Brand Guidelines for Video: Unicorn Ice Cream, Man-Cats, and a Powerful Experience

Imagine this:

Nike. Will You Do It?

Or how about “Nike. Just Do It Already!” or even “You Should Do It.” They just don’t work as well as the slogan Nike is actually named for, right? Why is that?

It’s because Nike’s “Just do it” reflects their brand. It says who they are, what they believe in, and provides that emotional, motivational connection to their customers. Just do it isn’t a question that leaves room for you to say no, or to waver in your dedication. It isn’t bossy, demanding you to get your butt up off the couch and do something already. It doesn’t feel like it’s pushing an agenda, by telling you you should do something.

“Just Do It” implies that lacing up, playing sports, feeling fit and healthy isn’t complicated. It’s simple. You just do it, and you love it. It has that seize-the-day, you-will-triumph sort of feel to it. And it’s fair to suggest that Nike wouldn’t be the empire it is now without it. That’s what branding does, it helps your audience connect with you on a deeper level than just shoes, just equipment, or whatever product it is that a company is trying to sell.

Marketers know all this. That’s why branding exists. It’s powerful. That is, if it’s done right. And it needs to be done right in your videos, because they should feel as much a part of your brand as any other content you’ll produce.

Brand isn’t just a tagline. It’s not something you can just add onto the last frame of your video and call it a branded experience. So how do you really nail your brand through video? Here are three things to keep in mind when you make a video. Scratch that. When you make EVERY video. Because branding has to be a consistent experience to work!

Voice and Tone

Your brand’s voice is the representation of your personality. Are you intelligent? Are you creative? Are you funny? Your tone is how you use that voice in different situations to different audiences. For example, Maybe your humour is clever and witty, or maybe it’s slapstick and goofy.

Ever heard of the Squatty Potty? If you haven’t, I apologize, because I’m pretty sure you will never. Ever. Forget. This. Commerical.

//play.vidyard.com/zKktPMzE_suCY-_rAyfP-A.js?v=3.1.1&type=inline

Now, I’m not sure if you’ve given much thought into how you…well, #2. But it may not be a huge priority that you need to address. And Squatty Potty may have known that if they threw some facts at you and got a doctor in a lab coat talking at you, you may not have cared. Instead, they let their big personality shine through, and created an ad that boosted sales 600%. It was a bold move by the CEO, who was told the ad was too far out there. Look who has the last laugh. The CEO proved that you should define and stay true to who you are: your brand.  

The Squatty Potty commercial’s tone is indeed wacky, and it indeed aligns with the brand’s overall voice. Check out their website, for example. There aren’t unicorns dancing across the screen, but even the user comments at the top are pretty light and humorous. Even the wording, which is a major aspect of voice and tone, is perfectly tuned to give you a certain feel and experience. The page perfect combination of getting the information and scientific knowledge across, while still managing to keep you interested with casual, colloquial language. Case and point: if you’re really into getting others hooked on the company, you can become a “potty mouth”!

Of course, as you move your audience through the funnel, you may want to dial back on any fluff that’s purely for entertainment, but no need to get all serious, either. Squatty Potty helps show that you can be informative and interesting. (On a similar topic, Poo Pourri, created by the same agency, managed the same thing. And that product is quite poo-pular.)

Music and Audio

Your brand is the “look and feel”, the whole, complete experience of your company. This of course includes music. Remember the twinkling, light-hearted and touching music at the end of Forrest Gump, as the feather is floating away from Tom Hanks? Imagine if it were replaced by the simple, skin-crawling and dramatic duh-DUH music of Jaws. Or visa versa.

You may not be making a blockbuster, but you’re trying to build an experience. What best suits your brand? When the viewers see and hear the video, will they relate it to you and your company? Will they know that it’s you?

Take one of Apple’s older iPod commercials. They produced a series of these ads, and you didn’t have to guess who was behind it. It was energetic, creative, and showed how the product enhanced your life, which is exactly how Apple wants you to think of their products and company. They give you an experience.

//play.vidyard.com/pG9LcMVvoz8VzF1RSyr1LQ.js?v=3.1.1&type=inline

The right music is a statement. So is not having music. Take Skittles, for example. We’re talking about candy, here, so they can’t take themselves too seriously, like they’re curing cancer or something. They would have trouble positioning Skittles as a life-changing experience, or something that will help you do your job faster or drive more safely. So a deep, heart-ripping cello solo? Or the soothing tones of an Ian McKellan-style voiceover? Not gonna fly. It’s a candy. Candy is fun. Skittles are fun and brightly colored and are meant to bring a little joy or entertainment to your day. Their commercials represent that brand personality through their audio. Imagine a company like Ferrari making a commercial like this for their car? Preposterous. But it’s perfect for Skittles.

//play.vidyard.com/smERAZb23bEenXxNgfvG_A.js?v=3.1.1&type=inline

Setting

Setting is a big part of representing your brand. Now, don’t think that you have to have all of your videos take place in your CEO’s office just because you’re a corporation and your office setting looks like a cube farm. If your brand personality is innovative, shooting all of your videos might feel exactly the opposite: stagnant, dull, and well, not worth watching. Don’t get me wrong, this doesn’t mean you can never shoot in an office. Just keep in mind the experience of the setting. Is there clutter laying around? Does the office look hectic? Are the lights too dim? Are there pictures of family members in the shot? Consider everything around you.

Also, you can go too far on the other side of the scale of trying to look a certain way through your setting. If your business builds server cooling systems, for example, shooting a video with a couple sitting on a beach probably won’t make a whole lot of sense, and won’t help your audience connect the video to your brand. Even if the video is done well, if it doesn’t align with your brand, you might accidentally cause your viewers to falsely remember the video and attribute it to another company.

Think about this: what do you stand for? What does your company believe in? As I mentioned before, Apple is all about convincing you that their products enhance your life. They aren’t selling you a phone or a watch, they’re selling you an experience of your life—how it can be better, more exciting, more creative, if you had the right gadgets to help you do what you want to do. And the settings in their videos imply that. They aren’t stuck in offices, the videos show the beauty of the world. Perfectly in line with their brand.

//play.vidyard.com/pf2LDuWN04kDyUQOpbZ5IA.js?v=3.1.1&type=inline

There you have it. Brand is a powerful thing, and it can give your videos so much more power than if you ignore it or don’t know how to apply it well. Just ask yourself, what is the experience you want to create? And then write it down as the basis of your brand guidelines for video, and do it again and again and again, because brand is nothing if it isn’t consistent. With that in mind, you’ll surely create something memorable.

Now who wants some ice cream?!

The post Brand Guidelines for Video: Unicorn Ice Cream, Man-Cats, and a Powerful Experience appeared first on Vidyard.

from Vidyard http://www.vidyard.com/blog/brand_guidelines_video/

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