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Reference Video – The friend of the Corporate Videomaker?

Reference video

Corporate video makers know this: A client wants to have a video like … and sends a YouTube link.

Reference Video: Just for Referencing…

This video is called reference video and there is nothing wrong with this. Reference videos allow to show how a future video shall look like. It‘s the Batman meets Casablanca description for corporate videos.

The effect, however, is that the corporate video producer will try to make something as close as possible to the reference video.

This is not creative, but this is about business. The aim is not to win the Palm d’or, the aim is to have a satisfied customer and to boost his business.

Not for Copying  

The other effect is that copying might not work always … because of the apple and pears effect. What if the reference video is for something and the new video is for something else? In addition, what if, if the client applies his own specific style terms. Let’s assume the reference video shows the beautiful holiday images of a beautiful couple at a beach, at a bar at the beach, at sunset at the beach, etc. with seductive fade overs in the shape of waves and with the soundtrack of romantic music. Now, the client has a beach sandal business and wants to show the different sandals of his collection. He only wants to apply the colours of his green logo and otherwise wants to have a dynamic red background symbolising sunset.

 And by the way, he likes heavy metal, and this is part of his corporate identity. He can be convinced not to use fire as background, though.

An object as model for a corporate video

For the dedicated corporate video maker, the challenge starts with sandals as models. You might think that there are not many angles, perspectives and positions for sandals, and you are wrong. There can be a lot. But one thing, sandals can’t invoke, but an image with two human beings can: Emotions.

The client insists on having green waves moving from one pair of sandals to the next one. Green and red as complimentary colours have a very dynamic effect, indeed. The result will be very arty and special (and don’t forget the rocking guitar on the soundtrack) , but will it help to sell the sandal or will the client feel that his film is in line with the reference video?

The biggest challenge of the corporate video maker

For corporate video makers the biggest challenge isn’t making the video but informing his client of the good and the bad choices and reminding of the purpose of this project. Quite often, the client discovers his arty vein and tries to become a director, but unconsciously he still wants to achieve only one thing: He wants to have a film with the same effect and look like the reference video.In such a situation, the reference video is stopped being the useful tool. It has become the ‘Rebecca’ of Daphne du Maurier’s novel. But don’t be so dramatic. It’s just a promo after all.

Credit pic: Image by Leonardo Valente from Pixabay


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