Are high production values necessary?

Are high production values necessary for corporate video?  No, not necessarily.

The spare and primitive style used in the above promotional video for Ford’s new Sync Technology might make you wonder whether Ford just decided to save some money and go with the animated storyboard presented by their agency. The video was created by Commoncraft, a small Seattle-based company that produces instructional and informational web videos using very simple techniques – cut-out images, simple diagrams and a straight-forward delivery.

The video works on many levels. It serves it’s purpose – it describes the value proposition and benefits of Fords new service very well, it is easy to understand, it is very easy to watch and I imagine it appeals to a relatively younger market who care about the ability to sync multiple devices in a convenient way.

Corprate videos don’t have to be slick (overproduced). Not everyone likes slick (big budget, mini-movies). Gen Y and the Millennials have grown up with not-so-slick (YouTube). And while Gen X’ers and Boomers are more accustom to traditional media – MTV and television, online viewing habits are changing quickly. The influence of user-generated content (yes, most of it quite awful) will have a significant affect on the style and production values of corporate video in the future. We will see many new non-standard approaches to corporate video as the cost of production continues to drop and the accessibility and exposure to different production styles continues to increase.

All style issues aside (sure, many other styles could have communicated the same key marketing messages for Ford just as effectively), the important thing is that the video did it’s job – it communicated the intended message very well and I imagine it was done at a cost that pleased the struggling automaker.

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