The other day was fairly typical for me. On the bus to work, I checked my email and watched a YouTube video a friend forwarded to me. I scanned news headlines while riding the elevator. Stopping by the corner Walgreen’s, I heard about new products from tiny video screens in the aisles. I got caught up on the health care debate while standing in line for a sandwich, as a flat screen television played CNN. Back at the office, I had a video conference call. I surfed the internet doing some research for a marketing project we are working on, encountering countless Flash advertisements and video productions. On the bus home, video screens at the front and middle played advertisements, headlines, and trivia. When I got home, I watched some shows on my DVR.  All in all, pretty typical.

But really stopping to consider it, I realize just how ubiquitous video has become. With its growing role in the internet, effectiveness and reasonable cost, video is now a mobile medium; with screens appearing pretty much anywhere you can think of (I even watched a video on a screen while fueling up my car recently!). Just as strong as video’s presence is the mind’s ability to filter the messages, remember the important ones and filter out the junk. And lets face it…most of it is junk.

So how do you keep your message from getting cast aside? Craft a simple message and present it in an engaging, original way. It really is that simple.

Let’s talk about honing a good message. Boil the message down to its core. The old adage, “keep it simple, stupid” applies now more than ever. A simple message is going to stick. You only have a short window in which to grab the audience and deliver your message. Too much information and you’ll lose them in the details and they won’t even remember the main point. This goes for anything type of video production from commercials to product promotions to training videos. Keep your audience engaged by keeping sight of the point. If you stray even the slightest bit too far, the message won’t seem as important, and you’ll lose your audience. Attention spans are just not what they used to be…you are still reading this, right? Ok, good.

Context plays an equally important role in delivering a successful message. Do you have your audience’s undivided attention? Likely not, so you have to grab it. Creativity is paramount. But you have to consider the tone of the message. A video to raise awareness about the dangers of smoking probably shouldn’t try for humor. It would distract from the sobering message. Remember, the message is what matters.

The venue is an important part of finding the right context for your video. If you’re promoting a franchise, you probably don’t want to use the small screens in retail shops – this type of distribution is more suitable for products. Likewise for training, you’re going to deliver a more effective message showing the video in a small room or making it available to individual viewers to watch on their computers than you would if you projected on a big screen to a large audience in a convention center.

The right message in the right context. That’s the big picture answer for how to separate your video from the rest. Watch videos around you for examples of what works and what doesn’t.  I am sure you will be surprised at what you actually see.


You can contact Brian Green at [email protected].

For more information about SolidLine Media, visit us online at  Or call 312-939-8600.

Copyright 2009 SolidLine Media, a division of KV Media Group, Inc.

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