As 2014 began, I became obsessed with video marketing. I started looking for commercial printers who use videos to shine a light on their businesses, but finding them myself was inefficient. So I spread the word here and in social media, asking for links.
Here are just some of the ones I received:
One of the best videos is from the McClung Companies, in Waynesboro, VA. Their video features an animated character of a direct mail letter package. There’s zippy music, and the narrator has a British accent (bonus points!). This video tells a story, includes customers on camera as well as several McClung people, and it has a strong script. It moves fast for a 3-minute video. I love it. AND it stands out on the home page with a red “Check out this NEW video!!!!” note up top. Smart.
This video for PDQ Vegas is also very funny and effective. Love this one! The two characters will make you laugh, and the music is a perfect match. There’s another good video on their home page, starring their CEO. Excellent! Both clock in under a minute – big points for that.
Two little videos on the Arandell site are beautiful and professionally crafted, produced, and directed. They impress me for many reasons: They are lovely. They are short. They have peaceful piano music in the background. They’re fully integrated with the look of the site – down to the red, black and white color palette. The first one, their welcome video, uses just typography, narration and music, which forces viewers to read the copy that’s shown: it’s more memorable than just hearing the words spoken. These two videos are the best examples of web site integration. Exquisite.
Thanks to Norman Glick for sending me to his company’s excellent video on their home page for eDOCcommunications. High production value, strong script, and attractive and fun animation, showing us an illustrator in action. I like this one a lot.
In this video from Quad Graphics, they feature interactive print using a product called Actable. Nice music, under 1.5 minutes, and a good example of showing us how to use this app with our smartphone.
My home state of NJ weighed in! I got a video from Pictorial Offset. Here’s a little sunny piece about the printer’s focus on reducing the carbon footprint. The Beatles’ “Here Comes the Sun” is the soundtrack. Cool!
Music in a video sets the tone, and the winner in this category HAS to be Lithographics in Nashville, TN. They teamed up with the Country Music Hall of Fame to a special book called, “Chet Atkins: Certified Guitar Player.” You’ll love the video for the music if nothing else! Chet Atkins was known as Mr. Guitar. Bravo!
Right here in my neck of the woods is The Print House, which has multiple locations. This video showcases not only the facility and its capabilities, but also reinforces the logo (a very neat looking “tph”), company name (repeated multiple times), and its URL (appears on the upper right the entire time). I couldn’t find the video on their site, however, just on Youtube. Greg Doucette wrote to say they’re redoing their web site, and when the new one’s ready, the video will be there.
Didn’t Warren Werbitt of Montreal’s Pazazz Printing kick this whole video thing off with his famous video? What, you haven’t seen it? its called “Printing’s Alive!” Prepare to laugh. “No, Steve Guttenberg did not invent the printing press!” Go, Warren.
This fun little video for Dove Direct in Georgia uses animation well. I wish it had mentioned the URL and the company’s location. And Paul Edwards of Form Store has a lot of older videos on his YouTube channel. I like the casual and conversational quality of these videos he’s done. Accessible. Friendly. Personal.
A few of the videos sent to me weren’t for commercial printers, but trade groups:
From Apex Brazil, the Brazilian Trade and Investment Promotion Agency, there’s a super-professional video describing the organization that helps send Brazilian companies across the world. The production value is exceptionally high.
PIA (Printing Industries of America) sent me a link to their “People First” video on the MyPrintResource.com site. Very hip, contemporary video, just a minute long. Only typography and music are used. I like it. I’m told it’s part of a multichannel campaign to get HR professionals in graphic arts firms to share their best HR practices.
The APAOC in California has a poignant video about a fundraiser they held last fall for a friend. It’s worth sharing here. While it might not have been a big budget production, it is moving and human. There’s an emotional thread that captures your heart and attention. You really enjoy watching this video – lots of interesting scenes here. Must watch! Of course, the music that plays is a perfect match.
Overall, it’s a great group of industry videos, with a focus on how printers are promoting themselves through videos. I tend to prefer shorter ones (a minute or two). I want to see or hear the company name, location and the URL at least once. Humor works if it’s done right and tastefully (we can’t all put it off). A strong story line helps. And if it’s a general intro video to a company, it absolutely belongs on the home page or at least the home page should link to it in a prominent way (see how McClung does it, in paragraph one).
What I like is that all of these are different – as they should be.
I’m also very fond of videos featuring someone at the company. Maybe the owner, maybe a sales person…it personalizes the company. Again, it’s not for everyone, because you have to be comfortable on camera and have a certain amount of stage presence.
Have these videos inspired you? Which is your favorite? If you have one I’ve not seen, please reply to this post with a link so we can all enjoy it.
Thanks to everyone who sent me their videos – much obliged! Can’t wait to see what you’ll do next.
(c) 2014 Margie Dana.