message in just six seconds.

 

Nevertheless, the six-second ad is here to stay. It’s a more audience friendly form, especially on those platforms where viewers are trying to watch other content and are interrupted by promotional advertising.

 

The six-second ad isn’t an excuse to forgo the four building blocks of video, though. It simply means that production companies will need to come up with creative and inventive ways to condense narrative into a shorter space.

 

This isn’t impossible. Think of it like the haiku of video. The shorter the poem, the more impactful you have to make those few words. Or consider the well-known six-word story by Ernest Hemingway: “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.” It’s only six words, but it makes a heavy and sentimental impact instantly.

 

This type of intensity can result in surprising, emotion-driven videos that make a significant impression on the reader. This, in turn, can boost retention and recall of the brand, which is crucial to creating lasting brand awareness.

 

 

Retargeting With Long-Form Videos

 

The six-second ad wouldn’t eradicate other types of videos and marketing as some fear. Longer videos are still necessary—and possibly even more necessary than ever. Long-form videos will become “follow ups” to six-second videos.

 

Bumper ads are the strongest way to create new impressions. People who don’t have a connection to your brand don’t want to watch longer videos. But they will engage with your content for six-seconds, which isn’t intrusive to them. After you’ve had those first few short form impressions, you can then retarget with longer videos about your products and company. Once customers understand the brand and the type of content you put out, they are more willing to invest the time in your longer videos.

 

In this way, the six-second ad is boosting impressions while long videos will encourage loyalty and engagement.

 

Moreover, six-second ads will create a platform for episodic series of advertisements. Frequency and repetition is key. Aligning a series of six-second ads with a series of videos can create a cohesive set of impressions that will intrigue and delight the viewer in a unique way.

 

 

Creating The Six-Second Ad

 

How do you create the perfect six-second ad?

 

1. Keep it highly focused. Get to the heart of the ad right away.

2. Focus on the climax of the story. Show the six seconds where everything changes.

3. Think about narration in terms of visual frames, rather than words.

4. Understand your medium and tools. Hire a video production partner who has experience telling visual stories.

5. Utilize influencers. Showing a face people recognize can be a quick way to connect with viewers.

6. Spark curiosity. Pose a question and “walk away” to pique the curiosity of your viewer.

7. Be simple and creative. Focus on backdrop, emotion, and visuals. What can you show in the scene that will make an impact?

 

 

The Bottom Line

 

Short videos increase impressions, enhance engagement, and pique curiosity. Condensed narratives can be more impactful in a way that improves retention and recall of the brand.

 

Don’t be behind the curve. Start creating your six-second video campaign to stay competitive on YouTube, Google, Facebook, and major television networks in 2018.

 

Contact us now to get started and unlock the benefits of short-form advertising on your marketing metrics.

The post How The Six-Second Ad Is Changing Marketing appeared first on True Film Production - NYC Corporate Video Production Company.

Thumbnails: Unlock The Ultimate First Impression

Although we all know better than to judge a book by its cover… we still do it. In fact, you have only 7 seconds to make a strong impression—whether in person or in marketing. If you blow that first impression, you may not get a chance to further engage with your audience.

 

This first impression of your video content comes in the form of the thumbnail.

 

The Importance Of The First Impression

 

If you are running a video content strategy, you know that the play rate metric is at the center of your success. If people don’t play your video, they don’t see your content, they don’t get an impression of you, they don’t learn more about your brand, and they don’t convert or buy.

 

And if you want people to play your video, you need to entice them. You need to make a strong first impression that will leave them wanting more.

 

The first impression doesn’t actually come with the video itself. The second impression comes when the viewer clicks play and watches the first few seconds of your video. The first impression actually comes before they hit play; it comes with the content surrounding the video. They see the headlines, description, and thumbnail, which help viewers decide whether or not they want to click play at all.

 

So you need to tailor this first impression with a strong, optimized thumbnail.

 

What Are Thumbnails?

 

Thumbnails are reduced-size versions of a shot of your video. They’re called thumbnails because they were originally the size of a human thumbnail, though they tend to be larger now. The main purpose of the thumbnail is to visually alert the viewer that there is a video available to be played. This separates videos from other content on the page.

 

Thumbnails also help with search result optimization. Thumbnails take up less room on the page, which helps with visual appearance on your website. It’s been suggested that Google favors those sites and pages with video and associated thumbnails. In fact, some platforms like YouTube and Google Image Search even organize media based on these thumbnail images.

 

There are two key benefits of a thumbnail:

 

1. They attract a viewer to click on your video. If you have an intriguing and relevant thumbnail, your viewer will click on it to expand the video. This is the first glimpse into your video content.

2. They work as an opportunity to recall your video in the future. After someone watches your video, they will remember that thumbnail. If they want to search for your video again in the future, they can visually scan the page for a familiar thumbnail or shot of your video, even if they can’t remember the headline of your video.

 

Ultimately, your thumbnail can set apart your video to attract new and repeat viewers.

 

How To Choose Thumbnails

 

Imagine that your video and your competitors’ videos are all placed on a page. All you can see are the thumbnails. Your viewer has to choose which video to watch. They’ll pick the thumbnail that is most visually appealing and shows some sort of information about the content they will be watching.

 

This indicates two key aspects of creating a thumbnail to attract views:

 

• The thumbnail has to be clear, crisp, and aesthetically appealing in a way that will intrigue the viewer.

• The thumbnail should be highly relevant to the content in the video to accurately demonstrate what this video will be about.

 

Thumbnails are the lens into your content. Below you’ll find best practices for creating thumbnails that will intrigue your viewer based on appearance and relevancy.

 

1. Choose the most relevant shot.

 

What would a movie poster look like for your video? Which scene from your video would best describe the content? Your thumbnail is the “face” of your video, so it should be highly relevant to the content inside. Not all shots in your video will be relevant to the meat of the video.

 

For example, you wouldn’t want the thumbnail to be your opening scene of New York City’s gorgeous skyline at fall if you are really talking about ocean acidification and dying coral. Your video may have that opening scene as a link to ocean acidification, but the two aren’t directly related. A viewer wouldn’t know what the skyline has to do with ocean acidification at first glance.

 

Even if not intentionally misleading, choosing an irrelevant thumbnail will upset your audience. They will immediately disengage, click away from the video, and feel like you’ve wasted their time.

 

Often, you’ll want to choose a shot near the climax of your video. This will ensure the thumbnail is relevant and intriguing.

 

Take the Galaxy Unpacked 2017 ad for example. The thumbnail of the video on YouTube is the ending slogan—the climax—that encourages people to wonder why they should unbox their phone.

Thumbnails

2. Show emotional faces.

 

People respond to faces. In-person eye contact can connect two people and it does the same with videos as well. Choosing a thumbnail with a video subject making eye contact with the viewer is a subtle cue to make viewers feel more connected to the content. This is one of the major reasons that influencer vloggers can build a personal relationship with their loyal fans—they’re always looking directly at the viewer.

 

Moreover, we are compelled by emotion through an empathetic response. We see someone experiencing an emotion, and we want to understand why that emotion is occurring. We choose to watch a video because it promises to be sad, happy, exciting, inspiring, or even horrific or fearful.

 

Choose a thumbnail that shows the emotion that the video will incite. This will excite your viewer and pique their curiosity. They’ll click on the video to find out why that emotion is occurring. This is especially true if your video builds a narrative and tells a story.

 

Consider the following Tony Robbins videos. They are both discussing the same topic “How to build rapport.” Which thumbnail would you click on? You’d likely choose the one where he is smiling, because he is building a rapport with you through his happy and energetic face. Although the second video shows his face, it does not demonstrate an emotional response as clearly. (Plus there’s text in the first one, which will discuss further.)

Thumbnail
rapport

3. Use a clear shot.

 

The thumbnail should be clear and crisp, even in smaller sizes. Viewers don’t click on blurry images. The higher the resolution, the more likely they will play the video. The thumbnail should be visually appealing and eye-catching. High contrast complementary colors, bright backgrounds, and strong lighting will show the quality of your video.

 

Use a professional editing software to resize and modify shots or images from your video into a still shot. Contact True Film Production for assistance and resources maintaining a quality shot from your video.

 

Moreover, aside from quality clarity, you want a clear shot of the subject. You don’t want the thumbnail to be ambiguous or confusing. Your viewer shouldn’t ask what the thumbnail is (unless your goal is to trick or intrigue with ambiguity).

 

4. Include text.

 

If you don’t have a compelling thumbnail available, use embedded text to further intrigue your audience. For example, if your video is a narrator talking to the camera, a headshot of that person may not be relevant or intriguing. Text proves relevancy by telling the viewer what the video is about. Keep the text clear, professional, and readable.

Custom Thumbnails

5. Keep it simple.

 

You want your thumbnail to be clean and clear. It should be easy to see and understand. Focus on one element: the face, the text, the screenshot, or the scene. Don’t try to fit it all in one small image.

 

6. Relate the thumbnail with the copy.

 

In the same way that you want the thumbnail to be relevant to the content of the video, you want it to be relevant to the copy surrounding the video. The headline and the thumbnail should be intricately linked. This boosts optimization and makes a more user-friendly experience for your viewer.

 

7. Build a branded thumbnail.

 

You want a consistently branded look and feel to your videos, which means you should also have a branded thumbnail. A consistent thumbnail will create brand and video awareness. Loyal customers and viewers will know they are receiving quality content when they see your branded thumbnail. This means they will be more likely to click and engage with your brand. The thumbnail is another layer of engendering trust and loyalty with your consumer. This is especially important if you are hosting a video campaign with a series of episodic videos.

 

This can be as heavily branded like Backlinko’s green background, white text with black background, Brian Dean speaking, and an icon in the corner. Or this branding can also be more subtle by simply keeping the thumbnails consistent, like how Ted Talk always uses a close-up shot of the speaker on stage.

Backlinko
Ted Talk

The Bottom Line

 

Your thumbnails are the first impression of your video content and brand. Use your thumbnail as a lens into the content in a way that will encourage your viewers to click “play.” Your thumbnails should be as clear, professional, engaging, and branded as the video itself.

 

If you want a thumbnail that will intrigue viewers to push “play” and quality videos that will engage them— contact True Film Production. Let’s work together to improve your metrics and grow your marketing.

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