Why "Textural" Commercials Are In & The Hard Sell Approach Is Out.

Television and web commercials are evolving at a faster rate than ever, largely thanks to the introduction of branded content. While in years past a "Hard Sell" approach was taken almost 100% of the time, brands and agencies are now coming around to much more tasteful and impactful methods of advertising.

Advertising on any medium (television, print, etc.) used to be extremely heavy handed. Watch just about any commercial made in 1990's or earlier and you'll probably feel like you're being sold a used car. For decades upon decades, advertisers have pushed products on their target audiences in a way that has felt forceful and at times almost laughable.

That's not to say there aren't exceptions to every rule. Pick just about any decade over the last half century and you're bound to find at least a few examples of brilliant ad campaigns... But they were the exception, not the rule.

Since video based advertising hit the internet in spades over the last decade, the average consumer has unconsciously developed a far more critical eye for commercials of all types. Branded content in particular is something that has really resonated with viewers across the board, as they are legitimately entertained, informed, and engaged by the ads that they're watching. In fact, often viewers will completely forget they are watching an ad, which is kind of the point.

Even when consumers are acutely aware of the fact they are watching a branded piece (such as Jerry Seinfeld's Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee), they will typically see the brand behind it in a much more favorable light. It's an even trade - the advertiser has an opportunity to showcase their brand or product for a potential customer, and the customer gets to enjoy an entertaining piece in exchange.

What's just as interesting however, is how the effects of branded content have trickled back up to television. In the early days most branded content pieces were strictly intended for web, but as agencies and advertisers began realizing they were getting a far better response to their online content than their television spots, things started to change very quickly. 

While television isn't the right medium for most branded content, there is now a subset of the television commercial that falls somewhere in between a traditional TV ad and a web based branded content piece. These spots are what I call "Textural Commercials".

Textural commercials are simply designed to evoke an emotion or feeling within the viewer that perfectly represents the brand. Rather than beating the viewer over the head with information about a product, these spots connect with the viewer on a much more visceral and emotional level. They let the viewer know how their product will make them feel, not by telling them but by gently guiding them.

To give an example, here's a recent commercial I came across for Air BnB which is very much in line with this method:

This is a far stronger approach to television advertising than what we've seen in years past. Many viewers genuinely want to watch these types of spots, and feel as if they are getting something from them on an emotional level. They learn about the brand without realizing that they are learning, and the identity of the advertiser is subconsciously ingrained in the viewer.

We would argue that nearly every one of the best commercials in existence today falls into this category. These are commercials that can transcend mediums. They play equally as well on a computer as they do on a television or a theatrical screen. They are engaging, memorable, shareable, and most of all impactful.

When we meet with a client to assess their advertising needs we nearly always push for this type of content, regardless of the medium. We have created national television spots that fall under this umbrella, but have also done some very low budget web content that was approached much in the same way. At the end of the day, it's all content - whether it's consumed on your computer or your television. There is still a time and place for more traditional commercial projects, and we certainly take on our fair share of 30 second spots... But more often than not, this new approach to creative advertising is leading us and our collaborators in the perfect direction.

If you or your company is looking for a branded content piece, commercial, or any other video content - we would love to speak with you about your needs. Feel free to contact us any time at info@creativerebellion.com

Post Production In Los Angeles: Why We Place A Premium On Color Correction & High End Finishing

Being situated in Los Angeles gives us a very unique perspective on the needs of both our commercial and entertainment oriented productions. When handling post-production on any of our smaller scale projects (including corporate spots and independent films), we have the invaluable ability to tap into our high end finishing resources - such as state of the art color correction tools, allowing us to deliver feature film level post production results on projects of all sizes.

There was a time when high end finishing work (specifically color grading) was reserved for only the most exclusive productions. Without a massive post-production budget, a proper color correct simply wasn't possible, and at best was merely an afterthought taken care of by the editor, as opposed to a dedicated colorist. Over the past few years however, color correction has been made affordable to smaller scale productions as well, by way of innovative hardware and software solutions that have ultimately brought high end finishing to the masses. We at Creative Rebellion have been extremely fortunate to have been at the forefront of this movement, as we recognized many years ago that productions of all sizes require proper color correction in order to maintain a high production value. A beautifully shot and edited production will not look great until it is color corrected, as today's digital cinema cameras, (and even DSLRs for that matter), are designed to capture images that are intended to be color graded. When these images are not colored, the final product suffers drastically and the end result looks cheap, no matter how much work was put into production, and how great the DP and editor were.

Below is a demo reel of some of our color work from last year for those of you that want to see some before and after examples of what color correction can really do:

For many of you that are already familiar with Creative Rebellion, you're likely well aware of our passion for delivering beautiful cinematic images on all projects we are involved with. While we handle many larger scale feature films and broadcast material, many of our clients also have smaller scale requirements - such as commercials, music videos, or low-budget independent film projects, all of which we are equally passionate about. We are extremely fortunate to have the ability to work on both ends of the budgetary spectrum, which allows us to transport certain skills, abilities, and equipment (namely our color tools) between these various mediums, ultimately benefiting our clients creatively and financially.

Often times we are asked to see through a production from concept to completion, and in these scenarios we ensure that early on in the pre-production stage, the right measures are being put in place to guarantee that the images we are capturing will be as flexible as possible during the color grading. This often means shooting RAW or in a log color space to give options during post. 

Other times however, we are brought in for a specific task as opposed to producing an entire project. For instance, we often have clients bring us unedited material that we then craft into a final product for them, or we are handed a rough edit of a project that we will complete a polish on. In these cases as well, we very much stress the importance of a color pass, and take every measure necessary to ensure that our edit sessions, project files, and organizational structures are set up in a way that will make the color correction process quick and painless. 

In summary - there is really nothing quite like a gorgeous color pass to add production value to projects of any scale. When small scale projects are treated the same way as large scale projects (both in terms of approach and equipment), the end results shine. These productions no longer feel small scale, and no longer are small scale for that matter, as they are utilizing the same tools and techniques of their more expensive counterparts.

For more information on color grading, the post process, or to hear about how we can assist you with your commercial, or film project, be sure to contact us any time at info@creativerebellion.com

 

Why The Canon C100 Is The Best Camera For Corporate Media & Video Production Today

One of the biggest factors in determining the overall look and feel of a corporate video is undeniably the camera choice. While we use many different cameras and set ups for our corporate media projects, we have found that the Canon C100 is hands down the best overall camera choice at the moment. Here's why:

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More often than not, corporate video producers and marketing professionals place a premium on image quality when purchasing their equipment, and for good reason. In order for a promotional spot to have a high production value, a suitable camera needs to be chosen that can deliver a very high quality acquisition format. With that said though, there are so many other variables that go into a camera choice for any given production, many of which are often overlooked.

Corporate media varies drastically in terms of quality and substance, and as such a very wide variety of cameras are often used on any given corporate project. On the low end, some corporate productions opt to shoot with DSLRs or other consumer level formats, and on the high end digital cinema cameras such as the RED EPIC are often employed. We believe however, that for the majority of corporate video work the best results are achieved when utilizing a camera in the middle of these two extremes.

Entry level and prosumer cameras such as DSLRs and DSLMs are certainly capable of producing beautiful images, but for the most part they aren't as user friendly or ergonomically sound as their more expensive counterparts. Additionally, unless the exposure and other camera settings are perfectly executed while shooting, the images can be hard to work with in post-production, making them a riskier choice for shooting - especially when the day needs to move quickly. On the other end of the spectrum, cameras like the RED EPIC or Sony F55 are capable of acquiring images in a format that allows for more manipulation during the edit & post production phases, but they come with their own set of challenges. The most obvious being the fact that they can be cumbersome to work with, meaning a larger crew is required and there is little room to improvise on set. This also translates to a large cost for the production as a whole. 

Enter the C100 - Canon's happy medium camera that truly offers a best of both worlds solution to corporate media. The C100 has a similar (but much more user friendly) form factor to DSLR cameras, which makes it ideal for corporate work as it is easy to capture improvised shots on the fly even with just a single camera operator working it. Additionally the imaging sensor and color science behind the camera is capable of delivering absolutely stunning results that in many cases can rival cameras such as the RED EPIC in regards to overall image quality. It is a far more versatile tool than both DSLRs and digital cinema cameras as it can easily float between talking head interviews, b-roll, handheld shots, and much more, without having to adjust the rigging every time. 

Another massive benefit of the C100 is the overall cost. While the camera itself is more expensive than your average DSLR, it is still far more affordable (to purchase or rent) when compared to it's digital cinema counterparts. This means that on corporate productions, more money is left over for additional shooting time, talent (if needed), a larger crew, and other elements that are just as important as shooting on a great camera. 

At Creative Rebellion, the C100 is just one of the many cameras that we employ on our corporate productions regularly. 9 times out of 10, it's the best tool for the job which is why we often recommend it to our clients.

For more information on corporate video production, be sure to contact us any time at info@creativerebellion.com