Corporate Video Quality Crisis

If video killed the radio star, has YouTube, the iPad, or hand-held personal video cameras killed the quality corporate video star? My answer begins with a nostalgic generalization…

There was a time (not that long ago, in fact) when clients understood and valued the communication power of a beautifully shot and produced video. The process, granted, took more time than “borrowing” content found on YouTube or shot by one’s talented nephew. There was a deeper, more substantial level of thought and craft that went into its creation.

The video treatment was written and approved, the images were storyboarded and the video itself was a compilation of carefully selected music and talent, and it was shot by professionals and edited in a real video suite. And if you wanted changes, well, those changes were being made well into the night before the live event where it was going to be shown, with leftover take-out containers littering the editing suite floor.

Notice I didn’t say what kind of quality. The “quality corporate video crisis” mentioned in this blog’s title stems from increasing client requests to download a clip from YouTube or cut together client-supplied footage shot on personal video devices. While this material can make great eye-candy to show at a wedding, retirement party or small team brainstorm, it’s rarely able to result in the type of video you can and should be showing on a huge rear-projection screen to 200 plus people at a sales meeting or launch.

Granted, budgets are getting leaner. We are all being asked to do more with less. But this doesn’t – and shouldn’t – be at the expense of quality communications.

If you’re spending the time to plan an event, bring people together, fly them in, feed them, provide accommodations at a quality hotel, stage the event with professionals, and plan extravagant evening parties – you should be prepared to also invest in the quality of content being shown to the audience.

In other words, don’t underestimate the power of the quality corporate video star and budget accordingly. The right video modules delivering big messages through big music and even bigger James Earl Jones-type voiceovers will not only leave a lasting impression, they’ll help set the tone for the entire event and compel everyone in the room to be a fiercely loyal part of company “x” and to chomp at the bit to sell product “y”.

Net-net: A properly produced corporate video created by a highly trained, experienced and equipped production team can and will make a significant difference to the quality of your communications. As the late Steve Jobs intoned… “Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren’t used to an environment where excellence is expected.”