Staged Corpoate Videos Hurt Your Business

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Companies have some tough choices as they produce their corporate videos. One of them is whether to script and storyboard things in advance or take a more organic approach to production.

The recruiting video I found from First Midwest Bank is a prime example of what can happen when you plan things in advance. First, let me say I’m thrilled to see the bank’s leaders are producing a recruiting video. Business leaders who are serious about recruiting top talent NEED to show recruits what the company is all about, and video is a terrific way to do it.

Second, there’s nothing necessarily wrong with the video. It’s clearly professionally produced. There’s good sound bites and a decent story. Here’s the thing though. While I like the sound bites… they sound genuine… everything else is soooo staged. None of it seems natural. In my book, that’s a problem.

I prefer an authentic approach

I’m all about authenticity. I want authentic sound bites, and if at all possible… authentic raw video (b-roll). Even on the occasions we have to stage something, we always try to make sure it looks natural. We have people doing things they would normally do in places they look like they would normally work.

That’s not how things come across in the bank video. They have a series of shots featuring employees smiling into the camera. Okay, we do that sort of thing from time to time, so I get that… it’s a style thing. The problem is the video of people “working” just doesn’t look natural. The shots look and feel staged.

Staging corporate videos hurts your company

Viewers recognize that sort of thing, and your company ends up looking and feeling the same way. Your business comes off as artificial, or worse… deceptive.

Not exactly the impression you want to make whether you’re recruiting new employees, or if you’re trying to market the business.

–Tony Gnau

Tony Gnau is a three-time Emmy-winning journalist. He is also the founder and chief storytelling officer at T60 Productions. T60 has won 11 Telly Awards for its work over the last eight years.