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Published: Mar 7th, 2017

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A Brief History of Corporate Video: From Seedling to Multimillion-Dollar Boon

A Brief History of Corporate Video: From Seedling to Multimillion-Dollar Boon

Ten years ago the first iPhone had just been introduced. If you wrote a blog you were a pioneer; and Twitter? 140 characters didn’t even exist. At the time, corporate videos were typical for “big” clients with a matching bank account; companies that could afford luxuries like a “scriptwriter” or “creative director”. Not any more. Over a single decade, corporate video has made the tectonic shift from seedling to multimillion-dollar boon.

Cisco’s Mobile Data Traffic Forecast Update may be a dense read, but the data is well worth it. Of the more hair-raising numbers, Cisco reported that by 2020 a whopping 75% of all mobile traffic will be video. That is three years away. When you combine that with the fact that in 2016 smart devices accounted for 89% of mobile data traffic, you’re getting into Pangaea-style territory.

Over the last decade in particular, corporate video has changed due mostly to three factors:

1. Technical innovations that have made access to cameras, editing gear and even things like green screens more readily available.

2. Multiple free platforms to upload corporate videos, and social media sharing.

3. A shift from using talent to showcasing the companies’ own people.

Who has benefitted most from these advances are smaller companies, entrepreneurs, and, the individual. But, frankly speaking, all of us have benefitted on some level–from new technologies in particular.

TECHNOLOGICAL INNOVATION

Ten or twenty years ago it was unthinkable to shoot a corporate video on high-end equipment unless you were a company large enough to afford this advantage. The rest of us were struggling with lower-end equipment, VHS tapes, poor formats and small budgets. But the corporate video, at the time often shot with consumer grade equipment, now has access to Hollywood-like innovations such as green screens, drones, virtual reality and RED cameras.

Post-production in corporate video offers no small advances itself. Fifteen years ago editing software like Final Cut Pro or Avid was incredibly expensive and much less user-friendly. Today however, corporate videos are regularly edited with these programs–the very same ones used to cut the highest quality feature films and music videos. The result is a much higher quality product, and one that companies are more likely to share.

MULTIPLE PLATFORMS

As our technology advanced, so too did the platforms. Gone are the days of corporate video being the realm of conferences and large-scale meetings. Today innovators are using corporate video on multiple platforms–from their own websites to social media platforms like Snapchat, YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram–all of which have grown and morphed accordingly. And while the length of the average corporate video has been cut substantially, the audience for creative video content of any kind has grown enormously. In this way, a corporate video today is more than a message for the company’s employees–it is a message to their audience as a whole.

A SHIFT FROM USING TALENT TO EMPLOYEE

This brings us to yet another major shift that has occurred in corporate video, particularly over the last five years. Where at one time companies gravitated towards hired talent to re-enact scenarios or “talking heads,” today employees have become the brand ambassadors of their workplace. Consider videos such as Brooks Brothers Social Purpose that featured members of its staff speaking about the company’s philanthropic efforts, and was used as a message to its employees all over the world. Or Tiffany and Co.’s wonderfully collaborative series featuring a world-famous oil painter as she sets out to create portraits of influential women. Created to accompany their commemorative “Key collection” of necklaces, the first video featured famous actress Zhang Ziyi of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon fame.

NO ZERO SUM GAME

As formats, technologies and platforms continue to modernize, the video trends of 2017 and beyond await continuing shifts. From live streaming to behind the scenes looks and how it’s done, corporate video has never been as exciting as it is today.

If you would like to speak about your corporate video, feel free to reach out to us any time. We love meeting new people and helping bring your ideas to light.

Posted in: Kelowna Production Studio, Marketing, Media Button News, Online Video, Search Engine Optimization, Social Media, Technology, Vancouver Production Studio
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