With any creative project we do, the first question is always, “Who’s your audience?” And that’s definitely true for video. Some clients have a fairly broad demographic they’re trying to reach but it’s still good to try to identify the qualities of that demographic from the very beginning.
The thing that you’ll find with any video is that humor does more to attract audiences than anything else. And that goes for all demographics. So, my follow-up to talking about our audience is to discuss strategies for getting them to take a look at our video, and amusing them always seems to be one of the most effective.
If your material doesn’t translate easily to humor, then the second-best thing seems to be to give your audience a sense of wonder. This can be harder but it can be just as effective. Successful online videos, like the music videos of OK GO, do a great job of being lightly humorous but delivering a strong sense of wonder.
As we’re talking about who our audience is and how we can either amuse them or impress them it’s inevitable that scale starts to come into the conversation. What can we do with what we can afford? My goal is generally to not let that play too heavy a role until we’ve got a good concept.
Obviously, if the concept is to have a hundred people jump from a plane simultaneously and spell out the client’s name, then we might have to scale down. But there are ways to make any concept work. While we might not have the resources to execute that idea with actual people and a real plane, it could happen with paper or clay or computer animation.
A successful video piece is one that transcends its purpose. Great ads are ones that tell good stories and make us laugh. But, you don’t need me to tell you that; we’ve all seen this Old Spice commercial.