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How Can Humor Help With Your Video Message?


By Doug Gritzmacher

Denver Video Production

We had the pleasure of producing several videos for the Eley Law Firm, which focuses on worker’s compensation rights here in Denver. One of those videos was a 60 second commercial.

Commercials are a little different than the other types of videos we create. They generally require a larger production crew, original music, and actors.

Most importantly, they require an original script. For this reason, most companies looking to create a commercial will engage the services of an advertising agency who have the capability of developing ad campaigns centered around a central theme or idea, and the staff and talent to write provocative scripts. After a concept has been developed, those agencies will then reach out to video production companies like us to produce the actual video.

FindLaw, which represents the Eley Law Firm, came to us directly to produce the commercial. I asked them if they had any ideas in mind for the commercial. They pointed me to this commercial that ran during the 2017 Super Bowl. It’s a spot that makes you no laugh no matter whether you are in the market for that law firm’s services or not. FindLaw told they’d love something like it.

Using the Harris concept as inspiration, I went to work a script that had a similar kind of humor but was appropriate for a worker’s compensation attorney. Which brings me to how humor can be a very effective delivery device for your own business’ message.

First, it makes your message memorable. There’s a reason most of the commercials broadcast during the Super Bowl are based on humor. They get people talking, generate buzz, and are likely to be remembered later by viewers who were not in need of your services when they first saw your commercial.

Second, humor creates warm feelings around your message. Laughing is a highly pleasurable human emotion, which leads to positive feeling. So a message delivered in a humorous way is likely to generate positive feelings about your brand.

Accomplishing those two things was my goal going into our production day for shooting the commercial. But those goals can’t be reached by me alone.

Video production is a unique art form because it is collaborative. It often takes the talent of many people to create a successful video like a commercial. And this video was no exception. As the director, I had my attention split between several things on production day. Because of this, I know there are some things I am bound to miss, so I rely heavily on other crew members to speak up when they see something that doesn’t quite feel right.

Sure enough, our makeup artist and prop master noticed that our female actor’s body and face was being partially obscured by the clipboard she was holding. So I had her switch it to her right hand and pretend to be writing left-handed. That little change made a big difference.

That same female actor was having trouble remembering some of her lines. Usually when that happens it is less a failing of the actor and more a failing of the words themselves, which means the script needs to be improved. So I made some quick script changes on the fly that made the commercial feel quicker and tighter.

Another issue the director of photography brought to my attention was that the scene was feeling a little too staged. To solve it, he offered to put something in the foreground to make it feel a little more natural. So we found a table saw on wheels and placed it in the foreground of the scene. Just what the doctor ordered.



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