A Promotional Video Case Study: One Film – 3 different versions

Promotional videos have become a standard in our internet age. A website should have one video, at least.

Images can tell more than a thousand words and they are easier to consume. For promotional purposes, these images shall carry one message in an easily understandable and recognizable way.

However, meanwhile many videos look the same. This is not astonishing as the message is often the same: Buy me!

And, Videos are often produced either with off-the-shelf-graphics or an off-the-shelf-attitude. An additional reason is that people use references to communicate what they want and video production companies rather stick to those references to avoid being caught in a time consuming and expensive creative exploration for them and the client. In all cases, the aim is to produce the videos as quickly and as cost-effective as possible.

A video can go in all kinds of directions. In the following promotional video case study, I try to demonstrate this, by showing the version, that was developed with the client (Ida Melody-Babela, www.ic-careercoaching.com) and two other versions, which are based on proposals during the process. Those proposals were not favored by the client and usually would be dropped (and shelved for another occasion). Exceptionally here, those ideas have found their way in two additional versions to be used in this case study.

Promotional Video Case Study

The purpose of the video was to promote an online tutorial for my client. Originally the plan was to have a talking head only. After the shoot, it became clear that animation would enrich the clip.

The main difference of the versions are the introduction-animation and animation in the middle of the film. There is also a variation of the music. If you look at the background you will notice that the client’s version doesn’t have light beams on the wall.

Promotional Video Example 1

Version 1 is the version the client has not only chosen but essentially influenced in terms of colouring of the character, background, and music. The main drivers for those decisions were to have a certain constant look as an expression of a corporate identity, the objective to present the industry as fast in the same way as IC-careercoaching is dynamic.

Promotional Video Example 2

Version 2 contains an alternative 2D animation. In the introduction part, the colour is used as a narrative tool. The character – even though more a smiley figure – is bigger to allow for more empathy. The introduction part of the soundtrack was also changed to stress the uncomfortable situation of getting constantly rejection emails.

Promotional Video Example 3

For Version 3 a full 3D animation was used. There is a 3D animation element in the introduction of the client version. Due to the low contrast, the bright colours and the speed this is almost not noticeable. As the 3D version wouldn’t work well with the bright colours, version 1 was finally chosen. The soundtrack of version 3 is a different music style and was not seen in line with the brand feeling.

Even though 70% of the video is identical, it shows how different videos can look like when you change elements. It also shows that videos don’t need to look like the current explainer videos. They can be and should be different and individual.

You might wonder which video is the better one. I would say this depends on the taste and the sensibility of the viewer. Of course, I have my favourite version, too.

Tell me which one you prefer?