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BRANDE : Employer video

February 25, 2013

The Harlem Shake Does Not A Culture Make

It’s almost impossible to believe that an internet sensation combining some of my favorite topics — workplace culture, internet trends, viral videos — could manage to turn me off but yes, it’s happened.


The explosion of Harlem Shake memes has put me on a rant as I wonder: Is it really good for your company’s brand? 

You say it makes your employee culture seem fun? I’m sure it was fun for the people in it and the hours it took to prep and shoot, but next week will it look as stale as your holiday party pictures from 2011?

You say the video differentiates you in the marketplace? Considering you’re doing almost exactly the same thing as Dr. Pepper, Puma, Intel, Rackspace and dozens of other companies, probably not. At this point, there are probably more companies that haven’t made these videos than those that have. In my mind, your brand may be a follower instead of a leader.


Yes, your employees seem to be having fun, but if I’m an applicant, I just want a job. I have a degree, valuable skills, and a creative mind. I care about pay, flexibility, benefits, and work-life balance. I care about integrity and ethics and social responsibility. I care about travel and conferences and taking my dog to work.

I want to see videos that speak to the things I think are important from the people you think are important. 



 

If you think like me, I have great news.

Today marks the start of TED2013 conference. More than 70 speakers from 14 cities and six continents will be delving into world issues, personal identity, spirituality, and music. It’s virtually guaranteed that these activists (like Bono), thought leaders, economists, and politicians will notbe dancing. I encourage you to watch riveting talks by remarkable people and hear ideas worth spreading. 


If you don’t think like me, here’s a site dedicated to the more than 60 advertising agencies agencies doing the Harlem Shake. 
August 13, 2012

Why Zappos is a Social Media Superstar

As many of you know from my speaking engagements and webinars, I’m always looking for brands that are using social media in innovative ways. I honor these organizations with the name “SoMe Superstars.” Past winners include State Farm and PepsiCo

Today I’d like to recognize a company that’s taken a fantastic brand and brilliantly expanded it into the social space: Zappos.
I’ve written about my love for Tony Hseih’s online shoe company before, but now it gives me great honor to truly call it a Superstar.
With more than 2,600 YouTube subscribers, 260,000 Facebook Likes, and almost 2.6 million Twitter followers (across seven accounts), Zappos has definitely made a social media splash. But lots of footwear and apparel companies appeal to young social media users. How does Zappos stand out? Here are a few reasons.
Website Videos – Instant, Honest, and Short

Zappos created a team of ten employees to make videos about every single one of its shoes. The videos are done on-site and are unscripted. Since starting the program in 2009, these employees have now created around 100,000 videos. They’re all under a minute, so that customers don’t get bored. Even better? Each video has three prominent sharing options – Twitter, Facebook, and HTML code for bloggers. The videos allow Zappos employees to share their love of the product and encourage customers to share their love on social media.

Social Recruiting, Too

Zappos offers a YouTube channel just for recruiting, with 33 videos. The content ranges from employee interviews to a look at the Zappos HQ fitness center to advice on how to dress for your job interview. This is a fantastic resource for job-seekers, with each video showcasing the spirit of fun and customer service that is the foundation of the Zappos brand. On Twitter, ZapposInsights and Inside_Zappos both offer a behind-the-scenes look at the company’s unique culture, with lots of interaction with followers.


Their Own Personal Pinterest

The Zappos website has a unique feature that really makes it a superstar. It’s called the TweetWall; a collection of tweets from anyone who has linked to a Zappos product. It’s a form of crowdsourcing, where customers can see what styles have the most buzz. And instead of encouraging fans to tweet about the company, Zappos is rewarding fans for already doing it. Fans know this, and may tweet about Zappos just get a spot on the coveted wall.


Through YouTube, multiple Twitter profiles, employee videos, and the TweetWall, Zappos has created a virtuous circle: fans celebrate the brand because the brand recognizes the fans who celebrate it.
 

For sharing videos, tweets, and photos with their fans, and allowing their fans to share content in return, I name Zappos a SoMe Superstar!

Do you know of a brand that deserves superstar status? 
Drop me a line.

June 18, 2012

Tips for Creating Great Corporate Videos, Part 1

Brandemix has been working on a lot of video projects recently. I see the same challenges whether the client is a manufacturing giant or a local nonprofit, whether the video is for employees or the general public. Here’s a brief list of hints and tips to make sure your video shoot goes as smoothly as possible.



Lights: Hot Set

Unless you’re shooting outdoors, you’re going to need lighting. Fluorescent office bulbs bleach everyone out, while house fixtures and lamps cast strange shadows. A good video requires at least two lights: a “key” to light the performer and a “fill” to fill in the shadows created by the key.
The lights get hot, so bring gloves – and be ready with makeup powder and towels for the performers sweating under in the heat. In a pinch, reflectorscan bounce the nearest light onto a performer’s face. You can even use your car’s sun shield! Rental budget: $75
image courtesy of CSI Rentals
Sound: Hearing is Believing
Without a doubt, the number one indicator of amateur video is poor sound. All too often, the microphone attached to your camera (or phone) isn’t sufficient. When you listen to the footage weeks later, suddenly you can hear the air conditioning, or traffic outside, or people down the hall talking. There are two ways to avoid this problem:
– A boom pole allows a crew member to hold the microphone above the performer. This boom operator wears headphones to monitor the sound of every take. They move and angle the mic so it’s always facing the right direction. This option requires an extra person on your set, and holding the boom can be tiring if the shoot goes long.

Lavalier or lapel microphones clip to the performer’s clothes. No one has to hold a piece of equipment all day and the mic is always near the performer’s mouth. But the mic sometimes picks up the sound of clothes rustling, so you have to be careful where you place it. Also, lavaliers run on batteries, so have plenty of replacements handy; sometimes the batteries quit halfway through a take.

Rental budget: $50



Music: Don’t Skimp or Steal
Movie scores have shown that effective music can heighten the mood and create an emotional response from an audience. Just because music is one of the last elements you’ll add to your video, don’t leave it until the last minute. Take the time to search for the right piece that supports your message and tone.
Also, don’t steal music for your video. If you post it on YouTube, you may find the soundtrack removed or the entire video taken down. Affordable, royalty-free compositions can be found at Music Bakery, StockMusic.com, Getty, or even from individual composersMusic budget: $200
A small investment and a willing, talented team can produce a professional-looking video in a problem-free environment. 
Of course, for larger-scale productions, call Brandemix; we’d be happy to help.