Back in January, I was asked by the ladies of Alpha Phi to shoot a promo video for their spring philanthropy, “Phifa,” a week-long soccer tournament that raises money for women’s heart health and cardiac care.
I didn’t make them a video.
Here’s what we did instead, and why it worked.
The key here was identifying the real task at hand, the actual problem in it’s simplest form. Most people would ask, “How do we tell people about our soccer tournament” and then make a video showing a bunch of girls playing soccer and explaining where the money would be donated.
Most college promos follow this playbook. That’s fine…but it’s not effective. It’s boring. It’s too broad. You have to ask the right questions.
- Who participates in this tournament? Frat guys.
- How do we convince a frat guy, (anyone) to participate in an event? Personal benefit (ie: a challenge, brotherhood, winning ).
- How do we market to them?
This is where people blow it. They get so caught up in complex marketing schemes they’ve read about but never tested, lame incentives, or being “shocking” that they ignore the idea that all successful companies have been leveraging for years to market their products.
How people think. And how our minds learn to like something.
The question is not “how do I convince someone to do (X)?” It should be “how do I teach someone to like (X)?”
The answer… Repetition.
I didn’t make them a video. I made them a campaign. 4 videos, 15-20 seconds each, showing girls in various competitive scenarios with the same text popping across the screen. “March 30th, You Better Bring Your A-Game….. PHIFA 15.”
- Creating Context: 1 video of a girl working out in neon spandex is strange. But 4 videos of girls preparing for a week of competition is “Oh, they are Bringing Their A-Game.” It somehow makes sense.
- Repetition: Date, Message, Title. That’s it. 4 separate times. That’s what we want to stick. Keep it simple.
- Attention Span: THEY ARE SHORT. No one is going to watch your 6 minute fundraiser video. Would you?
- Shareability: 15 seconds is easy to share. Assuming your content is entertaining, people are going to watch it more than once.
- Call to Action: “Bring Your A-Game” not only creates context, it is a call-to-action. This is what most promos lack. A challenge. Guys don’t like being shown up. These girls are ready… are you? Bruh.
If you strip the videos down to its elements we basically have 3 things. Text, visuals, and music. All we actually care about is the text. The visuals and music are simply there to stimulate.
Pleasing visuals + repeating message = Pleasing message.
Cameras: Canon 5d Mark II + Canon T2i
Lenses: 50mm 1.4 + 17-40L F.4
Lights: 2 x Kino Flo Divas
Support: Kessler Slider
Here are the light setups for the 2 videos that required them
If you are interested in seeing the original video treatments and project checklist, I am happy to send it to you. Just email me at TheAfterHourPhoto@gmail.com with the subject line “Video Treatment” and you can use the templates however you want for your own work.
The Finished Product
So did the campaign work? It sure did. 27 frats paid to participate in the tournament. That’s a huge chunk of money going to a really important cause.
People like things that are familiar. Have you ever caught yourself singing a song on the radio you hated? You might not like the song, but your brain does. Why? Because it recognizes it. It’s that simple. Modern skulls hold stone-age minds. We learn through repeated exposure.