Less is more - the 'key message' conundrum

What is most important: a film’s overall objective, or its key messages?

I would argue that if a film meets its objectives, in most cases the key messages are less relevant.

For example, let’s say you’re making a film to promote a new type of gluten-free bread and the objective is to sell more loaves. The key messages might be that it is gluten-free, healthier, tastes as good as ‘regular’ bread, and is reasonably priced.

You watch the first edit but don’t feel that the message about health is clear. When the film is tested amongst your target audience however, they all agree that they would buy the bread. Adding footage that makes the health message clearer will make the film longer and may dilute it to the point that it becomes less effective – no longer meeting the objective.

So, what do you do?

The key is to always put your audience first. A film that ticks all the boxes may be a complete waste of time and money, if it’s then less engaging because you’ve spent so much time cramming in all the messages YOU feel are most important. Use video to grab attention, create an emotional reaction, and then drive people to other channels where more information is available, if appropriate – your website for example.

Remember - achieving the overall objective should always take priority, even if that means heated internal discussions about leaving some key messages out!

Simon Crofts
Client Services Director