Merry Christmas from Happy Hour! Well it’s certainly been a busy 2016 here at Happy Hour. From fake snowmen to feature films, stuffed toys to stop-motion animation we’ve done it all. We’ve worked with long-term clients and welcomed brand new ones too. We’ve launched the first ever commercial campaigns for brands new to TV advertising, and we’ve even picked up a few awards along the way!
Here’s a quick snapshot of some of this year’s work…
This is just some of the work we’ve completed this year, have a flick through the blog to see behind the scenes on some of the productions and find out what else we’ve been up to.
Remember, if you like what you see and would like to find out more about how our animation and video production services can help boost your brand do get in touch.
Over the years we have collaborated with our long-term friends at SunLife on everything from TV commercial campaigns to various social media video campaigns but this latest video brief was certainly memorable.
To continue their ‘Life begins at 50….’ campaign they wanted a fun, humorous social media video which showcases how when you reach a certain age you’re not worried about what people think anymore, giving you freedom to ‘let it all hang out’. The campaign is aimed at the same audience as our previous Game of Funerals videos and this particular video is just a different way for the brand to say thank you to it’s loyal customers and followers.
The festive shoot took place last month and all production and post-production was completed in-house by Happy Hour. The video is being used on SunLife’s Facebook page where it has already amused their followers and been shared many times.
This video was directed by Jason Edwards, produced by Tiffany Donnelly and the Director of Photography was Robin Horn.
Quirky social media videos are a great way to engage your followers and boost brand awareness as a video like this encourages sharing. It’s also a great way to start experimenting with video marketing before taking the plunge into TV advertising. If you’d like to discuss a social media video idea you have or any aspect of your video marketing then please do get in touch.
This autumn some of the Happy Hour team headed to a beautiful country house in Abbots Leigh to shoot the first TV advertising campaign for Patient Protection.
Patient Protection are a law firm dedicated to handling claims for people who have been subject to medical negligence. The quick turnaround TV advertising campaign aimed to launch the company to a new audience and introduce their caring, compassionate, customer-centric approach to aiding customers make successful claims. They aim to ensure all their customers have a positive experience with them.
The commercial focused on the patients to show that Patient Protection really puts them first. While we never see the face of the Patient Protection character they are always there supporting and aiding the patient.
We were lucky enough to only need one filming location and thanks to being able to film in every downstairs room of the house we got a great variety of looks from one home.
This commercial was directed by Matt Harris-Freeth and the DOP was Sarah Edwards who helped us capture the soothing warm visuals of the ad. Matt had this to say about the experience, “‘With You All The Way’ is about the support customers receive from Patient Protection. It was important that the ad had an overriding sense of hope and caring and that the brand identity was clear and confident.
By seeing scenes of patients at different stages after a medical mistake and the patient protection character always there to offer support, we were able to show a journey of how people’s lives are able to be made positive again. This was brought to life by strong, believable performances from our actors.
The brand colours were threaded into the ad through the patient protection character’s costume and it was important to me that this was just the right balance and that it didn’t draw the attention away from the patient characters as they are the main focus.
It was a really enjoyable experience and a pleasure working together with such a professional and talented team.”
Happy Hour have been making DRTV and brand TV commercials for over 13 years and our award winning team love coming up with creative ways to bring brands to new audiences and tell their stories. If you are thinking about advertising on TV or would like some information on how video marketing can help your brand do get in touch.
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas. The John Lewis advert has aired so that means the holiday countdown has officially begun. We partnered with our old friends Park Christmas Savings to create their fun, festive sponsorship idents for YourTV.
This shoot was a really fun one to work on, our studio space turned into Santa’s workshop with Happy Hour crew icing gingerbread men, decorating Christmas trees and fashioning snowmen.
The idents, directed by Michael Wright, showcase Park’s sense of fun with the humourous take on a police line-up tying in with the ‘lining up a magical Christmas’ strapline.
Idents are not just a great way to boost awareness of your brand but are also a creative way to test a variety of different video formats and styles in preparation for a full TV advertising campaign. To find out more about idents and how Happy Hour can produce video content for your brand get in touch.
Take a look behind the scenes of this festive shoot…
Corporate video is a great way to communicate with a variety of audiences in an interesting way. As well as being more engaging than large blocks of text it’s also far more effective in conveying key messages clearly and succinctly. Including video on a landing page can increase conversions by 80% and 59% of executives would rather watch a video than read text.*
We’ve come up with 11 types of corporate video you can create and why you should already be using them.
1. Brand video
This is the video that should sit on your homepage or About Us page. It needs to encapsulate your brand in one short, catchy video. You could use it to tell your brand story, highlight your values and what you stand for, or simply state what you do, why and how you are different from your competition. This should be the flagship piece of video content that communicates clearly to your customer who you are and why they should be looking at your site.
Danone use a lengthy brand film to tell their story, we created this film using a combination of stock footage, animation and their more recent advertisements. As a brand with history it’s a great way to tell visitors to their site more about who they are.
2. Conference / Exhibition film
If you are planning to showcase at a conference or exhibition this film is the one you screen at your stand. Whether you display it on a full size TV screen or show it on a laptop this film needs to explain who you are and why you are exhibiting. Unlike the film above, this video can be more in depth in terms of products or services you provide. You know the types of people who will be attending the conference or exhibition so you can make sure you tailor your video to give them the kind of information they will be seeking. Often animations which incorporate text and graphics work well for this type of video.
Below is a film we made for Great Ormond Street Hospital to show at The Friendship Ball. The purpose of the film was to encourage the attendees to donate whilst educating them on how their money is actually making a difference.
3. Social Media Videos
Have you noticed that your social feeds are dominated with images and videos? And that any text updates you share just seem to get lost in the scroll? This is because, apart from not standing out as much, the algorithms on some social channels such as Facebook ensure video content is more likely to be served to your followers. Social media videos are short, often emotive videos that encourage your audience to share them. These videos don’t necessarily have to be focused on one of your products or services however, they need to be on brand. Even creating videos that tie into specific events or news, such as the Olympics, work well to bring your brand to the front of people’s minds.
Here’s a social media video we created for SunLife, as part of their ongoing ‘welcome to life after 50‘ campaign. We’ve made a lot of these short social media videos for SunLife, each one showcasing an inspiration over 50 years old. This one of tattooist Doc Price has 2.7 million views and over 36 thousand shares.
4. Email video
Putting video in an email leads to 200-300% increase in click through rate (CTR). If that wasn’t enough just using the word ‘video’ in a subject line boosts open rates.** A lot of email services including Gmail cannot currently play embedded videos so a good way to include video that you are sure your recipient can view is to use a screen shot of the video with a play button graphic on top. Hyperlink this image to a dedicated holding page for the video, either on your website or a video hosting site, so that when they click it they are taken straight to the video.
5. Testimonial videos
You must have lots of great feedback from your clients and customers, raving about your products and services. Maybe they’ve provided you with case studies and quotes which you already share with other prospective customers. A great way to make this testimonial even more compelling is to film it. You can do a simple piece to camera where your clients answer questions about how your product or service helped them. You can also use text or animation to give important information and data about exactly what benefits your brand bought them. These testimonials can then sit on your website, ideally above the fold on a key landing page to help persuade viewers of your credentials. You can also use them in sales pitches and marketing emails.
We created a series of ‘Eligibility Stories’ for TotallyMoney.com. These video interviews featured real customers speaking about their experience using Totally Money and how it helped them, showcasing real, relatable people talking about your product or brand is often far more effective than a written quote or case study.
6. FAQ videos
Many websites have an FAQ section to answer common queries about their brand, product and / or service. These sections can be text-heavy, long and dry so livening it up with a video it a much more enticing proposition. The video could be an employee answering the questions to camera or even clever animation. Using a video for this part of your website makes it quick and easy for visitors to find the information they need.
7. Product demonstration videos
After watching a video, 64% of users are more likely to buy a product online* so instead of crafting compelling but long-winded product descriptions why not use video to showcase the product or service and how it works? This is especially effective if you have a lot of different features that can be hard to explain. Videos of this type can feature an actor or employee showing the product, an animation or even a whiteboard animation style video.
For Nuaire, market leaders in ventilation solutions, we created a video that explained how their Drillmaster Eco range of Positive Input Ventilation products works. It’s a complex product so animation was a great way of explaining the features and benefits in an easy to understand way.
8. Internal communication video
If there is important information that you regularly need to convey to your employees then perhaps creating a series of video resources would be more convenient. These could be used as induction videos to introduce new recruits to the company history and procedures or even videos to explain your brand identity and guidelines.
This video for Nationwide won several awards, and was used as part of their internal diversity training.
9. Recruitment video
A recruitment video is a great way to entice applicants. Showing them your offices, giving an insight into the company culture and explaining in detail the role via video sets you apart from other job adverts. It also allows you to give potential applicants more information about the company without them having to read a long job description. Videos like this work really well if you want to widen your search and use non-traditional channels such as social media to reach more people.
Starbucks have a great video that highlights the career successes of some of their team who started as interns or graduates. The video ends showing a link to their careers page. Any potential employee would get a lot from this video about what Starbucks is like as an employer and what sort of roles they might get.
10. Training videos
Having training videos make learning internal procedures and programmes so much easier for new members of your team. These types of videos are ideal for teaching security and compliance elements of the role as well.
For example, we created an animated video for De La Rue to explain their new cloud-based finance system. The video gives enough of an overview of the new process whilst directing the viewer to find further information. A video can be a great way to make policy training more engaging.
11. Showcase your responsible endeavours
Corporate Social Responsibility is a big part of many companies’ culture and ethos. Showing what initiatives your brand spearheads or takes part in is a great way to show potential clients and customers a little bit more about who you are and what you stand for. Many people take a companies’ ethics into account when choosing who to do business with, so showing what you do to make a difference in the world is a good way to build trust.
Samsung partner with a volunteer organisation to bring solar power to areas where electricity is scarce. This video shows the benefits that initiative brings.
Here are just 11 types of corporate video you could be making but of course there are so many more. For an example of the types of corporate videos we have made take a look at our showreel, and if you’d like talk to us about your own video requirements do get in touch.
Advertising on Facebook is an attractive proposition for many brands. You are able to target by demographic and interest and test run video advertising campaigns without the higher costs associated with TV advertising. As many people’s Facebook feeds are dominated with video, it’s essential to craft an ad that grabs people’s attention. Here are 5 tips to make your Facebook video ads stand out from the crowd:
1) Grab their attention in the first few seconds
As with all video the very first few seconds are critical, you need to grab the attention of the viewer who’s scrolling through their feed and keep it for long enough to convey the message of your ad. Try and tell a story which will keep the viewer gripped.
2) Craft a compelling Call to Action (CTA)
Once you have their attention you need to craft a compelling call to action. What do you want them to do and how can you word it in a way that makes it impossible not to click on? Use clear, thoughtful and well written text that will engage the viewer and encourage them to find out more. Try and keep it short and to the point as viewers will decide very quickly whether your offer is valuable to them.
3) Show your personality
Video is a great way to show your personality. Use your brand voice, be enthusiastic and relatable but most importantly, be genuine. People like to feel they are buying from people, not just a faceless brand. Millennials especially crave brands that are authentic, this is why platforms such as Snapchat and Instagram Stories are popular as they show a less edited, more genuine side of a brand. If you can show your personality in a more informal, less contrived way you will be able to benefit from this.
4) Make sure your video can be understood without sound
Around 85% of Facebook video is watched without sound so make sure to use captions or text in your video so that it still makes sense if watched silently.
5) Write the perfect description
Once you have crafted a short, sweet CTA and you have a compelling, engaging video you need to spend some time writing the perfect video description. Make it informative and don’t be afraid of being too wordy. The description needs to explain the video content in a way that encourages people to click on the CTA. If your video explains or showcases something quite complex, such as a service or product you provide, then using a detailed description will help the viewer. You could also use the description as a way to give more background on your brand, that way the viewer has more of an idea of who you are and why they should click on your CTA.
If you would like to discuss how our award winning production team can help you create a compelling Facebook or online video ad, get in touch.
Happy Hour Productions’ latest TV advert is now live. We were delighted to partner with California Shutters to launch their first TV campaign, bringing their brand to new audiences and conveying their key messages.
The light-hearted 30 second advert airing now on TV highlights the cost-saving benefits of buying from California Shutters and how their DIY installation is “easy, like a Californian.”
This campaign aims to take the fear out of DIY and quashes the misconception that installing your own shutters is difficult. Mr California, the all-American, laid back, confident presenter highlights the brand’s extensive choice and range of support resources available to any would-be shutter fitters. Ordering and installing shutters yourself saves money that would traditionally be spent on salespeople and fitters, these savings are part of what makes California Shutters one of the market leaders as this campaign highlights.
The ad was directed by Michael Wright and filmed in and around Bristol. The DOP was Mark Stubbs and all post production was carried out in-house at Happy Hour’s Bristol production office.
Michael explains that “With California Shutters it was important to express the ease and flexibility of the product but also the great look of the shutters which we achieved through the lighting and the production design. Of course it’s not every day I have to ask the actor to climb in through the window of the set but, at least he was able to catch the tape measure!”
Murray Clark Director of California Shutters was thrilled with the experience of creating the campaign. “From the get go, we knew we’d made the right choice by selecting Happy Hour to handle the creative for our first foray into TV. The entire team have been supportive and patient throughout and nothing has been a problem when we’ve looked to gain better understanding or changed direction with our creative desires. We’re thrilled with the end result which has surpassed our expectations at the start of the project.”
If you are thinking about using TV advertising to bring your brand to a wider audience get in touch to talk to us about your objectives and how we can help.
The world of video marketing can seem scary and many of us just don’t know where to start. The best place to start is with simple, short, low budget videos that can be shot and edited on a phone and shared on social media. Social media videos are a great way to dip your toe in the water of video marketing and test and refine your video strategy. Here are 12 ideas for social media video you could make.
1. Event specific gifs and videos
Twitter even has a handy calendar of upcoming events, both national holidays and more informal social media events such as ‘talk like a pirate day’. If you can create a quick GIF or video that ties in with these themes it’s a great way to create sharable content. Even creating videos that tie in with current trends or TV shows such as Stranger Things or GBBO is an easy way to get your content seen via the Twitter Trends section and encourage sharing and audience interaction.
The always hilarious and topical Buzzfeed made light of the Hilary Clinton health scare news with this quick Charlie and the Chocolate Factory edit….
If you’re preparing for the launch of a new product or service why not create a short video with a sneak peek. This could be an extreme close up to give viewers a clue or even a ‘coming soon’ style trailer for the product. Even showing the packaging if it’s pretty can intrigue viewers and encourage clicks to find out more. This is a strategy employed by many of the ‘monthly subscription box’ providers, by showing a sneak peek of that month’s theme or designs viewers are encouraged to subscribe.
Beauty subscription box supplier Birchbox use lots of videos on their Instagram to give viewers a peek at the products they will receive in the next box. Not only does this get existing subscribers excited about the upcoming box but it encourages new subscribers to jump on the bandwagon too!
People love knowing who they’re buying from and companies that are good at showing their human side often use video as the medium to do so. Show office scenes, backstage at a conference or event you’ve been at, the office party, or fun staff challenges.
Virgin is a brand known for showing their fun side. This light-hearted Instagram video shows the Virgin team members doing a keepie-uppie challenge to celebrate Euro 2016, tying in nicely with idea 1.
In a similar vein to above, why not show off your office? Perhaps you have had a redesign or have a great feature that your audience may find interesting. It’s a great way to tell your potential customers more about you without making them read a blog post or scroll through your website.
Facebook is known for often having cool offices so when they moved into their new Seattle office they just had to show viewers around with a video hosted on, where else, Facebook. They also used the post as a recruitment drive encouraging people to look for opportunities at their Seattle office (see idea 11).
5. The making of videos
Why not show the production line of your latest product or even a whiteboard animation demonstrating a problem and how your product or service solves it?
Ben and Jerry’s are known for their light-hearted, colourful social media channels and clever puns. In an Instagram video they took viewers behind the scenes to show how one of their new flavours was created.
People’s attention spans are at an all-time low, so instead of expecting them to read about how your product works and how amazing it is why not show them? With a short video explaining the key features, benefits or just how your product or service works you can be sure to grab your audiences attention as soon as they click.
Dollar Shave Club is one of the greats when it comes to hilarious video content that gets their brand messaging across, their viral first advert has inspired many other brands. On Facebook they have a ‘What the FAQ?’ series which takes common questions they get about their service and answers it in a short, funny video.
7. Video interviews with team members
Your team are your brand ambassadors so why not put them front and centre? Showcase them explaining more about your brand, or even sharing their knowledge to position you as a thought leader within the industry.
This is something that Buffer, the social media scheduling tool, do so well. Their Social Media Manager Brian is regularly featured in short videos that give handy hints and tips for social media management and marketing. By giving away knowledge for free they position themselves as reliable experts in the industry while also showing their human side. You know that if you need social media advice you can turn to Buffer which makes you more likely to use their service.
You don't have to be an expert to create great designs for social 🎨 These 3 factors (Color-Balance-Space) will help! pic.twitter.com/SeSK7gZpPS
Chances are you have some kind of video introduction to your company either on your website or for use in conferences, you could repackage this as a shorter more sharable video to put on your company Facebook page or Twitter. If you pin it to the top then it serves as a constant header to your social page which quickly tells the reader who you are and what your brand stands for.
Innocent the smoothie brand is known for its ethical stance with 10% of their profits going to charity. They sum this up nicely in a short, sharable video on their Facebook page.
9. How to videos
How to videos are some of the most popular type of content and now that it’s easy to make stop motion and time lapse videos with a few apps, you can teach your audience something new via video. This type of video content is ideal for recipes, crafts and DIY focused brands, however, even if you don’t fit into this category there is likely something important that your product or service helps people to do, so show them that.
Make up brand Rimmel uses photos to create quick videos showing how to use their products for the latest makeup trends, just search #tutorial on Instagram for lots of how to video inspiration.
A post shared by Rimmel London UK (@rimmellondonuk) on
10. Video testimonials
People are more likely to buy from you if they know that other customers have, why just tell them how much your customers love your product when you can show them?
Bare Minerals the make up brand have a series of ‘Skinsorials’ on their Facebook page. These are video testimonials of their customers raving about the products. Short and snappy they provide the perfect reassurance to a potential buyer.
11. Product / service tips and tricks video
Videos that give tips and tricks about how to use your product or service are a great way of adding another level to your product and really getting your audience to imagine having / using it.
Sainsbury’s Twitter feed is full of short animated videos with top food tips, designed to make sure viewers get the most out of their weekly shop.
Video recruitment announcements are a great way to show prospective employees a little more of who you are, allowing them to decide whether they’d be the right fit. It’s also a great way to give a lot of information about the role in an engaging way.
Fort Worth Police Department in Texas made this great Star Wars spoof recruitment video which quickly went viral on Facebook.
I’ve focused here just on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram but of course there are a multitude of social networks that you can share video content on. And of course providing it fits with the rules on length you can use your social videos on multiple channels.
Last month we worked on a very different, fun and outside the box film for Anana, the customer service solutions experts. They got in touch to see if we could create a short video for them to enter in a competition at an upcoming conference.
We are thrilled to announce that the video won the competition!
The conference video needed to highlight the benefits of Anana’s Mission Control multichannel call centre solutions and how these solutions make the running of a call centre far more efficient. They wanted to highlight that Mission Control is so easy to use that there’s no reason to involve the IT department and it makes even high-demand days run smoothly.
The video needed to be fun and engaging video ideally becoming a talking point at the conference. Together we came up with the idea of using two rival call centres both dealing with Beyoncé concert tickets going live but with very different outcomes.
To demonstrate model use of the product and how its benefits have been modelled to perfection Happy Hour decided to use models…. plastic models. In fact inspired by the light hearted humorous brief we decided to use dolls and toys to create a Toy Story inspired video.
We loved working on this video, from making the miniature set to coming up with inventive ways to create the character movements it has been one of our most entertaining shoots this year. Director Michael Wright gave this quote about the experience: “We had a great script from Tom George that was full of all the high drama and epic conflict you need in a film like this, we went to Toys R Us for the casting and found an amazing group of new talent to bring to the screen. The shoot was not without its problems though with tension on the set between Robot Man and Rex over who had the most close ups. Cindy wouldn’t come out of her pink plastic trailer at one point too, but this was because the other toys had glued the door shut. At another point shooting was halted for up to three minutes when one of the actor’s arms fell off.”
Anana are thrilled with the final video, here’s what they had to say about the process:
“We came across Happy Hour Productions when we were searching for a film production company online. We thought that the Happy Hour website was quite impressive so gave them a call, as we did a few other companies. As soon as we spoke to Tom at Happy Hour we had a good feeling. It seemed like a flexible, innovative and helpful team.
We were on a tight deadline and upon engaging Happy Hour they made recommendations in order to save us time and money. We were in constant communication and dealt with the same few people from the HH team all the way through which we really appreciated; we know that we weren’t the easiest of customers! It felt like Tiggy and Tom really took ownership of our project and genuinely wanted it to be a success as much as we did.
The final product is absolutely perfect for its purpose (we are entering it in to a product led competition at a conference we are attending.) It’s more creative and humorous than any promotional film we have had made in the past. Despite the fact that it’s a promotional video for a technical product it’s really engaging, light hearted and funny!”
Take a look at our gallery of behind the scenes pics below and remember if you need a quick turnaround conference video or corporate film don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Have you heard the news? It’s been hard to escape, Instagram has launched their latest feature – Stories.
We’ll leave the ‘is it just copying Snapchat’ debate to other blogs and focus instead on how you can use this new feature to aid your video marketing output.
How to use Instagram Stories
Like all of Instagram’s features Stories is intuitive and easy to use. To begin simply tap + at top left and tap the circle to either take a picture or hold it down to film video. You can also upload from your camera roll including content you’ve already created in Boomerang and Hyperlapse.
You can then use pens, text, emoji and colour filters to add another dimension to your footage or photo. You can hold down on a colour filter to get an advanced colour spectrum.
Tap the + to share and to save tap the three dots at the bottom right.
Once your story is live it is only available to view for 24 hours. Making it the perfect way to share less polished, authentic content.
To see basic analytics swipe up whilst viewing your story to see who’s seen it. If for any reason you want to block someone from viewing your stories you can click the X by their name. There are no likes or comments with stories, if people want to respond to your content they must private message you.
How can brands use Instagram Stories?
It’s a great way to show behind the scenes shots of your business or use it as teaser trailers for upcoming events such as webinars. You could even use old event footage to promote a new one.
People love live content so utilise this to show your office life, production line or team outing. You could create short tutorials, showcases of new product features or even sneak peeks of upcoming launches.
If you have a group of influencers then you could partner with them, a strategy that is already successful for many brands on Snapchat. By inviting an influencer to create your daily Instagram story you can bring your brand and products to an even bigger audience.
As it only lasts for 24 hours it’s a great way to experiment with content and if it works you can incorporate that into your regular Instagram strategy and even roll it out onto your other social accounts.
The benefits for your brand
If you’ve got Instagram already you’ve already got a built-in audience. Yes, it’s basically Snapchat but if you don’t have an audience there then Stories will save you time as your content will reach more users without you having to invest time building a new audience.
Because of the updated Instagram algorithm you can’t guarantee your content will organically reach your followers, however, stories appear at the top of the feed for anyone that follows you, giving you a much higher chance of being seen.
It’s a great chance to show your authentic side with less stylized brand content, research shows that millennials don’t respond well to obvious advertising and overly branded content. Show them you’re authentic and personable and they are more likely to engage. This doesn’t just apply to millennials as all people prefer interacting with brands that have a personality and aren’t too corporate.
Instagram is bigger than Snapchat with around double the daily users, also thanks to Geotagging and hashtags it’s much easier to get your content found.
What should you do?
Smaller organisations should dive in and use trial and error to establish a routine, use Stories as a way to test content and then roll it out across all platforms if it is successful.
Don’t forget traditional Instagram posts, still do 1-2 a day with consistency to your brand identity and style guidelines.