A while ago I wrote a blog about using recurring stories in video marketing to maintain interest with viewers. At the time I mentioned how useful recurring characters were for compelling stories the bought brought viewers back again and again. Now I want to take an alternative look at this idea. I want to talk about characters that we can use in stories and also spokespeople. In marketing videos where presenters speak directly to the camera or directly to the viewers is it useful to use the same presenter over and over again? And leading on from that, what are the benefits of using a real presenter or creating a fake one.
The aim of marketing videos is to interest people in our products or services. If we don’t do that we have failed, if we do we have succeeded. Any tool we can use to increase interest is useful. We should aim to create a series of videos the keep people coming back to watch us. Then we are building interest in our company. Characters that appear repeatedly allow us to tell stories with hooks, cliffhangers and satisfying conclusions. They allow us to tell stories that keep viewers interested.Any tool we can use to increase interest is useful. Click To Tweet
As we come back to watch the series of adverts we are exposed again and again to a message about the products and services of the advertiser. The business identity enters into our subconscious. That can only be a good thing for us as marketers. The downside is that telling stories like this, small dramas or comedies, can really use up our time and be expensive. So can we get some of the benefit without all of the involvement?
Many big companies use the same presenter over and over in a whole series of adverts. They do this because viewers like a familiar face. This becomes a face with whom they associate a product or service. If a company uses a big star as their presenter or spokes-model that star can lend the brand some of their fame, some of their cache. This is a very valuable commodity. That’s why we see big companies spending literally millions on actors and models of renown for their TV commercials.
Even small businesses can have access to local celebrities. Your local radio station has names that everyone in your town or city will recognise. The question you have to ask is whether you want to go down this route. After all there will be some people who see local celebrities as a bit Naff and that may damage your reputation rather than enhance it. Whatever level of famous person you want to hire you will need to be prepared to pay.
But what if we can’t afford somebody famous. Is there an alternative? I remember the very first time I turned on the TV I saw a Cillit Bang advert. Hi I’m Barry Scott screamed the presenter. who? I’d no idea who Barry Scott Was. I remember thinking that maybe I should know who. What had I missed? He was talking as if I should know exactly who he was. Why didn’t I know? I kept watching trying to place his face and his voice but I couldn’t. That affect was multiplied across the country. Millions of people all asking who is Barry Scott and why haven’t I heard of him?
The advert created a phenomenon in its own right and in doing so created the cultural identity of Cillit Bang in all of our minds. If you don’t remember the adverts you can watch them here. The point is that Barry Scott was a completely made up of famous personality and we all fell for it. The question is can we as small business owners do the same. And the answer is… To a certain degree.
There is no formula I can give you for this. There is no tried and tested path to successs that you can follow. If you are going to try and create a fake personality you just have to be brave. We all need to bite the bullet. Fake it till you make it. I think that if there is one key to making this succeed it is to play on the very element that Cillit Bang used. Say the name of your presenters loud and proud. Make people ask the question of themselves. “I’m from this town, and I haven’t heard of this local personality. Why?”
Just Be Good
I want to leave you with a brilliant example of a presenter driven add where the presenter is neither fake nor famous. In this example the production company have used an actor who is just very likable in a scenario which is funny. Always a winner.