Five Video Branding Essentials
When telling your organization’s story or creating a powerful brand, most people know that visuals are key. Maybe you’ve tried your hand at crafting sleek logos, fun color palettes, or robust brand guidelines, but let’s consider video.
Video branding elements are some of the most powerful representations of your organization, but they’re often overlooked, undervalued, and misused. Complete identity videos also expand your brand beyond simple stylistic choices, allowing you to create a ‘feeling’ and personality that connects with the audience. This list of essentials will guide you through the necessary to make your organization stand out in the marketplace.
1. The Logo or Animation Bump
Seems like low hanging fruit, but you would be surprised how many brands overlook the obvious and don’t have a ready-made animation to represent their organization. By having a suite of short bumpers for different situations, you can control and moderate consistent brand representation. For example, think about which movie studios you can easily recall. Movie studios, like Universal or Warner Brothers, pioneered unique, memorable logo animations synced to an equally (if not more) memorable jingle. This consistency in both motion and sound helps your target audience connect with and remember your brand.
For another example, imagine selecting the Netflix app on your TV. In your mind’s eye, you probably picture the red ’N’ appearing on your screen, line by line with a painterly flow. But what do you hear? Built into every Netflix subscriber’s psyche is a soft and subtle, “Tah dum.” The evocative sound surrounds you, like a warm hug, signaling it’s time to sit back and enjoy your show.
2. Create Lower Thirds and Animated Templates
After creating your flagship, you want to expand your roster of supplemental brand elements and foster unity across your organization. Let’s use lower thirds! These ready-made templates ensure every video fits your consistent style, even videos made with outside partners. Of course, all motion and graphic elements should complement your brand’s tone in color, energy, and aesthetic, but they can go even further, helping to define and carry your organization’s identity forward.
For example, a luxury suit brand might employ smooth motion and sophisticated, thin lines to separate name and title. Conversely, a toy brand may opt for a youthful splash of color or deliberate distortion to echo the visual interest of their audience. Whatever your choice in style, animated templates allow complete control and consistency in brand story, even when working with partners.
3. Branded B-Roll
B-roll footage is the most direct way of showing an audience who you are and what you stand for. With something so significant, organizations too often rely on stock imagery, selling themselves and their brand short. Although stock can help illustrate intangible or inaccessible topics, you want to ground your organization’s identity with real people, locations, and customer relationships. In this way, branded b-roll offers an opportunity for brand distinction. Whenever possible, capture authentic interactions and genuine hard work at your organization, showing the audience what you do best and representing your brand in a way that is uniquely you.
Checkout this branding video package we captured for Clear:
Extra tip: Any footage showcasing your clients or members can deliver a relevancy not found in generic b-roll. In 2016, we worked on the Retail Across America campaign for the National Retail Federation (NRF). At the time, this campaign yielded some great video segments and awesome broadcast ads, but, more importantly, we still utilize this treasure trove of B-roll footage when creating new, NRF-branded content seven years later!
4. Make the Rules of Your Road
A brand guide or mission statement can provide an important outline to your organization’s story, but how do you set standards for filming and editing with unfamiliar partners? Generate a list of rules that clearly define how you would like to be represented. If you’re a non-profit focused on overcoming child hunger and your brand's image centers on positive outcomes, then define what ‘positive outcomes’ look like. Guide others towards uplifting imagery such as warm footage of cheerful children snacking on nutritious fruits, instead of exploitative black and white footage of sad children looking into the camera. By educating your partners about specific branding and filming guidelines, you can eliminate accidental tropes misrepresenting your story.
5. Make Something that Lasts
Most marketing managers want their brand identity to stay fresh for as long as possible. The key to evergreen assets is being uniquely creative and avoiding trendy pitfalls. Checkout this logo bump that we created for Leading Authorities Inc. back in 2017:
Leading Authorities still uses this animation with almost all video footage. The target audience immediately recognizes this combination of motion and sound, connecting to Leading Authorities’ story and industry identity. However, imagine if we animated this intro in the style of a ‘white board explainer’ video. The whiteboard explainer was popular for a short period, but it quickly became obsolete. The Leading Authorities logo would have faded with the trend. When working with your organization’s brand or identity, do your best to stick with styles, or create new aesthetics, that will stand the test of time. If not, be ready to update your branding elements on a more regular basis.
That’s it. Did I miss anything? Shoot me a note at email@example.com if you have any adjustments to my list.
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