Thu, January 24 2013

Three things that make a great video (get out the hanky)

Katya Andresen's avatar

Author, Robin Hood Marketing

Filed under:   Video •

Copyblogger posted this lovely video from Hope for Paws, an animal rescue organization.  (Can’t see it?  Go here.)

The Copyblogger post points to why this is great storytelling:

1. It’s remarkable: We get to go on a first-hand journey to save this dog - and the puppies.  The iPhone trick is pretty nifty too.  It’s the kind of thing you want to share because it’s different and surprising.

2. It’s emotionally compelling: We identify with the mother dog’s plight, and the amazing way she is saved.

3. There’s a clear call to action at the end.

I agree on all three fronts.  Through another lens, this is also good storytelling because there is a clear hero, something real at stake and a lesson/solution.

The best part is it’s low budget.  And it doesn’t matter.  If anything, it adds to the authenticity.

What could you film from the front lines of your work?  And before you say you can’t do this because you don’t have a cause as cute as puppies or you must respect the anonymity of those you serve, get creative.  If you’re a policy organization, go film the people who are the end beneficiaries of your work.  If you can’t film people you help, go talk to frontline staff or volunteers about their lives and experience.  Do what this video does best: Invite us into the innermost experience of your organization, and take us on the adventure it is.

  • Comment: (5)   


Excellent post and video Katya. Even thought the video was ~7 minutes, as a dog lover and life long dog owner, it kept me fully engaged. Great storytelling and I agree, the consumer grade video add to its authenticity.

Posted by Rick Noel  on  01/24  at  07:19 AM

Wonderful story!!  Truly remarkable!

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  01/24  at  12:48 PM

Great post, fantastic story - and your ideas for non-profits working with less cute clients is excellent.  I know many people often struggle when they work with or in areas that are less appealing - or difficult to understand - so I always tell them to try to think of the human element.  Staff and volunteer stories are a great example of how to do that - thanks Katya!

Posted by Heather  on  01/24  at  03:49 PM

To follow up on Heather’s comment above, regarding the human element, I actually found this video compelling because of the human “hero”. He wasn’t the central character, of course, Rosie was, and he was even kind of anonymous. But he’s obviously such a kind, gentle person that I was totally hooked watching it.

Posted by Geoff Birmingham  on  01/29  at  01:47 PM

AWWW this just put tears in my eyes. Being in the video business for charities myself I found this video very well done and it hits people right in the spot! The only thing I would say is that is it a bit to long but other then that it is an amazing low budget video and I LOVE IT!

Posted by Eddie  on  06/19  at  09:51 AM

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