As a nation of small-medium enterprises it’s reasonably common for Clients to want to front their own videos. Whether it’s a television commercial or an online video having the business’s owners or staff fronting as the spokespeople brings with it a number of benefits. To mention a couple of obvious ones:-
It’s cheaper – the cost of a professional presenter to front your video or commercial can vary widely, based on their experience and ability, but it’s invariably going to be a lot more expensive than getting your staff to do it. They might just get an extra hour for lunch one day or a company tee shirt (or maybe , even nothing at all);
They really do know what they’re talking about – in these times of alternative facts and mis-rememberings audiences are becoming ever more cynical and resistant to bullshit. Huge gains in the integrity of the message are there for the taking when you have the real people involved in the business doing the talking.
But there are potential downsides to having Frank from Accounts front on camera:-
It’s unlikely he’s an actor – staring down the barrel; off a camera lens is a pretty intimidating prospect for most people. Unlike looking into some’s eyes or face the camera offers no feedback or support so you’re really very much on your own when talking with it. The uncertainty that many experience in this situation often manifests with the shifty-eyes and perspiring top lip look that we’ve all seen when someone’s feeling naked and alone in front of a camera;
Here today, gone a week next Friday – as per most things in the world, nothing stays as it is forever. And that extends top staff lists. People sometimes leave businesses and if they’re the star of your new TVC then that might become a little awkward.
Fortunately, for the new Norwood TVC, Takapuna agency, Hot Mustard, came to WANTED. Casting around 30 staff members from branches all over the country via Skype and FaceTime gave me a pretty good idea of what I could expect from various candidates. The resulting shoot went very smoothly and we ended up with a number of potential edits using the Client’s ‘stars’. Sadly, only one TVC was called for so lots of great performances haven’t yet seen the light of day, but maybe some day we’ll so a Norwood 2 and 3 and 4.
Thanks to Jayson Houghton and Annette Nortje at Hot Mustard for letting me nurse their Clients staff through the processes and capture their truth.
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