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SMARTS Video Blog

Viewing posts from the SMARTS Video Blog category

Video Production Value: Demo Reel

Most folks know by now that video production for business is in high gear, from social media posts to culture and product video for websites, TV commercials, and even client pitches.  Training videos for corporate learning management systems (LMS), product and service tutorials, investor pitches, human resources and testimonials; the applications of video raise communications effectiveness at every level.

As commercial uses of video continue to evolve and production tools get better and more accessible, the cost of video production is coming down. The demand for creating video content and enabling technologies are driving a diversity of production methods, from cell phone cameras to camera-wielding drones, to cinema-level enterprise productions.  This, of course, means the range of video cost and quality varies widely and this is as it should be.

Production values; the qualities of content, story-telling, lighting, sound, camera, and crew skills should be commensurate with the intended distribution channels.  Marketers have to match application needs, budget resources, and production quality (production value) with their enterprise communication strategies.

For this article, we focus on professional-level production.  The quality of messaging and visual design, scripting, casting, makeup and wardrobe, location selection, production equipment, and post-production editing, animation, effects, and coloration talents are paramount at every step in the production process.

Our Director of Photography and Cinematography, John Jones, recently compiled a demo reel of his work in 2016.  We’re proud to share John’s reel here as an example of what “doing it right” looks like.   Of course, we help marketers with video needs at all production values, but it’s a pleasure to show off the great stuff.


Video: Promotional Products Adventure

As a full service marketing agency, SMARTS uses and sells promotional products as integral elements of enterprise branding and outreach. We recently decided to produce a video about the use of promo merchandise in business. We wrote the script and began working through storyboard ideas, only to reach the conclusion that the material was so dull; well-written, of course, but dull and ordinary to the point that we, ourselves, wouldn’t enjoy making or watching the piece.

Enter new idea: why not have promotional products make their own case for use in business? The stars of our video were on my desk – fun, character pens with a diversity of looks and market-specific relevance. All they needed was a voice and an opportunity to tell their story!

With plenty of inspiration from the lead and supporting cast, we soon had a new script in hand and enthusiasm for letting the characters drive the visual elements of the story. Happie Inkster, our host writing implement, provides a guided tour beginning on the executive desktop with appearances at Tampa landmarks and visits to outer space and the ocean floor, extolling the virtues of promotional products in reaching people, connecting with them, everywhere!

The point to all this is to drive home the idea that almost anything from an ink pen to a World War II army vehicle can be branded and linked with a cause, message, or simply something fun that breaks the daily grind. These things make a difference in the most powerful dynamic of business: connecting with people.

We hope you enjoy our video. It Takes a Village, with Happie Inkster.

The Changing Landscape of Public Relations

Public relations is, indeed, a marketing art of tremendous importance to companies and organizations as enterprise-level messaging and communications strategies, brand management, reputation management, and crisis management matters are dealt with proactively.

PR is rapidly evolving; the press release, while still a means of outreach to the media, is largely obsolete as communications tools and bandwidth enable better, “stickier” messages across multiple channels.   Business and consumer expectations are rising and appetites for consuming rich visual content are whet, necessitating more attention to creativity, content production values, and reaching people when and where they are ready to receive enterprise content.

In our latest video production for SMARTS Library, we teamed up with our good friend and strategic partner Tony Collins, President of the Blake Collins Group. Tony shares his thoughts about the evolving world of professional public relations, and the importance of having enterprise content created in the right medium, with the right message, distributed across the right channels to reach target markets at the right time.

We hope you enjoy our video production of The Changing Landscape of Public Relations, with Tony Collins.

Winning Presentation: Video Presentation – SMARTS Wins ICTC Website Design & Development

A picture paints a thousand words; a video, nearly 2 million in about a minute.   While PowerPoint remains a useful tool in the hands of creative and skilled authors, the marketing art of presentation “ante” is being upped (as with everything else it seems) by technology.  In this case technology is lower-cost access to video production, post-production equipment and software, distribution channel bandwidth, and improved audio-visual projection.

When the opportunity value is “big” the presentation should also “go big”.   Companies need to differentiate and get their message across as clearly and effectively as possible in memorable style.   Video pulls together live-shot content, motion graphics, demonstrations, music; all of the communicative media that deliver those millions of word-equivalents to the senses of buyers of goods and services.

SMARTS recently had the opportunity to present our case to the Tampa Bay Advanced Manufacturing Industry Certification Training Center Program (ICTC) in our bid to become the design and development agency for their new website.  The ICTC initiative is an international partnership to bring German/European – style education, training and apprenticeship programs to the Tampa Bay area.   Our video presentation (shared with you here) includes live-shot bi-lingual elements, live-capture demonstrations of comparable website design and functionality, motion graphics, music, and a clear connection of presentation content back to our proposal.   As with a PowerPoint presentation, commentary was delivered live to the ICTC selection Board (a voice-over of the commentary was added to the video for other uses, including this blog post).

We are incredibly proud to be the design and development agency for the ICTC’s new website.   In this case, our video presentation was a significant differentiating factor, expressing our commitment to the ICTC initiative, our understanding of their goals and objectives, a connection to additional detail in our proposal, and a sense of practical direction for next steps.   Here is SMARTS’ winning video presentation.  Thank you so much to the ICTC for choosing us to work with you on this excellent program.  It’s a terrific example of what a public/private partnership should be.