The corporate film and services has been changing as the technology evolves. Here at Serendipitous Films, we’re seeing a large increase in the short corporate video, mainly for the web. Viral videos– an unknown term in the 90’s– is fast becoming the highest demand video. In addition, we’ve seen a sharp increase in the “home page” video. Usually a short, two minute or so video about the company and it’s product or services.
The Viral Video can be broken down into three types– Humorous, Touching, or Sensationalism. For the funny video– it needs to be incredibly humorous– the type of thing people instantly click to forward. to their friends. The Touching video pulls at heartstrings. The Sensationalism video is some jaw-dropping, I-can’t-believe-that-just happened type video.
In Hollywood, the saying goes “Dying is easy, comedy is hard.” And it’s true. Comedy is a very difficult genre to do right. And it has a limited audience– usually what one socio group finds humorous, another doesn’t. But the comedy viral video does not need production value– it can be done incredibly cheaply with the right idea. “Charlie bit my finger” didn’t cost anything to make. But also keep in mind that it doesn’t mean all comedy is cheap. JC Penney’s “Beware the Doghouse” is a great viral video, with huge production value.
Touching videos usually are mini-movies (with some exceptions). A great example of this is the Pantene commercial about the deaf girl and the violin. Or the Dove Evolution video. These are usually stories that are touching and deal with overcoming adversity and obstacles. The ultimate feel-good. These can be very pricey to make, but highly effective. Demographics usually lean toward women, but not always.
For the Sensationalism, it’s often the figurative “watching racing for the car crashes” syndrome. Something is one the screen that is so horrific, or so big, or so incredible, you just can’t turn away. And you click it to re-tweet to all your friends. These videos are mostly unscripted, shot in the moment, not planned for. And rarely used for corporate viral videos. The exception might be something like “Plot Device” used for the software company Red Giant. But the secret is out– most unscripted reality shows” are indeed scripted. Same for some of these “sensational” viral videos. Goes back to the days of watching America’s Funniest Home Videos knowing that the mom and dad staged the whole baby-fall-down gag.
Lastly, the best viral videos are the ones that have legs of it’s own. Still word of mouth is the most powerful form of marketing. Short of that, companies hire a lot of social media marketing firms to work the video to get it to go viral. Sometimes this works, sometimes not so much. It will always come down to content– is your video noteworthy enough to get forwarded?