Screaming with Video

“Don’t say the old lady screamed. Bring her on and let her scream.”

– Mark Twain

Maybe “scream” is too strong of a word to use for my purposes, but are you using on-line video to “loudly proclaim” the story of your business, organization, or message?  Video combines sight, sound, motion, and emotion to create a message that helps you connect with your potential clients and customers.  Video allows you to tell a deeper story and has a more powerful impact.

Consider this:

–      75% of C-Level Executives say they watch work-related videos on business websites at least once a week (Forbes/Google Survey)

–      YouTube is now the #2 search engine trailing only Google (comScore Internet Survey)

–      Videos that are run through a simple search engine optimization program are 53 times more likely to end up on “Page One” of a search engine result than just a text-only webpage (Forrester Research Study)

A short video (up to three minutes is an accepted norm for website videos) can help you tell your story in a direct, concise, and powerful way.  In keeping with that theme, I’ll keep this blog post short because Twain also said:

“The more you explain it, the more I don’t understand it.”


How do people discover video online?

Blogs are actually one of the most popular ways to discover video on the web.  In fact, a recent study by TubeMogul found that 44% of all online video is viewed after initially being discovered through a blog.  The study also found that 45% of video views are the result of a direct navigation to a video site (i.e. going to YouTube and running a search or clicking around the featured or related videos).  So really, unless someone is specifically looking for your particular video, or a specific video category, then one of the best ways to get exposure for your video is to get coverage in the blogosphere.

A video interview with David Burch from TubeMogul further explains the results of the study (Hey I just provided a link to online video in my own blog.  How ’bout that!!!).

But basically, the study shows that blogs are the biggest referrer of on-line video views.  So if I include a link in this blog to our recent video of the baby falcons nesting in the Madison Gas & Electric generating station then more people are likely to see that video.

Or if I blog about the video we produced for the innovative FlameDisk product as an alternative to traditional charcoal then that video should also get more exposure.

Come to think of it, if I blog about the video we created for Thrive that promotes the incredible regional advantages making the Greater Madison area a great location for business and pleasure, then the video should be seen by more people.

Then again, maybe I should blog about the public service announcement we created to help educate the public about the new simplified method of compression-only CPR so more people can learn about this new procedure.

Hmmm… Maybe there’s something too this blog thing.  Hopefully, it will catch on someday.

Let’s Rock

“Let’s use a punk rock song about sex & drugs to promote your company” was actually a successful pitch someone made to Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines.

Most television commercials rely on music to provide a little something extra and to set the tone for what you are seeing.  But in almost any video production (whether it’s a traditional corporate image video or the theme song that rolls during the opening credits of your favorite TV show) the music is often intended to affect the mood of the viewer.

That’s why I loved this recent list posted on about “The Five Worst (and Best) Ad Songs of All Time.” You’d think a song about sex, strippers, and heroin would not be high on the list of songs to use in an ad campaign.  But Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines thought it fit their brand just fine as they used the Iggy Pop punk rock classic “Lust for Life” in their national ad campaign.  I remember seeing this commercial for the first time and thinking:  “Are they seriously using this song?  Have they listened to the lyrics?  Do they know ‘Lust for Life’ is a reference to Iggy Pop’s lifestyle as a hard-living heroin addict?”

The list shares more absurd song choices for television ads such as Victoria’s Secret deciding that a good way to sell ladies undergarments was to have 68-year-old Bob Dylan creeping around singing to scantily dressed young models.

Many choices go into making any kind of video, but it’s amazing how a good music selection can really enhance the viewing experience, and a poor music selection can detract from the message of the video.

I guess that’s the message Simon Cowell is always preaching on American Idol when he lambasts singers for “poor song choice.”  In fact, all of the judges on American Idol harp on the importance of song choice.  They constantly remind the singers that the wrong song choice can eliminate them from the competition (before they even sing) if the song doesn’t fit their vocal style or the image they portray.

Choosing the right music is just one of the many decisions to consider when creating a video concept.  If you want people to focus on the message in your video, then decisions like the graphic look, the pace of the video, the choice of your on-camera spokesperson, etc. should all be taken into consideration before you move into the production phase.

By the way, for more humorous insights and commentary on the strange uses of music in advertising visit:

Mac Chorlton/

If You Could Read My Mind, What a Tale My Thoughts Would Tell…

sandy kowal

sandy kowal - always thinking...

as a small child i was captivated by gordon lightfoot’s lyrics… what a great idea – if you could read my mind. as a small child i assumed everyone would, of course, want to read my mind – filled with wild dreams and hopes and recipes for disaster (seemed like a good idea at the time).

my whole life i’ve been wondering why no one could read my mind… how hard could it be? why must i spell out the details of every thought – every concept? then came social networking, like this blog , twitter and facebook… social networking does make it easier for all my friends and followers to know my every thought and feeling, sometimes ad nauseum.  it’s a good start, but just so much darn work and so much darn time.

but now the future is here:

you may not be able to read my mind but a computer can! the university of wisconsin has developed a mind reading computer that can twitter for me!!! now my every thought, dream and hope can instantly be broadcast to all my friends and followers! oh joy! AND I DON’T EVEN HAVE TO LIFT A FINGER.

thank you university of wisconsin, you truly have read my mind. now if there was just a way to broadcast the images trapped up there swilling around…. hmmm.  maybe next week.