In a world swamped with words and text, everyone is trying to solve the same problem: how can we prevent our message from sinking without trace?
Everything we do here stems from our firm belief in the power of visual communication. We think and express ourselves in pictures – it’s the way we were made – and we help others to do the same. We champion the visual approach to clients who would more instinctively turn to words to tell their story.
It’s not new (or particularly interesting) to point out that, thanks to the internet, we’re now overloaded with information. And it will come as a surprise to no one that our prescription to combat, or at least alleviate, ‘infobesity’ or ‘infoxication’ – just a couple of the dafter names used to describe this modern malady – is to use fewer words and more pictures. But what IS new and exciting, is the realisation that the rest of world suddenly agrees with us.
Visual content is big right now, and getting bigger all the time. When the last year ended and the new one began, every trend forecaster out there declared this to be the year that visual content would take over the internet. (On the back of extremely similar, albeit slightly less bold, statements the year before and the year before that).
A year ago, a study by Citrix showed that almost two thirds of social media content was visual. Needless to say, it accounts for an even greater proportion now, and with Twitter’s new video feature fresh out of the box this week – positioning it as a genuine rival to YouTube and Facebook in the video-sharing stakes – our desire to communicate visually, and our re-awakened instinct for it – it’s a primal thing, after all – is being recognised and placed at the heart of developing communication technologies.
While there is an undeniable temptation for us to say, ‘Yeah! Stop using a thousand words where a picture or video would do a much better job!’, we figured there are enough data-fixated content marketers out there, already doing that job for us.
So, instead, here’s our run-down of the circumstances in which – in our experience – video content has the most power (using a few examples from our own archive to demonstrate – we hope you enjoy them).
When you don't have a hope of explaining something with words alone. Our award-winning Made Simple series, for The Guardian, was designed to make the most complicated concepts easy to understand, through captivating visual explanation.
When you need tell your audience something important… but not exactly fascinating. Like explaining the cookies policy on your website, for instance. It’s like a spoonful of a sugar: a lovely bite-sized chunk of video content helps the medicine go down.
When you need an accessible primer to an absolutely huge and complex subject, like this introduction to the concept of public health, commissioned by Public Health Wessex.
When time is of the essence to maximize the reach of your message. Like, for instance, if you’re announcing an exciting competition, but the deadline for entries is on the horizon. Our animation for the Guardian’s small business awards is a nice example.
When you want to highlight the human story at the heart of your message. Like in this little animation for Project Wild Thing.
When you need to create a story to carry your message, like here – where we found a story and a personality (if not a coherent narrative, exactly) within the pages of the Collins English Dictionary.