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Four Differences Between Corporate Video and Documentary Films For Business

Four Differences Between Corporate Video and Documentary Films For Business

Businesses have long employed corporate video as a marketing tool to advertise products, pitch services and build brand identity through visual expression. From explainer shorts and company leadership videos to customer testimonials and promotional material, YouTube now streams corporate content to 30 million people a day.[1] The very first viral video qualifies as corporate: in 2005, a Nike advertisement featuring Ronaldinho was the first video ever to reach 1 million views on the platform. 

Just as YouTube has triggered a shift in consumer viewing habits, however, the methods for delivering branded content have also evolved.

Enter documentary for business: a format designed to establish a stronger emotional connection with audiences. The viewing experience documentary creates is often less direct than conventional commercial content. The documentary uses storytelling to make a brand relatable to viewers, tapping emotionality to engender positive associations.

In terms of branded content, both corporate video and documentary are widely used, but deployed in different situations with distinct objectives. Here are the four differences between corporate and documentary business films.

SUBJECT

Where the star of a corporate video tends to be the company that commissioned it, the subject of a branded documentary is generally the personalities behind the brand. For this reason, business documentaries are often popular with companies where the creation of a product is as important as the product itself. The documentary-style allows founders and executives to present their values, earn trust and share their experiences in a way viewers find humanising.

Where the star of a corporate video tends to be the company that commissioned it, the subject of a branded documentary is generally the personalities behind the brand.

Conversely, corporate videos, featuring the institution front and centre, take advantage of the organisation’s collective authority to impress the brand’s merits. Furthermore, this focus allows corporate videos to target their customers effectively through web searches and associated advertising. Both styles enjoy advantages in terms of SEO, but the direct product messaging of corporate videos usually seeks to increase user traffic as a priority.

STYLE

A documentary’s storytelling style typically incorporates historical narrative and character vignettes of those associated with the subject. The interview, where questions encourage the film’s subjects to speak conversationally about their own experiences, lies at the heart of the documentary. This element gives the style its authenticity â€“unscripted conversations and extemporaneous reactions engender a sense of reality.

Corporate video relies on carefully scripted dialogue, actions and effects to engage its audience, asking them to suspend their disbelief. Where documentary excels at relatable, real-life presentation, corporate videos present an idealised vision, intended to trigger the imagination and motivate the viewer.

Where the documentary excels at relatable, real-life presentation, corporate videos present an idealised vision, intended to trigger the imagination and motivate the viewer.

PROCESS

The documentary-style approaches the creative process through a structured, yet non-rigid fashion that allows for exploration and insight beyond the scope of the initial intent. The documentary allows everyone involved to reflect on their journey and values. While interviewing, revelations come to light that reinforce a shared sense of vision and unity.

Corporate Videos rely on a carefully plotted script that, throughout the development and production process, allows a company to precisely define themselves. In a corporate video, company goals are clarified, expressed and refined to enhance current or new marketing strategies.

AUDIENCE

In most cases, corporate videos are designed to target consumers, usually with a specific demographic in mind. More often than not, corporate videos attempt to convert consumers by promoting and creating awareness about a company. Encouraging viewers to share content with other potential customers over web-based platforms has become a major strategic component.

From potential clients and partners to current or future employees, the branded documentary approach reaches a broader audience.

Similarly, marketing is one goal of documentary film for business. However, the breadth of intention tends to be much wider. From potential clients and partners to current or future employees, the branded documentary approach reaches a broader audience. The documentary is more than a sales tool; documentary films for business engage stakeholders across the spectrum through relatable human experiences.


[1] https://www.youtube.com/yt/about/press/

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