When stay-at-home orders took effect earlier this year, a lot of businesses faced the challenge of how to produce new video content while quarantined. Many of them found creative ways around this by repurposing stock footage and relying on music, text overlays, and voice-overs.
When this type of content saturated the market, it all kind of started blending together. How many times have we heard a national brand’s commercial featuring somber piano music with a voice-over saying phrases like now more than ever, unprecedented time, and we’re in this together? And while it was a much needed message at the time and we were not immune to relying on the same techniques ourselves, these spots now have become ubiquitous to the point of parody. Fortune 500 companies are now relegated to producing the same content as everyone else because of Covid-19 restrictions.
So does this mean your videos have just as much a chance to break through the noise? The answer to that depends on a few strategies.
An excellent example of putting some creative thought into video production during quarantine is ABC’s “The Disney Family Singalong” videos. What makes these so popular can be broken down into three elements: your brand and audience, your editing, and your content.
BRAND AND AUDIENCE
A few weeks ago the show “Parks and Recreation” treated fans to a special episode shot entirely from quarantine. In this situation, the producers not only knew they still had an audience hungry for their brand of comedy, but they saw the current set of limitations as an opportunity. The zeitgeist of Zoom culture seemed a perfect match for an audience currently living through it and the show’s workplace storyline tailor-made for it.
“The Disney Family Singalong” is Disney and ABC’s simultaneous play to both parent and kid audiences. Producing videos of celebrities singing its library of songs for an audience starved for content proved to be a creative solution for our current situation.
That said, even the average viewer can tell the difference between a thoughtful production and somebody who just turned on their phone and started filming themselves.
Do we expect our videos produced during quarantine to be professionally lit and composed? No, but there are ways to enhance them with attention to editing in a creative way. If your video is a web chat interview, this doesn’t necessarily mean you have to send it out exactly as recorded. A quick edit even in the shortest turnaround time can retain a “live” aesthetic while giving you the flexibility to enhance the video with branded elements, supporting graphics, and text overlays.
The Disney Singalong videos took this idea and ran with it to create the illusion of singing together with their use of framing, graphics, and even the text overlay of the lyrics.
For marketers, this kind of innovation and attention to detail in editing can take everyday video to new heights and provide incredible value to clients during quarantine restrictions.
Ultimately, if the content is what viewers are hungry for, then the most crucial thing is getting it to them in a powerful and creative way. For many, though, there is just no way around having to delve into your existing brand footage library to produce videos during the quarantine. To avoid the usual slideshow of images with comforting language and somber music, it is up to creative minds to assess how to use existing content to its maximum effect.
Part of the charm of the Disney singalong videos is how they incorporate footage from the animated films into the new footage. That alone is an excellent example of knowing your brand/audience and taking the time to edit the content creatively. But they take it one step further in their latest video by not only weaving in existing footage but also editing it in a visually striking and creative way.
In their “Mary Poppins” video, not only do they edit in animation from the film, but they also use editing tricks to reproduce the film’s choreography and feel, all while quarantined at home.
Quarantine may be the perfect time to go back through all of your assets to see what sparks new ideas. Not having to shoot new footage on location allows production teams to focus more on how the edit can visually engage and tell the brand story. And having the knowledge, confidence, and respect for your brand and audience should also push you to find fresh ways to create video content that will transcend the rest.