The power of emotional timing in video

Written by: Ashley Matthews

It’s no secret that video is one of the most effective ways of communicating with your audience, of grabbing their attention amongst a crowded news feed. Video provides deeper engagement which allows brands to tell captivating stories and inspire action.

At TMG, we’ve learned great video is more than just telling a great story.

If you want your brand to be remembered, to be locked in the mind of your audience, then you need to get smart with brand placement.

Why emotional timing matters in video

Ad experiences mean very little for consumer behaviour if they don’t make memories.

It’s common for people to remember a heart-wrenching ad they saw, or a joke they were told, but less common that they easily recall who’s video it was or who told the joke.

There are countless videos with a million shares, thousands of heart emoji comments and trending on Twitter. The best jokes have been remembered and repeated for hundreds of years. However, when it comes to marketing, reach and engagement alone are not enough – there’s an agenda that needs to be served, a purpose behind the memories.

Just posting great content from your brand channel isn’t enough to make people remember it was from you or associate those positive feelings with your brand.

Many marketeers spend time creating share-worthy content but fail to tie it back to the brand. They understand creating an emotional connection through video is how to get engagement. But they forget that when and where a brand is introduced into a story is vital to a campaign or asset being effective.

The formula for brand timing

Great video inspires curiosity from the first second. It resonated with the viewer, connecting with their own values or goals, hooking them into the story. It uses colour, contrast and careful composition to make them eager to know more.

We have a limited amount of time to hold attention, so those first 3 then 15 seconds are crucial. If you don’t get them then – you’ve probably lost them for good.

So where does your brand play into this?

For many marketers, it can be tempting to put the narrative first, to take your viewer through the story then flash your brand logo and strap line at the end. And it’ll work to get you more engagement.

The problem with this? Our brain only associates the brand or product with our emotional reaction for just a few seconds, rather than throughout the whole experience, ultimately creating a weaker connection.

So a solution can be to whack your logo in at the start. You’ll be able to report that thousands of eyes saw your logo – and that must be good. I see agencies do this all the time and justify a video as successful. But we know this switches people off, watch through rates fall – they’ve seen you but they don’t care.

To make a bigger impact, and really use your carefully crafted video to be memorable, brand association should happen much soon. But it needs to be relevant to the audience. Using colour is one way. Using value and emotion is better.

You don’t want to spend those crucial early seconds of the video simply pushing the brand. But make the brand connection earlier in the video and you’re more likely to make your brand stick to the emotions you’ve built up. This means you’re better set to impact your viewer’s future decision making.

One great example of this done well is Cadbury’s Gorilla advert – arguably one of the most memorable video ads to date.

Way before we get to the epic drum thrashing over the top of Phil Collins blasting out, we’re immersed in their purple brand colour and we’re experiencing elements of their logo. We’re fine with this because our attention is on an enticing combo of music intro and teasing imagery – we want to find out what’s going on, we’re connected and invested.

Cadbury’s finish ad with a final flash of the product, but by by now we’re fine with this. We can expect it and accept the relevance because they’ve taken the time to make their brand connect as they hooked us in. We experience anticipation and wonder. We’ve been given the unusual and the familiar. We’re ready for chocolate!

You could argue Cadbury’s have it easy, after all who doesn’t want to hear about chocolate? But the approach will work for any brand.

Final thoughts

Timing really is everything. Yes, you’ll need brand values and purpose which connect with your audience. These values are the essential route of your creative’s direction. But your objective must be clear – decide what the video should do. And then it’s the simple matter of making your raw brand and objectives into compelling video content. That’s where your creative agency comes in.

If you’re looking to make your brand video mean something, to inspire the actions you want your audience to take, then let our creative makers make it happen for you. Talk to us about your next video marketing project and let’s make something that makes a difference, together.

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