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Video By Shmuel Hoffman
When a client calls me for a new video project, the first question that comes up is, “What kind of video should we produce to achieve the client’s goal?”
Most video producers create their videos according to what “feels right” or “looks good.” Of course it should feel right and look good. But beyond that your videos need a strategy behind them. You don’t want the video to just feel good; you want it to actually help achieve your goal, whether it’s selling a product or a service, to inform, to brand, or to entertain. This means that you have to be super strategic about kind of video you want to produce.
In the realm of advertising and promotion there are two main categories:
2. promotional films
So, what is the difference?
Let me start off by showing you some examples.
I want you to watch a commercial and a promo that I made. They basically promote a similar thing (though their audiences are quite different once you get down to specifics). Their product is: A summer camp that has a special needs program. One of my videos below is a commercial, and the other is a promo.
Commercial or Promo: What’s The Difference?
First of all, it’s the duration. In general, a commercial is 30-90 seconds long. Promotional films are usually longer then that.
But duration is not even the main difference.
The main difference is what they do.
A commercial is usually a branding tool that uses a method of showing the product or
service it communicates in a fast and often abstract fashion. It explains key components in pictures and audio. Often ad agencies come up with super sophisticated, abstract ideas and concepts. Companies and non-profits spend a lot of money on those ideas.
You’re probably asking, Why would you spend so much money? Can’t everyone come up with a great idea?
It’s a Noisy World, And You Want To Be Heard
Today, commercial concepts need to be more clever and and more memorable than ever before, because today people are advertised to more than we ever have been in the history of the world.
Daily we see over 3000 advertisements a day.
If your ad doesn’t stick with people and make your audience do what you want them to do (buy, sign up, click, or even just remember you when they go to the store), you wasted your money to produce your content.
What Is A Commercial?
In essence a 30-90 second commercial conveys an idea connected to the brand it is advertising to “make it sticky” so that the audience will later act upon your message that leads to action. The concepts tend to be stir emotions (can be happy, funny, sad, etc., i.e. beyond just informational) and connect with deep human psychological needs. Commercials are used for long-term branding. Camp Morasha is releasing ten of my videos this fall to help strengthen their brand. The proof is in the pudding: they had more early registrants by November than ever, already bringing them dangerously close to capacity for the summer of 2014.
Which summer camp wouldn’t want so many signups that they need to put some on a waiting list?