Magazine article Marketing

In the Picture

Magazine article Marketing

In the Picture

Article excerpt

Video, it seems, is alive and kicking and remains an effective means of putting across presentations.

Video revolutionised business presentations in the late 70s and 80s and largely sounded the death-knell for film and slide-based corporate programmes. Now, video itself is under threat from the PC-based communications media of the 90s.

However, specialist video producers insist video is not being superseded by the latest technology.

As Simon Alexander, managing director of The Visual Connection, puts it: "The availability of do-it-yourself technology does not change the fact that clients need a professional-looking presentation if they want to communicate effectively with a clearly defined target audience."

Most production companies admit that the use of video has declined in recent years - partly because of financial cutbacks during the recession and, increasingly, because the medium's role is changing. In the mid-80s, it was not unusual for individual blue-chip companies to commission up to 50 corporate videos a year. Nobody expects to see that level of business again.

"In those days, video was sold as the solution to everything - even when there wasn't a problem," says Evan Ivey, planning director at Aspen Business Communications. "Today, video's role has declined to the point where it is now probably being used in the right places."

Ivey insists that video will continue to play an important part in the selling process. He points to the role of video in promoting the National Westminster Bank's "Face 2 Face With Finance" community-relations programme for schools. Designed to promote "a spirit of partnership" between the bank and teachers, the scheme aims to teach 11- to 18-year-olds financial literacy (including personal money management and enterprise skills).

Aspen produced a 15-minute video, featuring television personality Tony Robinson, which set out the key benefits of the community scheme. The video was designed to convince teachers that the "Face 2 Face With Finance" would help them deliver the curriculum rather than add a further burden. According to NatWest, some 15% of the 7500 schools targeted had registered for the scheme by the end of 1994.

Kerry Wedlock, NatWest's manager of distribution development, says the bank felt video was the ideal medium for approaching its target audience of teachers and head teachers in secondary schools. "The video was an aid to our local branch staff who were responsible for selling the "Face 2 Face" concept to schools," she says. "Instead of having to rely on notes for their presentations, they were able to go into schools and use the video as a direct, informative and entertaining method of gaining teachers' attention - and holding their interest. …

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