The evolution of a craft

Video has changed a lot, fast – but how we view it and where we view it has undergone an even more dramatic change with the advent of multiple digital channels and the evolution of technology that allows us to be more engaged and connected with that content than ever before.

Even the platforms we consider boundary- pushing now are evolving radically and swiftly. The explosion of user-generated content has morphed into user-generated live-streaming and social video, virtual reality is making leaps and bounds forward, as is 360-degree video, and personalised, real-time, interactive video is also emerging. And the question for marketers is which path to follow?

At Pure Productions, director Jamie McKenzie takes a case-by-case approach when working through video solutions with brands, because in such a shifting landscape, good storytelling and production values are only half the story.

“With video, we need to be thinking a lot more how we attract viewers, get them to click on the content and stay watching right through,” he says. “With so much video content available on so many different platforms and channels, brands need to plan to release content more frequently.” Yes, a more frequent content release schedule often comes with a cost, but McKenzie says Pure works with clients to find ways to get the most out of their content budgets to meet goals and ROI targets. “It just means thinking outside the box and trying new things, sometimes,” he says.

One way to do that is to incorporate brand ambassadors and user-generated content into a brand’s mix and help make budgets go further by taking advantage of the brand-building utility of social media. McKenzie’s advice for brands without the budget for TVCs is to skip it altogether: “Targeted social media and keep doing it.” 

It’s these smaller, challenging, outside-the-box projects – “with a few zeros removed and only 72 hours to create the content” – where Pure really shines. “Then it gets fun,” says McKenzie. Take, for example, a recent project to document the first food item delivered by drone for Dominos. The content needed to be released within three hours of the flight, so Pure had multiple cameras and drones capturing the event as-it-happened, while also being livestreamed through Facebook Live. “It was essentially a live shoot, with no room for error – and it was a global release,” he recalls.

McKenzie believes one of the key challenges is finding clients willing to take the risk to try something new. “With so much content available, playing it safe just doesn’t cut it – and sometimes that’s a hard conversation to have with your clients.” But because Pure approaches video production from the end – looking at the goal and working backwards from there to find the best way to achieve it – the process is very outcome oriented. “You can offer a lot more to clients now with the explosion of social video and paid social video,” he says. “Its very transparent and easy to predict the number of views versus cost and the leads that should result from that.

“Then it’s a case of designing content within the client’s budget and creative constraints. The outcomes can be quick, cost-effective, measurable and run with frequency.”

Like its clients and the medium it works in, Pure has evolved quickly, too; from not only creating images and compelling stories to now, being at the coalface of the rapidly changing and shifting social and online video marketing world. “We like to approach projects without boundaries and anything really is now possible in terms of the size of the audience that can see your content – that’s exciting!” McKenzie says.

“The variation in our work, the tools available to us and the budgets have really changed. A smaller- budget production can now be seen by millions. As a filmmaker, with the raft of equipment and technology now available to us, that’s exciting and can really drive results for our clients.”

Whatever the campaign or the purpose, McKenzie says every video needs to tell a story – and storytelling is at the heart of Pure. “Whatever tools and marketing technology is available, at the end of the day it’s being perceptive about what will make your audience feel something. That is the real craft.” 


Contact: Jamie McKenzie, [email protected], 021 500121 or 09 9191909, www.pureproductions.co.nz

  • This piece is part of a content partnership with Pure Productions.

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