Anybody who reads the blog regularly will know that I’m long video. I’ve made 5 investments in the sector and I hope to make 5 more. Between the US & Europe alone the video sector is worth around $500 billion. And TV / Film / Video Games / Virtual Reality / Augmented Reality and frankly the Internet will all merge.
Western countries watch > 5 hours of TV per day. Why? Because we’re visual storytellers. We simply can’t escape our history as hunters & gatherers sitting around a fire and explaining the world to our community.
Sight. Sound. Motion. Equals emotion.
Emotion = recall. Recall + positive feelings = power to purchase or engage.
The best way to get across what your startup does is through video, too. In 30-90 seconds you can use visuals, story-telling, music, stats and humor to get across your message. Think of the best tech company at marketing that you know. I’m guessing most of you would say Apple. And think about how brilliant Apple is at conveying emotion and product features through video.
Much has changed in online video and many startups are stuck in a metaphor created 5-7 years ago. When video was becoming more popular a startup emerged to help startups tell their stories through video called Epipheo. They were cute videos that often had animation and humor mixed with tech speak.
The problem is that they became so popular and their product was so formulaic that you could instantly tell an Epipheo video without even seeing any credits. The all look something like this video
It’s charming enough and gets the point across. But after you’ve seen 5 of these you simply can’t sit through another one. I have no criticisms with this great company that boosted the online video movement but they need to reinvent their format a bit.
Epipheo’s real successor is Sandwhich Video who are on top of their game these days and amongst the most desirable online video creators our there for startups. This is a stunning video done for our portfolio company Osmo that has been watched > 200,000 times. You can bet Osmo is happy with it.
We often recommend Sandwhich to startups since they’ve done great work with several of our portfolio companies. But in many ways I think the future of online storytelling will evolve. There are now so many great online video producers in LA & NY who are perfecting their craft and looking to be discovered. Hooking up with young, emerging film-makers will allow you to tell memorable startup stories on a budget.
At MakeSpace the uber creative VP of Brand & Creative, Rion Harmon, came up with a series of videos that explain their storage startup. Have a look and let me know what you think. I find them edgy, funny, contemporary and memorable. I think the future of using video to explain your startup will be more like these videos that the dated, slightly cheesy V1 set of videos that came out years ago.
If you want the back story about how Rion went about making these videos you can read about it in the link.
And just so I’m not hypocritical, we work hard to also create a sense of what we do at Upfront Ventures. Here’s a short video we did of our 2015 Upfront Summit:
We also shot this one last year to highlight some of our portfolio companies.
In summary, I think you’re going to see a lot more companies use video to cut through the clutter. I don’t think it’s just a B2C marketing tool. Just as consumer Internet products drove well-designed enterprise products, so too will low-cost Internet video help reinvent how businesses communicate with each other.