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Experience Content - Why Should Anyone Watch It?



INFLUENCER: Creative director at GenuineX, Martyn Gooding, on using a great live experience as a platform for watchable video content

Experience Content - Why Should Anyone Watch It?

We recently asked a large brand if they took the footage they filmed of their live event and put it on Netflix, would anyone watch it?

This deliberately provocative question is designed to stimulate debate around the value of content generated out of brand experiences for both the attendees and the online audiences. And this is a fundamental question to ask – especially because Netflix created over 700 new shows this year alone, leaving us at peak content. There is just no room in our audiences' lives for more stuff to watch.

So, we need to be asking ourselves 'Would anyone choose to watch what we make?'. Because if they wouldn't, there are plenty of ways to block or skip it.

To this end, we have begun working with people from a TV background rather than an advertising background because their approach to the writing, directing and the editing is subtly different. I have yet to see a director used to pitching to the BBC’s commissioning editors insist on spending two hours framing for a focus pull on a car’s logo.

Avoiding 'security camera content'

A common pitfall for brands that are creating live experiences is to bring in a camera operator to film it at the last minute. The result almost always looks like it was captured for an agency showreel first, and the intended audience(s) second. They capture key moments from all angles and maybe a GoPro time-lapse of the build, but it's not that far removed from what you would get if you edited all the security camera footage together.

Getting the most out of live content

It's entirely possible to use a great live experience as a platform for watchable video content. For example:

1. As a stage for performance content

Music events are the most common form of performance content, but a stunt where you stage a dramatic demonstration of a product for a live audience works well too. The people in the room enjoy the show, but so do the online viewers.

2. A set for narrative content

This is an infrequently used opportunity but can solve many common problems. Typically, people looking to create a video for online audiences have the most significant budget issues around sets, lighting and props. A well-designed event space created as a studio for filming can kill two birds with one stone.

3. A playground for audience content

The opportunity here goes beyond creating Instagram photobooths. The goal is to use your audience(s) as stars in your video. Think like a reality TV producer and harness the power of real people interacting with your brand. Copy Gogglebox, Love Island, X-Factor, whatever. Reality TV has dominated the ratings for twenty years, and it can work at a brand experience too.

4. A location for hosted content

'Live From Your Event' is the most used form of experience content and again we can take cues from TV. But the key lesson is that getting a host is not enough. You need a writer, an editor and a director who have experience in the field to avoid a very dry video and instead, create watchable experience content.

Taking these approaches, and always asking if the content is watchable for both the audiences in the room and those online can greatly improve the effectiveness of a brand experience.

And if in doubt, the BBC and Channel 4 have online submissions for commissioning their TV shows. Try submitting a content idea and see what happens.

Martyn Gooding is creative director at Jack Morton's GenuineX

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Jack Morton UK, Tue, 08 Jan 2019 15:58:08 GMT