Jaws or Love Actually? Lessons from Hollywood for your corporate video

Bourne Identity      Love actually     Jaws

When asked to think of a corporate video, for many people monotone voices, cheesy stock photos and dull colours spring to mind.  In other words, boring!  And with 864,000 hours or new videos being published online each day, a boring corporate video is less likely than ever to cut through the clutter.

Luckily, neurologists have studied the impact of videos on people’s brains, and this scientific research can be applied to your corporate video. After all, in the battle for your share of your audience’s limited attention, an approach based on science will give you the edge over competitors that are simply playing a guessing game.

A battle to be memorable

Love Actually, The Bourne Identity and Jaws.  You are most likely familiar with all three of these films and you probably have your favourite.  Maybe you like to curl up on the couch and laugh and cry while watching Love Actually.  Or perhaps you crave the suspense and excitement that is in plentiful supply in The Bourne Identity or the fear that Jaws induces. While these films elicit different emotional reactions and your personal preferences will determine which one you prefer, what neurologists have found to be consistent among viewers of these films is the level of brain activity each one generates. While Love Actually and The Bourne Identity elicit strong emotional reactions, they do not stimulate as much brain activity as the fear felt while watching Jaws.

Why do we care about the level of brain stimulation?  Because the more a video stimulates your brain, the more likely you are to remember it. And memory retention is the whole point of a corporate video.

So how can this scientific research be applied during the production of your corporate video? Although your corporate video may be meant for a B2B audience, it should still provoke the right emotions and should certainly be memorable for your audience. While you may not want to instil Jaws-like fear into your audience, it is important to consider how you will make your corporate video memorial.  The research tells us that one way to do this is to create a fear of loss among your audience.  In the B2B environment this could mean a fear of losing money, of missing out on opportunities or of failing behind your competitors.

A battle for the sexes

While fear almost universally causes greater memory retention, the impact of certain video features can differ depending on your audience demographics, with gender composition being a prime example. The research shows that women are more drawn to a verbal, visually pleasant sequence of visuals while a predominantly male audience will be more attracted to action-rich visuals.

So, when you commission your corporate video, don’t fall into the trap of thinking that just because it is meant for a B2B audience, it has to have a corporate feel. Before getting started, think about the specific characteristics of your target audience and try to understand how neurological research can inform your video production process to not only make your corporate video appeal to your audience but to ensure that they remember it as well.

Would you like your marketing team to be more strategic and data-driven? You might be eligible for one of our free science of marketing seminars.

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