One of the most common problems with corporate videos and smaller scale commercials today is that they can become overloaded with information very quickly. It can be tempting for business owners or marketing professionals to cram in loads of information about their company into a video, but throughout this article we are going to describe how that can work against you and why it will cause your message to get lost.
First off, it's worth noting that the primary purpose of a corporate spot, commercial, or any other promotional video is to create awareness and brand identity for the viewer. This notion is generally understood by just about any professional looking to produce video content, but it's during the writing and development stage however, that issues start to arise.
Investing in video content can be one of the wisest decisions a business can make, but only when the content accurately conveys their message. It's tempting for a business owner (especially on a first video project) to want to include as much information about their business as possible in hopes that the final product will be versatile. The fact is though, to create content that is versatile (and memorable), there needs to be a focused message that is clear and identifiable, and this message shouldn't be buried under a heap of unnecessary information. There is only so much information that a viewer can retain in a minute or two, and the more information that is present, the less time is left for the viewer to digest any of it - meaning that it never takes on any personal significance to the them.
For instance if a chain of restaurants wanted to produce a web commercial, they might be tempted to include all of the menu items they offer, the ingredients, where their locations are, interviews with the chefs, and possibly even more. But in this hypothetical situation, the key selling feature of the restaurant may not be any one dish, ingredient, or chef, but it may be the comfortable atmosphere and home-cooked feel of the food. If this is the case, the best thing to do when producing a commercial spot would be to simply focus on the experience of eating at the restaurant. Everything else can be shown with imagery: The food, the chefs, various locations, etc. Five seconds of carefully constructed video can give you more information than five minutes of clunky copy, so focusing on the simple message as the primary focus and using imagery (B-Roll) to deliver the smaller details, is a much more effective way of getting the message across in a memorable and relatable way.
I'll often use Apple's ad campaigns as a reference point for the 'less is more' argument, as they understand that minimalism in advertising can be critical. Most of their commercial spots (web or television) contain little voiceover and when they do, it is implemented creatively in a way that is filmic and almost poetic, rather than informational. The spots are primarily hinged on images that evoke emotion within the viewer and when something is said, it is relevant to the messaging. I'll leave you with one of Apple's recent spots as an example of how this technique can work: