Corporate videos and image films are a dime a dozen. Hardly any company presents itself without a video, which is supposed to show in a classic, creative, funny or emotional form what mission statements and values are behind the company name. The image film can quickly become a PR fail if the clip is too heavy-handed at the expense of authenticity or sympathy, or if it is simply unintentionally comical. This article, however, is dedicated to successful examples and shows why they can score points – completely independent of budget, quality or a big name.
The image film of the Völkermarkt fire department initially looks like a hobby film and low budget. Shot with simple means and not always quite clean, it knows how to convince with decent storytelling and closeness to the action. The members of the volunteer fire department are shown in everyday situations. The sudden notification on the cell phones, however, tears everyone out of their usual environments. Here it is authentically shown what it means to be active as a selfless lifesaver. Over 100,000 clicks are the reward.
The introduction video of Harwood House in Stansted shows how a small, family-run business can stage itself. The camera follows an ordinary day behind the walls of the B&B house in the UK. Without a lot of frills, the sympathetic owners of the hotel get the chance to talk about what is essential for them when looking after their guests. Meanwhile, a glimpse into the daily work routines is provided. Not particularly extravagant, but down-to-earth and well-produced, you get the impression that you can feel at home as a guest at Harwood House right from the start.
Chipotle Mexican Grill
The fact that a corporate vision can also be transported in an image film is shown by the famous example of “Scarecrow” from the American fast food chain Chipotle Mexican Grill. An animated 3-minute film shows the sad reality of a scarecrow on its way to its daily work in the meat industry. Driven by a desire to make the parallel world a better place, she ultimately makes a bold decision. With a clever analogy to our consumer society and the skillful transfer to Chipotle’s mission statement, this clip shows how exciting storytelling with a statement can be packed into a corporate film (also suitable for children).
Also from the lavish category: “Childlike Imagination” by General Electronics. However, the visibly expensive production is not the central trick of this film – rather, it convinces with a beautiful idea of changing perspectives and thus creates a new view on things. A young girl reports in childlike language about the projects that her mother realizes as an employee of GE. Hollywood-ready images illustrate what is being said and bring the developments to life. Unobtrusively and emotionally, the big picture behind the corporation is outlined here.
There is another way: According to reports, Twitter wanted to produce the worst image film of all time. Challenge accepted! The film does just about everything wrong that can be done wrong: jerky camera, bad cuts, lousy quality and, on top of that, cheap animations and green screen effects. The wonderfully authentic-authentic performances by the staff round out the overall picture. Of course, the whole thing is to be understood with a big wink of the eye, and in some places it skilfully satirizes the common clichés that image films all too often fulfill across the board. Humor and irony are the keys to Twitter’s appealing image.
Conclusion: In the end, it is not crucial what budget is available for a film or what approach is taken. What is important is that the film fits the company and can convey the intended message authentically and honestly. Emotionality, humor and storytelling are decisive factors in making a successful impression and reaching the audience with lasting effect.
Author: Dion Murawski
Brand Storytelling, HR, Marketing, Visual Storytelling