In South Africa, many marketers and communications professionals are still to fully embrace video and include it in every aspect of their marketing plan and branded or earned content strategies. Most press releases are sent to the media without images, and less than 1% contain a video – yet digital news brands are embedding video (mainly from international sources), whenever they have it. It’s a missed opportunity by brands and their PR companies.
Content Lounge director and editor, Lara Taylor, explains that storytelling video is compelling. It motivates viewers and strikes their emotions, getting people hooked in because they can relate.
“Video is evocative. It puts you in the story, it’s real life drawing you in.”
A web series that Content Lounge did in the fishing industry, shot on an iPhone in Kalk Bay, Cape Town, is one of the most watched videos across its website and social media platforms.
Taylor continues: “Kenny Hart, the fisherman we interviewed, has the most views. He is an interesting person that people can relate to. This is not about being rich or famous, it is about evoking what we are dealing with every day, in an artistic way.
“It is human interest. It is storytelling.”
Content Lounge director and videographer, Halden Krog, an internationally renowned and award-winning photographer, says video is a natural progression of still photography transforming into what people want to see today.
“The market today is for video. Clients need promotional videos, they need to show potential funders what great work they are doing. Nothing does it better than visual storytelling in a beautifully crafted and edited video story. It is gold to be able to watch the story, not just read about it,” Krog reiterates.
Krog’s artistic eye and years of experience in crafting exquisite still images, adds huge value to his videography.
Taylor, who has a degree in social anthropology, adds that they have found that even market researchers are moving towards video interviews as it provides such powerful insight into communities.
“We are working with NPOs wanting video training to tell their stories to funders; we are finding marketers wanting to use video to bring consumers into the kitchen of their restaurants, or to the factory shop floor to watch their product being made.
“Video connects people to things they wouldn’t necessarily see. The world is turning anthropological, it is all about people,” says Taylor.
Storytelling at its best is when the viewer constantly gets that emotional nudge. “That’s what it is all about, telling those stories, that grab your attention and hold your heart, surprising you at every turn,” adds Krog.
Within the Content Lounge editing suites, Krog is the videographer and stills photographer, who shoots on Canon 5D MK III DSLRs. Taylor produces, directs, edits, writes scripts and runs workshops that train people on how to shoot video professionally, using a smartphone. Content Lounge specialises in promotional videos, documentaries, web series, corporate and brand videos, as well as working in the non-profit sector to assist NPOs in building video brand assets.
Recent projects include a promotional video for an international internship programme:
An enviromentally focused, mural art project based in Muizenberg:
and the story of the St James Spring and its users:
Cell phone videos include feature videos for Times Live, for example the desalination plant in Strandfontein - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uoIY_88FEvw; as well as a drone video about the Coastal Park Landfill and its methane gas flaring project - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t6EhXO315K8.