Recently, Wayne Community College came to us with the purpose of creating an inspirational commercial that visually represents their mission statement. Considering video content is one of our defining services you know we were up to it. Our very own Curtis Thieman pitched a touching little concept to the braintrust over at WCC.
Here it is:
The campaign has been quite successful so far – the video itself is responsible for dozens of conversions. The exciting thing about #LookUpWCC’s success is the expediency in which it delivered. Thousands of views already, and in just under a month of public access! While it may be too early to say definitively, this thing has legs.
Most community colleges (or colleges in general) don’t spend much effort on advertising themselves. Many times a community college will drop an ad on the world and rather than catching fire it proves to be a dumpster fire. That may seem harsh, but then again so is life. It becomes counterintuitive to unleash a plague with the purpose of drawing in prospective students. There’s no lasting power for something that dies so quickly.
So why do some colleges release subpar commercials? Cost could be a major factor. Why spend the money when you can do it in-house? Because you probably aren’t a film school. A bad-to-mediocre video won’t last long unless it gets HOT HOT HOT with the mean streets of internet infamy. At that point your brand is just tied to the hottest garbage. Ultimately you lose money — and dignity — by having to continuously pump out new, serially destructive, videos in the hopes that they grab people. Still need more convincing? Here it is. (We’re pretty opinionated when it comes to releasing quality video work.)
On the other hand, imagine what would happen if you did spend the money? Your video is the worm on the marketing hook. No fish is going to nibble up some plastic worm. You’re going to need a worme du jour if you want to reel them in. People are drawn to quality and, in the realm of community college commercials, that’s something you don’t always get. Good equipment and actors are enough to separate yourself from the other fishing lines. However, you should go the extra mile. Find a decent concept, and come up with a good script. Sell a feeling rather than a product.
Look back at our video for WCC. In fact, give it another watch. If you paid attention, you should probably watch it a third time anyway. All right, now that you’ve watched it again for the third time, did you notice any branding in the video? There’s the website at the bottom, but aside from that, nothing pops up until the end. The goal was to remind people of when their dreams were solidified into their subconscious, while showing them that their dreams are obtainable. The message is what drives viewers to care about who’s saying it, not branding that screams WCC from beginning to end. Nostalgia and warmth are the emotional focus the video leans on. That’s why it works. Now watch it a fourth time.
After watching it a fourth time, you probably want to share it, right? When a video speaks to the audience’s emotions, they are more likely to share it with others. When you see something that affects you in some way you tend to share it, if for no other reason than to find out if the feelings you had are universal. Tell a funny story, touch people’s hearts, illicit some positive emotional response.
There’s another route of relatability you can use: the student testimonial. Every student has a story about why they’re pursuing an education. Maybe they have to raise a family and they need a better paying job than the one they have. Maybe they’re returning to college to take a late-in-life stab at achieving their dreams.
That’s what the Seminole State College of Florida did:
Interviewing graduates would also fit well into the testimonial format. They may even work better because, ideally, they are the success story that shows off your educating skills.
You’ve got the concept all figured out now, but what about actually filming the commercial? As previously stated it’s probably best not to do it in-house unless you’ve got the expertise to back it up. Even then, finding an experienced professional to produce your commercial can get rid of most of your headaches.
That’s where we come in. Hit us up for a quote, and we’ll handle all of those headache inducers for you, from concept to YouTube.