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  • Lizzie Costello

3 Non-Zoom Video Ideas to Use During COVID-19




Last week, a colleague and I were talking about that series of Progressive commercials where their team members mimic the pitfalls of group video calls. As much as the commercials succeed in capturing the moment we’re living in, watching them is painful because they not only call attention to the worst parts of video communications, they also remind us that most of us are, discouragingly, still in isolation.

Instead of convincing me to buy their insurance, the commercials made me want to change channels (or, as it were, switch from Hulu to Netflix).

Don’t let this happen to your brand. Here are three ways you can continue to create video content that inspires your audience even when you might not be able to film.

Tap into your existing library

Some of the brands we work with have vast libraries of footage. Why not comb through what already exists, asking how you can re-combine this footage to deliver a new message? Even if you’ve used this footage before, perhaps you’re communicating to a new audience that hasn’t seen it before. Or, your audience might not mind so much if they’ve seen it before, especially if your footage is worth a second, third or fourth look.

For example, you could repurpose your CEO’s message to staff by having them record it as voiceover, then place it over footage of your company to remind staff of your organization’s mission and value to customers. Even better, the added visuals can bring greater depth to your CEO’s message without adding more words.

Compared to a full-scale production, this is an inexpensive option because you don’t have to pay for filming.

Use stock footage as a writing prompt

In a creative writing class I took in high school, my teacher passed out a random picture to each student, then instructed us to write about our picture, allowing it to lead us wherever our minds wandered. It was a simple writing prompt and I remember it sparked an idea I would have never thought of otherwise (and, it turned into one of the best pieces I wrote that year).

What if you used stock footage as your own writing prompt? Start by combing through a stock site (we like Art Grid), and allow the images to inspire your next story, commercial, or message to staff. Pair your words with the images you find to create a one-of-a-kind, motivating video.

Rest assured, stock footage has come a long way in a short time. You can now find gorgeous imagery on almost any subject matter, often in 4K and optimized for color correction.

Create visuals from scratch with motion graphics

The thing I love most about motion graphics is that the only limits to what your illustrator can imagine are budget and brand guidelines (generally speaking, 3D animation, complex character animation, and very detailed illustrations tend to be more expensive and time consuming). Illustrating a video is a great option when filming isn’t possible, like if a visual doesn’t exist, is abstract, or could be dangerous to film.

For example, one of our clients wanted to represent employees at several different locations throughout Colorado in a series of monthly videos. To film these would have been expensive and impractical, resulting in a low return on investment for our client. Instead, we created a diverse set of illustrated characters within their brand guidelines. We repurpose these characters in different scenes every month, depending on the topic of the video. Bonus: because we’re able to re-use these characters every month, the cost per video is reasonable, especially for animation.

Whatever the communications need, we encourage organizations to embrace the opportunities that come with increased restrictions. Often, those are the kinds of restrictions that lead to the best art.

Costello Productions loves working with organizations to bring their communications to life. If you’re looking for a video partner, reach us at info@costelloproductions.com.

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