By Andrew Angus on May 11, 2015

Creative Brevity, Switch Video

If I had more time, I would have written you a shorter letter.

This quote has been attributed to many different people, but it’s mostly commonly associated with Mark Twain. The quote is one of the greatest examples of irony and that’s what gives it staying power. Logically, a longer letter takes more more time and a shorter one should be a breeze. There’s obviously humor there, but the underlying truth behind the statement should make you pause for consideration: Writing something succinct and meaningful takes effort. It requires discipline and organization – the ability to see what matters and what doesn’t.

Other famous creatives have made similar statements.

Take Pablo Picasso, who once said, “It took me four years to paint like Raphael, but a lifetime to paint like a child.”

Pablo Picaso, Switch Video

Picasso’s later work is deceptively simple, and it took him an entire lifetime to get to that point. Consider this image of Picasso’s multiple attempts to draw a bull. Aside from showing how versatile Picasso was as an artist, it clearly illustrates the fact that creating something that’s concise, stripped down, and yet meaningful requires substantial effort. Did you realize that it took the master artist roughly a month to arrive at the final iteration of the iconic painting? While these examples help us understand how brevity is a virtue – and one that you must work hard at – you may be left asking: What’s the payoff?

The Power of Short

The bottom line is, it takes a lot of time and effort to craft something pure that isn’t weighed down with unnecessary information or details that take away from the final message. It’s much easier to go overboard than it is to create a letter, painting, or video where only the most relevant elements remain. As anyone who has ever written anything knows, one of the hardest parts of doing anything creative is cutting out the extra things that don’t really need to be there.

Case in point: Most of Switch’s videos are only about one minute long, but we put a considerable amount of work into each one. We do this because the length of your video matters. If you’re trying to communicate with potential buyers, you don’t have a lot of time to waste. You need to say a lot and you need to say it quickly. According to Wistia, the completion rate for a 60-second video is 60 percent, but it drops down to about 50 percent when the video exceeds two minutes.

So how exactly does Switch do it? Unlike Picasso, we don’t have an entire lifetime to figure out how to whittle down each video to its most vital parts. What we do have is a five-phase plan, which is a tried and true method for delivering awesome explainer videos.

Phase One: Discovery

This is where we get to know you and your product, and start to come up with some ideas for how to convey your message most effectively. We turn those ideas into script and  visual concepts. This gives you options to consider before moving the project forward.

Phase Two: Script

In the second phase, we sit down and write the script based on the concept that’s been approved. At this point, we take into consideration the importance of storytelling to introduce your brand, services, or products in the most compelling way possible. Through the use of personas, we’re able to shape the content of the video with the ideal buyer in mind. In addition, rich visual metaphors convey the most meaning in the least amount of time, making sure viewers have a seamless experience understanding the video’s central theme and messages.

Phase Three: Storyboard and Voiceover

Once the script has been approved, we start work on the visuals. In addition, we highlight different male and female voice-over auditions for you to choose from. In the same spirit as Picasso, we work diligently to make sure every element of your video is synchronous, meaning the animation and voice come together to convey the right meaning. Voice, which includes both the words and tone, is critical to give a video the ideal attitude, while also creating a powerful, concise message.

Phase Four: Animation and Post-Production

Once you’ve approved a storyboard and voiceover artist, we start putting together the final video. We of course make certain the style, flow, and overall look align with the message you want to convey. We’ll mix and integrate sound effects to give your video that necessary spark, and we present unique music options that will blend with the visual elements. Telling the right story for an audience is a sensual act. Customers want to experience the visuals, music, sound effects, voice, wording and tone through a video that comes together to express a brand’s values and services. By appealing to customers’ senses, you get your message across in the most compelling and efficient way possible.

Phase Five: Delivery

Finally, the finished product is ready for display, but we don’t just give you the video; we give the tools you’ll need to make even more of an impact. The video is available in multiple video formats and we even throw in a few extra visual elements related to your video that you can use in your marketing. Whatever your needs, we make sure you can apply your video content in as many contexts as you want.

So there you have it; the lengthy process that gives you a 60-second video. We see and practice the truth behind Twain’s irony. We don’t want to draw just any bull; we want to craft your ideal painting. There are creative services firms that will get you the content as quickly as they can, but the end result is hardly ever satisfying. Creating a video that communicates everything you need to say in just one minute takes a lot of work and input from many different stakeholders. The final product is not only a video you can be proud of, but a powerful tool that drives conversions and can be used in any number of ways. Working tirelessly on a 60-second video pays off because viewers will be more likely to come away with knowledge that will empower them to take action.

Switch Video Process

 

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