By Faye Jackson & Harry Wojciechowski, Creative Development
Effective communication is at the heart of everything we do. By that, we don’t just mean ourselves, we mean the whole world. (And yes, even you over there in the corner Googling how to poach an egg…)
We passionately believe in the power of film as a brilliant tool for communication because it’s able to work on a number of levels in getting a message across.
Much of our work centres on one key idea: how to communicate new information and encourage the viewer to embrace it. We recently explained how we help many of our clients use film to drive learning initiatives – and how effective they are. Find out more here – Make Learning Stick.
As such, choosing the right format is hugely important. Below we explore the various approaches that can be delivered through film – whether it’s educating/onboarding employees, providing beauty tips, or demonstrating a product through a story-led, step-by-step guide…
Teach / Inform:
It’s probably fair to say these are the most common type of ‘how to’ films, and with good reason – they work. Bugaboo’s suite of demos are a great example of this, giving advice on all aspects of their products using a purely visual approach. Our in-flight safety film for Oman Air (see below) is another excellent example of providing clear instructions. (And, if we may say so, in a pretty stylish way too.) And who hasn’t turned to the internet in the hour of need to find out essential life skills, e.g. ‘How to Poach an Egg?
Onboarding / Induction:
These kinds of videos lend themselves well to help Uber driver-partners drive with confidence. Before they take their first trip, a short film takes them through some of the most important things they’ll need to know.
Create a Regular Channel:
A great way to maximise the use of ‘how to’ videos is through creating a regular output. For instance, Adidas Women’s YouTube channel provides a dedicated Workout series with on-screen graphics guiding you through a range of different sessions. Or take Vogue as an example, with their regular stream of beauty secrets such as Cindy Crawford’s Everyday Morning Beauty Routine. And then there’s British Vogue’s series, How to Run a Fashion Business with Alexa Chung, a regular channel providing useful business advice for those interested in making it in the fashion industry (see below).
Well-known for thought-provoking content, TED talks (arguably the first name we all think of when it comes to online educational videos) are a great reference point for how film can be used to as an educational tool – and they use a variety of film formats. This explainer video uses simple animation to walk the viewer through multiple scenarios that explore the finer parts of the English language.
One of film’s great assets is the ability to convey information by visual and aural means together, but the visuals alone can communicate different streams of information all at once – and this is hugely helpful in capturing the imagination of the viewer and transforming the way they think. For example, GaryVee, a prominent online personality/entrepreneur, creates bespoke content to promote his work and his ideas using a direct, quickfire style, energised music, and his powerful oratorical approach. Just check out his short film, ‘How to Start’.
Tell A Story
And of course, there’s the oldest form of communication (don’t quote us on that but we’d say it probably is) – storytelling. Film can tell stories like little else can, because of its ability to use different mediums simultaneously. Anyone can tell a story – and there are so many different ways to tell them. Just take Google and their tale of Parisian Love…