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Videos for Charities: what makes the best charity videos so impactful?

Videos for Charities: what makes the best charity videos so impactful?

My name is Ben Matthews, I’m the director of an agency called Montfort. We do digital marketing for social good causes. Today we’re going to be looking at three charity videos, seeing what makes them
effective and learning what other charities can take from them and how to
make their own videos good as well. Here we have a 16 year old girl with HIV
asking for a hug by UNICEF. f here we have “Freedom”, promoting International Day of
the Girl. What makes video so effective for
charities is the immediacy, the authenticity and the kind of glamour that comes
with video. In modern video we often turn the concepts of video structure on its
head, because people’s attention spans are so short, you want to get the main
message across within the first few seconds. Humour in videos is really important for charities, because it gets people’s attention. What the danger is is you
trivialize the cause, so actually a child in a refugee camp is not a laughing
matter. But I think that’s the tension there.
It’s Batman, it’s comedy, but in a serious situation, so I think they do
balancing well there. It’s definitely challenge in the balance
between educating viewers and entertaining them. I think lots of
charities looked at entertainment first because that engages people, so bringing in that education part is more difficult. I think this girl’s movement video does
that really well. It balances both so you get the entertainment and it also gets
the message across. I think the War Child one does that well as well and as
you can see from UNICEF one that was much more about education. I think what
put small charities off from making videos is perhaps the expense. Videos can be very expensive to create and I think the three ones we
look at are high production values and probably did cost a lot to make. But with
social media video doesn’t have to be expensive. It can be shot on a smartphone. All people care about really is getting the story behind what the charity does
and as long as you’re just being authentic, as long as you’re explaining
what you’re doing, again people don’t care about how polished it is. They just
want to see what the story is. So one important thing to think about when creating a video is the sound, because it’s okay for filming on a smartphone,
the videos are generally okay. The sound is much harder to get right, so you will need a
decent microphone, you will need a quiet space if you’re doing that kind of video. Or even if you’re not and just putting music on the top, you’re going to spend a
lot of time trying to get the music right to fit the mood. Spend more time on
the planning of the video than you do on the actual recording. Most of these
videos successes don’t come from the actual filming, they come from the
planning, the scripting and the promotion afterwards. So make sure you’re spending
a lot of time on that as well as the production.

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