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Using Video In Financial Services

Every Monday morning, we have a “reference meeting” as a team. As we sip our hipster coffee and talk about this past weekend, everyone on the team shares one video or piece of visual content they’ve noticed that has impressed them.Hipster coffee

This week, for the first time, 2 of those references presented were from the financial services space. 

I had to almost spit out my extortionate filter coffee. 

“Financial services? This better not be a talking head video.”

But as the guilty parties presented the two references, I was genuinely surprised. 

Goldman Sachs, and Pictet, market leaders in many ways, have invested heavily in series based video content. 

But why? They are traditional financial institutions with, let’s face it, traditionally older demographics as clientele. Why would they give any attention to video content, let alone thoughtful,  series based content?

As we started to discuss this point, 2 things became strikingly obvious to us crayon-holding- creatives about the marketing metrics for financial services brands: 

  1. Financial services is built on trust
  2. Many clients are on social platforms 

Video is the only medium that allows you to do all of these in spades and simultaneously. 

It’s well known that the “trust factor” accounts for the vast majority of inflows. Showing one of your fund managers on screen talking about the latest impact Brexit will have on the global economy, is one of the fastest ways to build trust with your audience whilst still showing your expertise. 

According to Zoom, 82% of people said there was greater trust with video, and 91% of users said there was greater engagement with video when compared to other forms of media. 

Video has also been proven time again to be one of the most effective mediums when it comes to delivering and retaining information. So when you are trying to convince someone that your fund’s strategy to seek alpha will work, video is often the best bet. 

In terms of the platforms/media channels where video is being prioritized in the newsfeed, 94% of asset managers are on LinkedIn, 80% are on Twitter & 70% are on YouTube. And on these channels, their follower bases who regularly engage with the content they share, numbers at: LinkedIn 40%, Twitter 23%, YouTube 58% according to Peregrine Communications. So if you are sharing content, you should be doubling down on the key platforms like YouTube and Linkedin. 

Graph showing asset managers & audiences on social

But what if you haven’t used any form of video content before? It’s daunting and confusing. 

In an effort to provide some foundational information, we’ve laid out 5 key ways to utilise video content in your sales/marketing as a financial institution.

5 key ways to use it

1. Case studies – Show don’t tell 

This is probably the most straightforward way of using video content. Although you’ll often have confidentiality clauses, there are always opportunities to share how you helped certain clients using your particular expertise. Especially if you work in a niche area of finance, utilising case studies is essential.  

To build an effective case study focus on:

  1. The Challenge
  2. The Process
  3. The Solution

This allows you not only to showcase the results you provide, but separate yourself from competitors in a much more visible way, without just saying “We’re innovative”. Which, coincidentally, 24% of asset managers say, according to a Cerulli Associates report. 

2. Thought Leadership – Accessibility is key 

Most firms engage in thought leadership to some degree already – utilising white papers and blogs mostly, but the key to this game is making sure your audience see your thought leadership. This is an ideal place to incorporate video content for better results. All the major platforms (Linkedin, YouTube etc) are all doubling down on their video sharing capabilities, because they know it’s engaging for the audience. This preference for video content in the social algorithms means that the videos can be used to create short trailers for your new whitepaper, or you can compile your report into a fully interactive/animated video which will drive more traffic and engagement. It becomes a lot more memorable for your clients and drives better results for you. Even for this article you’re reading, it’s likely you’ve seen a video trailer for it on Linkedin, or the full video about this topic we created on YouTube. It’s not about replacing content formats, but about enhancing and improving access to your content. 

3. Personal branding – What Fund Managers Can Learn From Kevin Hart & The Rock

Image result for kevin hart the rock

The most savvy fund managers have already started to build their own personal brands by sharing their thoughts regularly and directly with their clients. This is smart for 2 reasons: As a fund manager, you attract more people to invest specifically with you because you’re in control of marketing your own thought processes. Furthermore, you have an audience which is engaged. If you ever decide to move to another firm and set up a fund, the audience becomes an asset which you own and can leverage. This thinking is borrowed from the biggest entertainers in the world, The Rock & Kevin Hart. Both have built sizeable followings on social media independently. According to Forbes, movie studios now pay them above their normal acting fee, simply so that they will market the movie their social audience. Imagine having an engaged audience to leverage for a bigger piece of the pie overall. Eric Weinstein of Thiel Capital and Ray Dalio are noticeable figures within the financial services space that have acutely understood this learning from the entertainers and applied it to their own personal brand. Weinstein hosts The Portal and Dalio shares daily animated videos. 

“Kevin Hart, pocketed $2 million from Sony just for tweeting about his own films” 

4. Client ServicesScale the unscalable 

Managing your client relationships at a high level is all about the personal service but you’re constrained by the number of client relationship managers you have. Instead of constant meetings, video is a great option for making the management of relationships scaleable whilst still personal. At a very basic level, you can group your clients based on funds or specific criteria, then create video content specifically around the updates they need to hear. This can be pre programmed into your CRM so that at a click of a button your client will get a personalised video with their name and specific news or it can be more intricate with specific fund managers sharing a video specifically with their clients. Of course, this approach is more suited to fund managers with U/HNWI clients as opposed to institutional managers. Even if you want to keep it simple, training your team to shoot quick videos on their mobiles would help. If a client messages them and wants to know about some change in the market, a quick little video message from their dedicated client support team would work wonders. We tend to use the free Google chrome extension, Loom to shoot quick videos when responding to lengthy client emails. 

5. Trends/ News – We’re the smartest in the room 

Highlighting trends and news is an easy place to start. The markets open and close every single day and therefore there is fresh news to provide each morning. Curate the content into a digestible format. Disruptor brands like Lumio are doing this already by simply providing commentary to daily news that builds an audience for their own brand. Even a weekly video will be worth its weight in views and awareness. It helps you access the widest part of the market by getting involved in trends and topical debates that are going on in the sector. William Blair have driven full steam ahead with their video content especially in this area. They share phenomenal content on Linkedin and YouTube which drives traffic to their original thinking.

5 ways to increase b2b sales using video

News & Trend Content

6. Events – If you can’t share it did it even happen? 

Events are common in the financial services space, but not having video content to share after the fact negates the experience entirely. You’re missing out on valuable real estate in terms of generating brand awareness and buzz about the event on platforms like Linkedin. Sending a simple wrap up video of the event to attendees increases chances of them sharing the content with their audience, who are likely to be prospects for your firm. These are often inexpensive and don’t need to be the world’s most thought out content to have an impact. Again, Pictet do a great job of showcasing their events on a social platform, driving demand for their future events and providing extra value for attendees. I for one would love to attend one of their Entrepreneur Summits (if anyone reading this has a connection…you know what to do) 

As more and more financial services firms start utilising video content, you’ll need to start exploring more creative content ideas such as web series. The fintech disruptors like Wealthsimple have already jumped in the deep end with this type of content. If you’re a  more traditional firm and want to stay relevant with a demographic that will be valuable for the next 50 years, you also need to be using video content in a strategic and creative way longer term to stand out. But this article serves to give a baseline understanding of easy ways to integrate and see results with video content. 

As always, if you have any questions as to how you can apply this to your own firm, reach out on and we can organise a strategy call.

Xmas Content When You Don’t Have John Lewis’ Budget

As the holiday season approaches, so too does the creative battle of the xmas ads.

The same way we expect to watch Home Alone around this time of year, we have come to love the creative showdown between the heavyweights of the retail world. The winner takes all bragging rights, increases in holiday sales, and general warm fuzzy feelings attributed to their brand. 

What a perfect picture of marketing and consumer sentiment. 

But as the rest of us understand, this perfect picture is reserved for only the brands with the biggest budgets, time, and resources. 

Unfortunately, many brands try to create their own versions of an Xmas ad in the quiet hope that it becomes the next viral sensation but without the upfront cost. Literally, millions are ploughed into Xmas ad campaigns. 

But what if you just have a little bit of budget left to spend with 4 weeks before everyone’s “out of office” turns on and you still want to capitalise on the Holiday season? 

We’ve listed 5 ways you can create video content which would have the impact you want. Spreading a bit of festive cheer, engaging your audience and boosting your sales over the period too! 

1)Xmas cards

Turn an old favourite into something engaging and memorable. Create a quick animated xmas card with some key highlights from the year to send out to all your customers. Versatile and simple it’s an effective way to engage the audience. If you have any specific holiday offers, like a room sale if you’re a hotel, or a discount for Boxing day sales, highlight them in the video and send it out on social and via email.

2)Personalised videos  

If you really want to garner a reaction, add personalisation to the mix. Start by sending out personalised talking head videos to your key clients wishing them the best for the holiday period. Alternatively you could make an animated xmas video, where the main message remains the same but you can adjust the name of the person. Customers will appreciate the time and effort you took to make a personalised video but it’s fast to implement with your CRM system and have the videos automatically created. 

3)Stat videos 

Collating your year in numbers are great if you’ve had an eventful year and want to showcase how much the brand has grown. This is also a really fun way to include certain stats or figures about fun facts. For example, as a hotel firm you could include 

  • Number of new rooms
  • Number of happy guests
  • Litres of coffee drank
  • Number of iphone chargers left behind in the rooms 

The more personal and quirky the better. This is ideal for both internal company presentations/board meetings and social sharing too. 

4)Community videos for team to the audience

Giving some personality to the key team members is always a nice touch as a brand. Don’t ask the boring questions like name and role, think about the festive season and ask about their funny xmas stories. It’s the time of year when a personal touch is worth its weight in gold. A video like this is relatively inexpensive to produce and is a great content piece to share externally and internally too, as it showcases the culture of the company. Here are a few good questions to ask your team for a great piece of video content. 

  • What’s you best memory about the holiday season?
  • What’s dish can you can cook at xmas?
  • What quirky xmas tradition do you have?
  • What’s your favourite xmas movie?
  • What xmas song do you know all the words to and could you sing it for us? 
  • What’s the one present you always wanted at xmas and never got? 

5)CEO message to team 

A great motivator for the year ahead is a personal message from the CEO or Founder. This typically is better for internal communications but can also be shared with your customers if the CEO has a public profile. Make it relatable, and let the CEO/Founder speak freely instead of scripting it- this isn’t the Queen’s speech. It’ll boost morale, share the vision for the year ahead and make the team feel like the CEO/Founder is a real person instead of a faceless brand. 

So if you don’t have the same capabilities as John Lewis and Selfridges, hopefully this has given you some food for thought as to how you can still capitalise on the holiday period. As usual, you know where to find us if you want help with any video content listed above! 

Even if video isn’t for you, make an effort to reach out and reconnect with old friends, colleagues and family. An Xmas card or a simple whatsapp message can go a long way. Have a safe and peaceful holiday from all of us here in the studio!

Happy Holidays! 

Video content in B2B Sales
Video content in B2B Sales

5 Ways To Increase B2B Sales Using Video Content

It’s somewhat typical for B2B marketers to shy away from video content and to believe that driving results with video is strictly for B2C marketers. You know, the brands who are using the flashy ads on YouTube that you can’t wait to skip, or the TV ads you can’t wait to slate for being politically incorrect. And this comes from the common misconception that “our audiences don’t engage with video as a medium”.

But this couldn’t be farther from the truth. In fact, 59% of company decision makers would rather watch a video than read an article or blog post according to Forbes . (Yes, we have a video about this exact same topic if you’d prefer to watch).
With the amount of investment that key platforms (Linkedin,Facebook, Instagram, YouTube) are making in their own video products, it’s clear that this will be an important medium for all brands.

As a B2B firm though, you need to have a clear roadmap of how you utilise video content  properly to have an impact.

59% of company decision makers would rather watch a video than read an article or blog post according to Forbes

In this blog/video, we’re going to identify how and where to implement effective video content into your B2B sales cycle.

There are 5 main ways to utilise video content in B2B sales and they all focus on different points in the sales funnel/customer journey/<insert fancy word for getting customers to buy stuff here>

  1. Help content
  2. Series content
  3. Product explainers
  4. Demo Videos
  5. Personalised videos

Help Content

What is it: This is content typically found at the top of your funnel. It’s the stuff that we consider the widest part of your addressable market could be interested in.
And it does what it says on the tin- help. Not sell, just position your brand and help. Why do this? Well, this is the stage of “research” where most of your addressable market will start to look for a solution to their problem.

How to do it: The best way to start help content is simply make a list of FAQ’s, common themes/trends and Googled queries, and answer them. This is the same strategy we use for our own content. We match it against Google search trends so that anyone who types the query “How to Use B2B video content effectively” see’s our blog or video as a result in Google. Get your SEO agency or in house team sat around the table with your customer service people and start creating a list, cross referencing high value search terms against the most common questions. Once you have these topics, come up with creative titles to catch your audience’s attention. It’s evergreen so think of it as a library of video content you’re building. You can either batch create the content or do it all in one go.

Series Content

What is it: This is the holy grail of content for all brands right now. Instead of focusing on one viral video, it’s time to consider how you can create content which is repeatable and scalable yet still engaging. Once you’ve got people to notice the brand and begun positioning yourself within the market, you need to further entrench that positioning and remain top of mind. It’s like an email newsletter but less annoying. When you provide a series that a viewer can tune into, it makes it a lot easier for them to engage with you on a regular basis and help them shortlist you in the consideration stage of the journey.

How to do it: This is content where you create useful, entertaining and engaging content for your clients. That could be everything from a video podcast/ coffee table talks interview series, to a more in depth documentary style type content episodes. Think about Goldman sachs, or L2inc Gartner, they present industry news in an engaging format each week. Another great example would be to take a look at Pictet, the financial services firm, they provide a market outlook each week called “Pictet Perspectives”. It’s ideal to keep your audience coming back for more. You’ll want to focus on where your brand values align with what the customer cares about. This isn’t the best place to shout about your product but rather a place to show the expertise and awareness of the wider trends/themes your viewers care about.

Product Explainers

What is it: Once the client is into your funnel and at the decision/solution stage of the sales cycle, how effectively are you converting them?
Well if you aren’t using product explainers it’s likely you’re not converting them that well. In fact,Wyzowl reported that 97% of businesses said that their explainer video has helped increase user understanding of their product or service. 81% reported increased sales, and 53% said their video had helped reduce support calls.
Aside from the numbers, these explainers are often versatile pieces of content which can be showcased on social, on email, and on the website.

How to do it: Map out the core message of the product/service you are selling along with the standard features you provide and why they are best. You’re aiming for nothing longer than a 90 second video which will clinch the conversion for you. So don’t focus on anything which an indirect benefit, focus strictly on features and differentiation of product from the market.

Video Demos

What is it: This is another fan favourite in the world of B2B especially for software companies. Instead of long tutorials and boring web chats, just shoot a quick screenflow video and share it. It helps customers who are already buying from you feel great about your product because of the ease of use and the ability to quickly get the information they need, especially when using a new software.
It also helps ease the pressure on your customer support teams who need to deal with inbound queries. Much like the help content you created, you can go through the most common problems using the product or platform, and record demo videos.

How to do it: Make a list of the most common queries your sales or support teams spend time on during onboarding. 90% of these queries will be the same so shoot a library of videos screenflows of one of your team members go through the specific functions that your clients seem to have problems on. One of our favourite tools to do this is Loom which you can install for free on your Google chrome web browser.

Personalised Videos

What is it: This is a real winner in our eyes. We’ve used them for years and we notice that when clients use them, it’s a real game changer.
Implementing personalised videos could be perfect for special messages around the holidays or for more targeted marketing. I.e. it’s time for them to renew, they get a personalised video directly to their inbox. This degree of care and personalisation will always drive a response from the end user.

How to do it: These videos typically require some development since they integrate with your CRM system. You can create videos with very specific filters and every time a new customer is added to the CRM or new event triggered, it creates a personalised video. This isn’t as straightforward to implement independently, but feel free to reach out to me if you want to know more about how to add this into your sales funnel.

The Takeaways

There’s a variety of methods for B2B marketers to utilise when it comes to driving return on investment with video. These 5 are just the most common ways.

Start thinking about each stage of the sales cycle and think about which experience could be made more seamless with video. As a rule, if it uses a person, it could be replaced with video or a person on the video…. You know, scaling the unscalable stuff….

  1. Help content (Trend/news content; informational)
  2. Series content
  3. Product explainers
  4. Demo Videos
  5. Personalised videos

Get in touch with me if you have any questions or how this could specifically work for your brand. Otherwise,we’ll see you next time.

6 Steps to Great Video Marketing

Guess what this post is about?

No flying pigs. Just video. (And a bit of really bad humor)

It’s 2018, so video is on every marketing director’s budget line (hopefully) and some are creating some stunning content and using video properly. Unfortunately, some are missing the mark entirely. And in a world where there are 1.3 billion users of YouTube and Facebook is boasting over 8 billion views a day, video is the most powerful form of content online so you cannot afford to make a mistake through content complacency. (Fancy term for creating terrible or sporadic videos, coined by One Globe Studio, whilst writing this post)

“By 2021 video will account for 82% of all web traffic” 

Cisco Visual Networking Index; 2017

It’s kind of a big deal if you aren’t using it…

It’s all good knowing you need to produce video content, but knowing how to make sure it’s the right content and not just a funny cat video, is a whole different story. And that’s what I want to help you with today.

Over the past 2 years, we’ve worked with 100’s of clients and we’ve figured out a structure to create compelling content which I want to share with you here. It’s actionable and practical from the moment you’ve finished reading this post. Think of it as a basic checklist you can use every time you are evaluating a piece of video content. You can even download it at the end and keep it with you every time your team sits down to discuss content.


Are you trying to gain more views, get more subscribers or just keep people on your website for longer? All these questions have an impact on the type of video you create. Nowadays you hear a lot of blanket statements like “oh video’s should be short”. Statements like that can potentially crush your video strategy before your even start so don’t listen to it. If that was the case, Netflix and their 1 hour episodes wouldn’t exist and the average watch time on YouTube wouldn’t be increasing year on year. The way to list out your objectives is simple.

There are 2 types of objectives:

    • At a surface level you probably want to drive more sales, views or something measurable.
    • But we have to look at this at a deeper level and think what we want to convey emotionally with our content.

So think about it like this: If I sold luxury watches, aside from just wanting to sell watches through my videos (Surface objective), my deeper objective would be to portray my store as the most knowledgeable about luxury watches. Not only does that build trust for the long term, but it provides me with some direction to my videos, because I know what other questions to answer in each video I create, and not just provide the price of the watch. I’m also building the sales pipeline, because instead of just catering to the “ready to buy” customers by answering the price of the watch, i’m catering to the future customers, who are aspiring right now and will trust me and choose my store in 5 years when it comes time to buy their first luxury watch.

So think about it, objectives on surface level are great for you short term, but objectives on a deeper level and better for you long term.

Learning From Peers & Industry

Success leaves clues. Again, this is a very intricate process which we conduct with our clients before we create any content for them. We always need to fully understand the market and the current content being produced in the market before we go through it. With those of you who have worked with us before, you’ll be familiar with the commercial insight workshop that our team runs so that they can direct the creative team to make the right content. Think of it as pairing the best management consultants with the best creatives before we shoot anything for your brand. Every time we on board a new client there is a process of discovery which is always different, but in an effort to explain at least a few of these points I’m going to share some interesting ways with you here.

Using free data is a great place to start to glean a basic insight into what content is working in your industry. Sticking with the watch example a good place to start would be gathering some basic info from industry reports. L2Inc do a phenomenal job of independent research which is usually freely available. Coincidentally, they also have a phenomenal video marketing strategy and I urge you to subscribe to their channel.

Here’s a data chart L2inc provided from their study into the Watches & Jewellery market last year. 

Luxury watch brand spends

Chart showing spending of respective brands. Source: L2Inc 2017

If you’re in the watch sector, you’ll understand that I’ve chosen 3 brands here as an example because they are pretty much the market leaders in the watch world. Now, this takes some degree of industry insight you would have about your own industry to make certain inferences. For example, with this chart above, we can see that out of all digital/social media spending all 3 brands are investing money heavily in YouTube, Instagram and Facebook- all heavily visual platforms. Now pair that with a bit more industry insight of knowing that in 2011 the CMO of Patek said they would never do social as they couldn’t sell the story on social media. Yet here they are in 2018, pumping money into YouTube. This must mean it works for them, so as a retailer of watches, if I’m not using YouTube as a main content channel, am I missing out? An emphatic YES! So very quickly, with a bit of lateral thinking you’re picking up on clues left by others in the industry. Learn from it. This is just one of the ways to learn from industry and peers, we’ll be doing more follow ups on this topic in coming weeks.


“Which platforms they use on the train or on the way to work, or even when they are on the toilet…”

Understanding who your audience are is at the core of any content you create. You should not only know the age of your target audience, but on which platforms they spend most time and the types of content they are already watching. I’m not going to get too in depth here because marketers have been building customer profiles since the start of time so it’s likely you don’t need help here. But the key things you need to know at this stage of creating content, is which platforms they use on the train or on the way to work, or even when they are on the toilet (I’ve been told by the team to stop mentioning that last one as a reference point, but it’s true so I had to share it. People consume a vast amount of online content when they are taking care of business whether we like it or not). You also need to know what else they are interested in and what else they are watching. Creating an initial list of 5 types of content that your audience enjoys is a good first step. Is it long format documentaries on YouTube, or is it food recipe videos on Facebook? Ask these types of questions to define your demographic and what appeals to them.

Cater To Platform

Once you know how your customers are consuming content, then you can create for those platforms. So if you see that most of your customers spend a bulk of their day on Instagram, start by creating Instagram stories and making sure all your content can fit into 60 second video posts and still image posts. This doesn’t necessarily mean that if you want to create a web series, that you have to restrict it to 1 minute episodes. But it does mean that when you create that web series you need to make sure you’re getting content cut downs for Instagram. Think about what those platforms are also investing in, YouTube is pushing more series based content whereas FB is pushing more quick, text heavy video formats. All these various considerations have an impact on the creative you choose and the content you create.

Source: CrazyEgg

Entertain vs Educate

There’s two ways to grab attention. Entertain them or educate them. It’s that simple.

If you aren’t doing one or the other with your content, you should reassess and figure out where your opportunities really are to add some value to the end user.

Entertaining content is quite frankly why cat videos exist along with why Gangnam style went viral. It’s content that makes you feel an overwhelming positive response even for a fleeting second. Entertainment is a fleeting mistress. It’s difficult to continually entertain your customer without having a 24/7 creative team developing content streams for you.

Education on the other hand has proven to be the most important part of content marketing. People never get tired of learning. TED talks proved that, and so do the 1 trillion makeup tutorials on YouTube.

A quick tip on where to find the questions you should try to answer Try and find ways to educate your customer constantly and answer their common questions, YouTube comments are actually a great place to source out the topic of your next video. Or if you know there are influencers in your industry, browse the comments on their latest video and you’ll be sure to find some of your customers requesting certain topics are covered. You can easily answer these questions in a video piece.

Call To Action 

I’m seeing more and more great content out there which ends on a blank screen and that’s a fast track to nowhere. I understand that many brands simply measure direct response in sales generated and therefore if the CTA (Call to Action) does not involve buy now, they don’t consider it a CTA. But the reality is, the way communities engage with your brand, and ultimately buy from your brand, is changing. So we need to take a deeper look at the CTA’s we are and aren’t using in many cases.

Source: Crazyegg

The way today’s customers buy is completely different compared to their predecessors. Given this reality, our marketing and calls to action must interact with them in a new way. So the CTA isn’t driving an immediate sale in many cases, but rather building a long term relationship and therefore a pipeline of new and return customers. So what’s an appropriate call to action? Think about using other creative CTA’s like “Subscribe Now”, or “Watch More” content at very least as it ensures the client has taken an active step to hear more from you, it’s almost like getting their permission. If you have a web series, it’s important that you ask them to watch the next episode, or to sign up so they can be notified of the release of the next episode. These micro interactions which are seemingly meaningless, build up emotional equity in your brand which will lead to not just a one time customer, but a customer for life. Plus, no one likes to be proposed to on the first date.

So that’s it, a very simple and straightforward starting point for any video content you want to create. Use this document like a checklist every time you are thinking about content and you will be starting on the right track.

Like always, feel free to check out our other content on YouTube and LinkedIn or feel free to reach out to me directly if you want to discuss what you’re working on right now!

The Good, The Bad & The Unwatchable: Campari

This week on The Good, The Bad & The Unwatchable, we bring you a breakdown of HSBC’s latest piece of social content.

Brand: Campari


Platform: YouTube

Views: 201,500

Story/Aim: 7/10

  • In terms of an aim, it seems like this is more focussed on being an editorial piece than an advertising piece. Which is definitely a plus point and nice to see from a brand, it signals that other brands will start to follow this type of more entertainment based content.
  • I know that sort of film noir/Tom Ford style of movies has come back into popularity but it makes it difficult to follow for most people.
  • With the previous point in mind, the length justifies having a bit of time spent in developing the story.

Visuals/Styling: 9.5/10

  • They make use of an A List cast which is always a plus point in terms of grabbing attention
  • It has a very 70’s vibe to it throughout which is always a popular theme to go for, especially because the aesthetics are so vibrant and mix well with the brand colours, so this was well thought out.
  • Great choice of shots throughout to keep you thoroughly glued to the screen. This one definitely passes the pizza test even if at some points you’re furring your eyebrow wondering just what the hell is happening.
  • With cinema level visuals there’s not too much that can be faulted here in all honesty
  • Going back to the aim of the film however, if it is strictly editorial content (to engage and excite), I would have left the Campari logo out of the first scene and also lost the product placements throughout. Although subtle, they stick out like a sore thumb for me personally as I’ve already seen the Campari logo at the start and every reference I make to that logo snaps me out of the enjoyment of the film ever so slightly to remind me that this is just a brand trying to be sneaky. I have to give them credit though, the placements are well thought out and not heavy handed by any measure.

Script/ Delivery: 5/10

  • Story starts in an engaging way with a standard scenario of an older bartender sharing a story with a lonely patron. Working this very “relatable” angle is a good start.
  • The story and delivery is very engaging all the way up until the actual conversation between the two main characters- this is where it get’s lost in the mix of talking about the ingredients in a drink, to talking in riddles.
  • The story becomes pretty much completely convoluted after this point
  • I literally went back and watched it and still can’t figure out why that final scene even happens. In a an attempt to correct my confusion, we got everyone in the studio to watch the video and see if they could figure out the story line or plot. Still nothing.

Sound/Voiceover: 10/10

  • Can’t fault it, the music is correct in styling and builds in the right places to provide the desired effect sound design is well done

Duration: 8/10

  • Really long, but in this scenario I like it and it works for the platform. Ultimately, in 2 years it will be commonplace that brands to more short movies and editorial episodic content, that’s just the way we’re heading.

Parting note:

Even though this piece of content is really long and gets utterly confusing, from a marketing angle, this could be pure genius, because it had us talking about it, and i’m talking to you about it now too.


The Good, The Bad & The Unwatchable: HSBC

This week on The Good, The Bad & The Unwatchable, we bring you a breakdown of HSBC’s latest piece of social content.

Brand: HSBC



Views: 364,000

Story: 5/10

Whats the aim, message and theme of the video?

  • It starts well trying to play on a topical theme of older generations vs technology
  • This theme is well documented and gets great shares etc on social historically because everyone likes watching the “cute older generation getting amazed by technology”
  • I wouldn’t have chosen this theme though because it’s been used by one of their closest competitors. Yes it’s an industry trend that the banks should be age friendly, but when you realise that they are just advertising an app and not that they are age friendly, it doesn’t have to be locked into a theme which has been used recently by one of their closest competitors. They could create a much more shareable piece around a baby using their app. (Yes that sounds mildly fiscally irresponsible but in actuality, every kid above the age of 6 months knows how to unlock a phone, and if it’s about the app being so easy to use, showing a baby doing it would be a lot more humorous)

Visuals/Style: 8/10 

Does it pass the pizza test?

  • Great design on title cards and graphics which is usually overlooked.
  • They’ve clearly thought about the character, costume design and also the aesthetic of the film which is consistent throughout which is great.
  • Really clean shots especially the close ups to build that personal connection. One of my favourite shots is when he is looking in the mirror and the camera moves around him to show him now looking through the window at the restaurant. This shows some real creative thinking which is always a plus.
  • That being said, some of the shots in the middle, at the barbers or playing chess, don’t add a lot to the story arc. We’ve already established he’s going on a date, so maybe these middle shots should be a little punchier to keep the attention of even the most distractible viewers.
  • Yes it passes the pizza test for me.

Script/Delivery: 2/10

Was this written by a creative genius or a 3 year old?

  • This is where the film really falls short, in terms of how the story and message is delivered to the viewer
  •  Right away, it starts with a logo which is a massive mistake because your brain is waiting for the product placement. In the age of social, this is a tremendous mistake.  
  • They are trying to advertise the app, but it’s not clear what the app does at all. If it’s only used to check your balance, would you even use it?
  • Story does not seem convincing by the end- it could be more convincing if we actually see practical uses of him using the app in very natural settings. Right now it feels like the story is being built up to the life saving moment of the character being able to check his balance in the app. First: is that realistic? Second: So you can check your balance on the app… but what else can you do?  
  • Unfortunately, it doesn’t leave you more educated about the app nor does it leave you feeling good because you don’t truly believe Arthur’s life is any better because of it.
  • Remember, the audience crave to be entertained or educated, choose one and do it properly

Sound/Voiceover: 10/10

Is it music to my ears?

  • Soundtrack is actually really well chosen. Wouldn’t replace it, as it matches the aesthetic of the video and it supports the visuals well.

Duration: 9/10

Did I do a round the world trip in less time than it took you to tell your story?

  • Good length for social- they kept it under 90 seconds but the video ended in a pointless manner so doesn’t really make a difference

Side note:

My brain did scream “yeah, but at least we know HSBC is an age friendly bank which is very important for financial institutions nowadays, so this video deserves more!” That was until I read the comments, which were all complaints by customers about branch closures, which has been fundamentally the most contested part of the move to online banking for the older generations. What was worse, was that the social media team had generic template responses for each comment. You all know how much of a social media mistake this is. So all in all the video in my eyes although impeccably shot, missed it’s target not only in the product placement, but also in the message it intended to deliver.


Video Marketing Audit – What Makes a Really Great Video?

A question we keep getting is: “What makes a good video?”. It makes sense, and we aren’t mad about it. It’s what we do after all. But instead of answering this question in hundreds of different ways each week, we’ve decided that we’re going to use real world examples and breakdown the good the bad and the unwatchable, to explain what makes a phenomenal video asset. To make this as useful (and fast) for all you attention deficient marketers, we’ve created a simple structure you can use quickly to judge your own content or even your competitors content. We’ll be auditing a real world video asset every week so watch this space!

Brand: Entrepreneur Magazine


6 Words That Will Change How You Wake Up

"Don't let your brain make decisions."

Posted by Entrepreneur on Saturday, 4 June 2016

Platform: Facebook

Views: 2.3 Million


Story: 6/10

This first section is all about how well the theme or message of the video is delivered. In most cases, the themes or messages will revolve around trigging certain emotions in the viewers and sometimes it will simply be the aim of the content to educate the viewer. Whatever the aim, we’ll give it a score out of 10 for it’s ability to convey its message.

  • Great topic everyone wants to know how they can wake up on time.
  • Appeal of the video has a very wide audience and captures the attention of a wide group immediately.
  • It follows a pretty simple story arc, in terms of using a basic powerpoint structure where one point follows the next. The lack of building a more creative story arc is what holds it back hence the “middle of the road” rating. 
  • That being said, people on Facebook love list content because it’s direct and to the point (knowledge and speed are a powerful combination)

Visuals & Style: 4/10

This is the most subjective section for many people, but for the Scorsese’s and the Spielberg’s of the world, this is where the real magic happens. What is the visual styling of the video? Does it pass the ‘pizza test’. When you’re watching it and eating pizza at the same time, are you looking at the screen or the pizza? 

  • Thumbnail stands out and tells you what’s on the inside, so even when scrolling through your news feed at 50mph without autoplay on, this will grab your attention.
  • Starts with some live action video which looks decent to start with, this could be improved by having a more dramatically cliche scene of someone really being late. Think Home Alone when Kevin realises they left him. This would be an engaging way to grab the attention of the few viewers who haven’t fully engaged just yet.
  • Good use of bold colours and animation, although you may have noticed that too many colours can be distracting when there’s text to read. 
  • The animation is repetitive and is on screen for far too long. Animation is a great way to transition between scenes and highlight key concepts, but it’s important that you use different animations and make sure they are dynamic.
  • The background images scream “stock image” and that’s a bad look. If you’re a brand and have to use stock images, use ones that actually look somewhat similar in terms of theme.
  • Transitions could benefit from being a bit more punchy and intentional to ensure engagement is kept up between each point on the list.
  • Doesn’t pass the pizza test for me, I looked away at least 3 times.

Script: 5/10

Did you mean to write this or did a 3 year old write this? Just kidding. So, what we’re looking for here is how well the script is delivered to the audience, and how engaging it is. Does it get the message across or is it too dense for anyone to understand?

  • Lists are usually 3,5,10 in most cases. So choosing 4 seems a bit rogue but it’s not a major hang up.
  • The whole video uses text overlays without a voiceover. For Facebook this works great because 85% of videos on FB are watched on mute.
  • There is too much text on the screen at any given time. I’m not sure about you but I struggled to read everything before the screen changed. Reducing the amount of text overall will help with delivery and retention of the information. 
  • Language is clear and simple which is always a plus!

Sound/Voiceover: 5/10

Music is the secret sauce in most visual content. If you’re not entirely convinced, go to YouTube and close your eyes for the pre-roll ad. You’ll hear music first before anything and that will already dictate how you feel towards the content. That’s also why Lamborghini split test the sound their doors make when you close them. Because subconsciously, sound matters.

  • Soundtrack aims to be bright in line with the theme of the morning, but it’s too repetitive and fake sounding. It’s never good when a soundtrack repeats itself 4 times in a video which is just over 1 minute long- my Samsung alarm repeats itself less in that amount of time. 
  • To make this video more versatile and engaging on other platforms (YouTube etc) it would be a good idea to include a voiceover.

Duration: 6/10

The world we live in doesn’t allow for long videos unless they are on Netflix or Amazon Prime. It’s simple, how does this asset fair in terms of getting the whole message across without becoming a full blown movie. 

  • This video is good, for a Facebook audience. In this instance, you want to aim between 60 – 90 seconds for a Facebook video as a rule of thumb. The ideal time varies for each platform (i.e. Instagram would be a lot shorter) 
  • Regardless of the simple message, I found myself switching off around 40 seconds in. With that being said, if they improved the dynamic of the video, including reducing the text and using more engaging animation and less stock images, they could potentially leave it at this length.


Calls To Action For A Video First World

I’m seeing more and more great content out there which ends on a blank screen and that’s really what has compelled me to write this small piece. I understand that many brands simply measure direct response in sales generated and therefore if the call to action (CTA) does not involve “buy now”, they don’t consider it a CTA. But the reality is, the way communities engage with your brand, and ultimately buy from your brand, is changing. So we need to take a deeper look at the CTA’s we are, and aren’t using in many cases.

Source: Pardot

Source: Pardot

In general, online video content has been looked at as superfluous, something “nice” which you’ll add to your marketing mix, but for it to really move the needle on your income streams or bottom line, you have to see how video fits into your sales cycle and how it can help move the customer along the buying journey. We all have to sit in front of the board at the end of the year and explain what return our marketing brought to the business, so if we don’t understand how video content fits into the sales cycle, or more importantly, how to use the right call to actions in our video content, it simply doesn’t make sense.

See millennials- who this year became the biggest spending power in the world incidentally-  don’t want you to force them into a corner on the first interaction. The way they buy is completely different compared to their predecessors. Given this reality, our marketing and calls to action must interact with them in a new way. So the CTA isn’t driving an immediate sale in many cases, but rather building a long term relationship and therefore a pipeline of new and return customers. 

Millennials want to be a part of your brand because of what it says about them and their lifestyle choices and they do this through investing the brand emotionally. This is especially prevalent across all product classes which are above a “necessity” price point, i.e. any product which could not be placed in the “impulse buy” section at the supermarket. The case of Apple versus Samsung shows this story perfectly. Both products are above the necessity price point, but they both have extremely loyal customer bases which have their own reasons for using the devices, none of which typically revolve around the quality of the device. If it was, everyone would be able to tell me exactly what processor the Samsung uses and which processor the Apple uses. Examining this at a fundamental level, people who buy Apple products care about how sleek and how cool the iPhone is. Whereas Samsung users typically care more about being better than the Apple product. (Notice I said, better than the Apple product, not the best on the market because they certainly aren’t). Neither of these stories are based around the quality of the product really.  Both brands have created emotional stories around different feelings. This isn’t different to previous generations, but what’s different is that for the first time you’re seeing people committed to their chosen brands over and beyond any level of rationalism. Being part of the community or the tribe as Seth Godin says, is more important nowadays than anything else.

Source: Crazyegg

Source: Crazyegg

Many brands have noticed that this is the way Millenials buy,  and have already shifted their communications to video content because it is the most effective way of creating these compelling stories. But what many brands have missed is the way to change the calls to actions to suit.

So how do we create emotional equity in our brands? Small repeated actions. Start trying to get smaller but more consistent calls to action which don’t demand so much from the user, but serves the purpose of getting them more exposure to your brand. Think about using other creative CTA’s like “Subscribe Now”, or “Watch More” content at very least as it ensures the client has taken an active step to hear more from you, it’s almost like getting their permission. If you have a web series, it’s important that you ask them to watch the next episode, or to sign up so they can be notified of the release of the next episode. Not enough thought goes into this right now, and yet it’s extremely important. These micro interactions which are seemingly meaningless, build up emotional equity in your brand which will lead to not just a one time customer, but a customer for life. Plus, no one likes to be proposed to on the first date.

As long as you continue to put out relevant content, adding the right call to action will prove to be fruitful. Once you get used to doing this, then we can start tying this to long term KPI’s and be able to track the way a consumer interacts with you before a purchase. This no only increases lifetime values but also reduces churn rates.

This will cause a bit of friction for many brands who are used to simply measuring direct response by the number of sales generated. But as we move into the content era, and the way consumers buy products for the next 50- 70 years change, so will our KPIs and measurements of what makes a successful campaign.

Have a look back through your current content and see if there are opportunities to get the viewer to take any action at all or how you could re-purpose content you have to support some long term sales objectives.

If you have any video content right now which you think urgently needs a call to action, and you have any questions, just call me and I’ll be happy to give you some free advice on it. (See my CTA? No but seriously, if you need help let me know, all the responses come right to my personal inbox)


Creativity By One Globe Studio

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