Recruiting videos – most of the big companies have them. I remember sitting through some bad ones, courtesy of Circuit City and east coast theme park Great Adventure in my high school days. Neither of these videos were the reason I’d applied for the job and they had a neutral to negative impact in terms of exciting me about the possibilities of a career with those companies. In fact, they instantly sprang to mind when Twitter debuted its terrible-on-purpose new recruiting video today.
I could write a blog post about all the things not to do when making a recruiting video. But it’s easier to just reference the above video from Twitter. Because I’m pretty sure they capture them all:
Uninspiring music that is meant to sound inspiring
Clunky graphics with unnecessary effects
Grandiose promises (e.g. Friends for life)
Acting (It takes a lot of skill to pull off an acting job depicting an average day at the company without looking fake/staged.)
Terrible (and again unnecessary) sound effects
Shaky camera work and bad edit choices
Featuring employees that don’t show well on video
Anything chanted with faux-enthusiasm by a team of people (“Join the flock today!”)
The list could go on but those are the big offenders.
Twitter wins with this video because, even with all the cheese, they still get their point across. And because so many people can relate to terrible corporate video, this little gem is now circulating pretty widely. Though, for the record, while Dick Costolo gets cool points for authorizing and participating in the video, he doesn’t come off as a particularly inspiring or pleasant CEO. I realize that perhaps they were going for a certain vibe as a joke, but Costolo doesn’t pull it off well. Which goes back to a key lesson: if you’re using employees in your video, play to their strengths and learn to recognize when something doesn’t work.
We can save another post for a more lengthy discussion of what TO do in a recruiting video. In the meantime, here are some things to keep in mind to help ensure that your recruiting video can actually recruit for you:
As mentioned above, if you’re going to use employees, don’t push them beyond comfort boundaries – it will show.
You’ll likely work with an outside video producer to put your video together. Ask for recent work to better understand if they’ll be able to pull off your vision. For some video shops, a recruiting video means including many of those terrible techniques noted above as standard practice. Have an idea of what you’ll get before you get it.
Be honest. Don’t try to be something you’re not in your video. People will notice.
Why not end with a recruiting video done right. We posted this one back in August, but it remains one of my favorites I’ve seen. Courtesy of Facebook.
A lot of attention gets paid to the break-through products, services or events that are held by the top tech companies. And how are all of these various moments in time being introduced? With video, of course. We were particularly impressed with videos introduced this month by Twitter, Apple and Google and wanted to share them here as examples of how corporate video done right can educate, inform, promote and excite.
If you’re bold enough to feature one of hip-hop’s OGs talking about “waking and baking” with Martha Stewart alongside the current Speaker of the House and of one of the ESA’s most Twitter-savvy astronauts showing us his view of the world, there’s a good chance you’ve also created something original, unique and engaging. Twitter, working to build its case that you don’t need to Tweet to use Twitter, put together this really tight, celebrity-heavy video showing the many things you too could have access to if you engaged with the Twitter platform. It works so well because it effectively captures the diversity of Twitter, the close proximity that users can get to their favorite people, hobbies and interests, and how simple Twitter makes it all.
Meet the Apple iPad 2
Apple has a reputation for introducing products that are sleek and simple. Naturally, its video content should exactly mirror this. With Apple’s introduction of the iPad 2 this month, Apple released the below video that covered all of the various tech improvements that were made in the latest version, the hard work that went into aesthetics and design and all of the new things users will be able to do. It’s a bit on the long side at more than 6 minutes, but Apple knows it works for their audience: cult of Mac members that love the company and are heavily invested in their products. As they get ready to plunk down no less than $500 for Apple’s latest creation and mentally prepare for 12 hours in line at the store on launch day, they have this video to further feed their excitement and help them start thinking of all the many ways they’ll use their new toy.
Google Goes Gaga
A suggestion has been made that the top tech companies are trying to trump one another by landing the hottest surprise guests to come speak to employees. When Marissa Mayer, Google’s VP of consumer products, brought Lady Gaga out for a one-on-one discussion at a recent company event, she was visibly taken aback by the whole thing. (It’s unclear if it was at the thought of introducing Lady Gaga or just knowing that Google was now ahead in the informal “land the biggest celebrity you can” game.) Lady Gaga got her verbal intro from Mayer, but the proper introduction came with a a video that charted just how big of a celebrity Gaga had come. Being Google, the focus was on milestones Gaga has hit in search, video and fan engagement and connections. The video not only uses Google’s various services to validate her overwhelming popularity, but also to source content – in VERY clever and creative ways. (The video below shows the entire event. Skip to the :43 mark for the intro video.)
The three videos above were obviously done with access to big budgets, a lot of creative personnel and TIME. Thinking about the various elements featured in these productions, we immediately recognize areas where Market7 could’ve possibly added some efficiencies. That includes everything from lining up international (and out of this world!) video shoots to script and edit feedback. It’s possible that your organization doesn’t have the resources required to produce this level of content, but that doesn’t mean that what you do create has to be any less effective. Market7 can help unleash the full potential of any team coming together to produce video. Click here to check out how.
If you follow Market7 on Twitter (@marketseven), you’ve probably seen our steady stream of tweets about what it is EXACTLY that a producer does (courtesy of our own Shannon Newton). As video becomes more ubiquitous and companies of all sizes debate whether to hire a professional or produce video themselves, we thought it could be beneficial to offer some insight into the many, many things that a producer will do on your behalf once you decide to put them to work for you.
We’re currently about half way through our list of 100 “Things A Producer Does” on Twitter. Considering that thehalf-life of a tweet is only about four minutes, we wanted to make sure that this list would be immortalized somewhere on the world wide web for generations to come. Our friends over at ReelSEO.com have graciously agreed to publish this content and you can head over there now to see the first installment of “What Does A Producer Do?”in one nice, tidy list. Check back later this year for the rest of the list or follow@marketsevenon Twitter to be blessed with this content as we publish it in real-time.
Hope you found that video witty, but know it also has a message: Flip cameras, iMovie softare and YouTube accounts, and cute & easy tools like xtraNormal, make many think that enterprises don’t need to pay dedicated, high-end production talent and can go the UGC route for content. — Not true.
15 years ago some people started to expect professional organizations might have web sites built by employees in spare time with tools like FrontPage, and probably 15 years before that people expected that all brochures would be similarly done from general employee pool with onset of desktop publishing tools. — These both also have never turned out to be true.
Web development, print design and other media endeavors are in fact done by hybrids on behalf of corporations, of large institutions and even of major media publishers — a little bit by crafty employees with off-shelf tools, some by particularly skilled & dedicated internal professionals, and still plenty by major external agencies revving up the big guns.
Thus it will be with video and as organizations of all sizes and types use this effective and increasingly available & usable medium throughout operations, expect some to be someone like me playing with xtraNormal, and a lot to be projects with substantial budgets & teams including serious professionals in the craft.
We tried a little bit to @reply and otherwise get some attention from @lilipip, and then last week we saw more twittering about her trying us out like this one, and this one. It was a rather public and pithy review of us including what she’s liked about our accomplishments and what she hopes to see from us going forward. A little more @replying by us, and soon a couple direct messages, and we were invited to converse by skype.
We pretty soon tried to voice-call by skype, but, in perhaps the story’s most dramatic turn, got an immediate text chat reply athat Ksenia was not talking due to suffering from a sore throat. But she very generously engaged in a 15 minute chat session about her experience with and reflections about us. With dozens of ideas laid out in our communications over various media, many about her specific needs and interests as an animator (as opposed to video producer), we now felt compelled to share a compilation of our reactions and intentions, in more lengthy & consolidated form than twitter or skype best support, so it was time for a new medium.
We sent an email of about 10 paragraphs laying out exactly what our service has now related to the preferences expressed and what our roadmap is for those towards which we are still building. Several elements were really just now arising through this particular interaction and its good ideas being raised for which we are grateful. And yesterday we received a reply back from Ksenia with her point-by-point reflection on what was raised in our email including some more new, good ideas. The email exchange also included our appreciation of the video with her entrepreneurial story on the lilipip site and its equivalent in a podcast of our founding and philosophy we did last week.
twitter, skype, email, podcast — a rich array of new (in most cases very new) communication methods, each used distinctively for an overall open and productive communication not only towards forming a new customer relationship but also towards authenticating and accelerating our progress by continuing to evolve our services based on direct, insightful feedback from our marketplace. We hope Ksenia’s throat is recovered.
Another Vertical! I am getting sucked more deeply into these conventions than the Olympics ever had me, as attested by my twitter stream. There is some really good (& some not-so-good) speaking going on, and some compelling prospects still coming up. Along with sports, and, um adult entertainment, oh and also religion and education — anyhow, politics has long been one of the fields leading in realization of video technological innovations, a notable example being the rise to prominence of Pseudo.com through its 360-degree live coverage of the 2000 RNC.
As an increasingly obsessive start-up guy, any non-Market7 thought that rises in my head immediately beckons its company-relevant peers, so as I start pondering this election season I quickly segue to considering what usage our offering may find in political activities. So we’re talking to people in this field. And the reception’s good. Political video production tends to be tightly time-constrained, logistically complex, multi-handed, and subjective in nature which raises the priority for clear, organized and consensual collaboration — areas in which video.Market7 excels. Stay tuned.
Seth, in between meetings,
at Il Fornaio Palo Alto
writing this blog post