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Creating your film or commercial involves a balancing act. How do you squeeze every drop of creativity from a concept or script without compromising on quality, which is directly tied to return on investment? How do you fit a three-minute pitch into a thirty-second video?

The trick is to find the sweet spot where creativity meets outcomes. It’s not about limiting expectations, it is about being realistic about what you can and can’t fit into your film. It’s about knowing which are the most important messages to deliver in order to maximise the likelihood of ROI.

A good video production team will work with you to determine what you should and shouldn’t be going after, what you can and can’t reasonably fit into your production, and will collaborate to create something which ensures the correct messaging drives your final output.

Different Types of ROI

The most common return on investment goal for a commercial or film is of course increased sales – but that can be a short-sighted way of viewing the campaign. Sure, increased sales are great, but what if you have a small target audience?

If only five hundred people are going to view your ad, and they all convert into customers, that’s not a massive increase in sales, whichever way you look at it. However, if four hundred of those viewers come to your website and sign up, becoming long-term customers, then that’s a much more valuable exercise.

To give you the best chance of success, we have to craft the messaging of your film and its call to action to fit your specific needs. If you need sign-ups to spread your message, we have to tell the audience that’s the next step. Your product might be a high-consideration purchase, in which case exposure to one advert might not do the trick. Your advert should raise your profile and build an audience; sales will follow in time. On the other hand, your film may be about increasing sales right now, in which case, that has to be the message in the film and it must be supported with a creative treatment which underlines the urgency to act now.

Your video production team has to be skilled and experienced in pairing the correct creative approach with the desired response. The two elements have to support each other: no-one has patience for an epic ad with a woolly call to action, but equally many are turned off by overly pushy ads. So there has to be a balance – and your target audience will go some way to determining where that lies.

Find Your Niche

Your audience or niche should be well-researched and inform the brief for your video production team. Targeting ‘everyone’ doesn’t work, because in almost all cases by targeting everyone, you’re targeting no-one. By knowing your audience in detail, their demographics and their wants and needs, you can tailor your messaging to suit them and increase your chances of them responding in the way you need them to. 

For example, when we were asked to create some public health films for school children which would explain the COVID-19 pandemic and the importance of vaccines, we had to consider not only that the information in the scripts was accurate, but was easy to understand and written using language which was inclusive and compassionate. Then, we had to develop a visual style which would appeal to younger children, knowing that we had to keep them engaged in the films in order for them to get vital information. 

Of course, the same applies to adverts designed to drive sales, too. In simple terms, you need to introduce a ‘problem’ before positioning your product or service as the solution. You might be selling a high-end laptop for £2,000 or you might be selling a protein bar for £2, but the process is the same: identify who you’re selling to, create a message which appeals to the target customer and then explain to them why and how they should spend their money with you.

Creative Pods

There is some talk in the industry lately around the idea of ‘Creative Pods.’

The traditional way for big agencies to work was to take a brief to the strategy department to do research, who then passed it on to creative to work on the concept and script before handing it over to production. The problem with this approach is that each team works in its own bubble, and ideas can become homogenised and softened, which in turn can stunt the effectiveness of the creative. 

One old-hand once told us that the difference between Apple and Google, in his experience, was that one welcomed all ideas and the other was where creative ad ideas went to die, due to the layers of management which a concept had to work through in order to get into production.

YourFilm is representative of a simpler approach: our creative ideas are in response to strategy and data. From the outset, our process is designed to ensure that what we produce delivers required outcomes and memorable creative.

Let’s Wrap This Up

Finding that middle ground where creativity meets outcomes is about building the film around your key messaging, getting to the heart of what you need to say as quickly, effectively and memorably as possible. A good video production team will challenge the brief to ensure that creativity does meet outcomes.

By focusing on what the return on investment should be, instead of what you’ve heard it should be, you can go a long way to measuring success in the right way. Don’t be fooled by trying to target everyone, either, as your target audience is the key to unlocking the success of your video.

Any questions for us? We'd love to chat!