Like all good creatives, we’re always learning. For us that includes always being on the lookout for exceptional video production. It inspires us, challenges us, and helps us decide what ideas might work (or not) for our clients. Charities and arts organisations make up the bulk of the video content we produce, so we asked Will Wray-Lang, our Junior Video Producer, to share his top 10 examples of charity video content.
UNICEF are a great example of a charity who hammer out an abundance of powerful, engaging and inspiring video content. This video, which is featured on their YouTube channel, provides an effective overview of what UNICEF as a charity does
The ‘We won’t stop’ video is 60 seconds long, but only needs this allotted time to leave an impression. This is a tremendous illustration of a video showreel and how it can engage with the consumer. The quick and effectual close up cut shots, drone footage, slow motion shots and clips from other video content are assembled together to really pull the viewer in and take them on an unforgettable journey in the world of this charity. The video is designed to have a quick and snappy impact in a short space of time. The consumer should feel excited, moved, saddened and inspired to help the cause that UNICEF is setting in motion. An eye catching and commanding message shown in 60 seconds!
Secondly, we have an appeal video from Shelter, which was released on their Instagram page. This is a much more specific approach to charity video content, giving the viewer a clear and urgent insight into why they need donations, and what they will do with them.
Again, this is a 60 second clip – notice a recurring theme? However, it only needs this amount of time to be impactful. The appeal video is informative, educational and enticing as the narrative also uses case studies of real people to help further the cause. This adds a hard-hitting impression to the consumer to show them this is the reality, people are suffering.
British Heart Foundation
Boy – It starts with your heart by the British Heart Foundation has a positive and relaxing feel but an important undertone. The audience are introduced to a young boy who simply walks down the street and into his house while talking to camera about his own story and the importance of the heart.
The makers of this film have deliberately grounded it in normality. The viewer can feel at ease watching this video as the boy is bright, positive and brings a sense of warmth. However his message is clear, the heart is important.
This video is only made up of three shots, yet still used in a very productive manner. It is clean, clear and crisp. The consumer is informed and made to feel comfortable at the same time, which will encourage them to think about this charity in the future.
This next example is quite different to the rest in its length and storytelling style, but works brilliantly as part of a wider content marketing strategy.
This video is a 19 minute long story about the humble beginnings and development of the charity by the founder Scott Harrison. This short documentary goes into the incredible highs including the rise of the charity to help other countries produce clean water, to the painful lows of the death of 9 year old fundraiser Rachel Beckwith. However, even through death, her legacy continued on, as thousands of people supported her fundraiser she had set up before her tragic passing.
This video is a rollercoaster journey of emotions, with an inspiring story and message to help others in need. Consumers who watch this documentary will feel engaged with the charity on a personal level as the film is an insight to the challenges they have faced during their existence.
Other third sector organisations would benefit greatly from learning about this style of video content, as it gives the consumer a chance to deeply understand the charity and product in a way the other examples can’t.
Here’s an example that uses animation to powerful effect. RNIB (Royal National Institute of Blind People) is a UK charity offering information, support and advice to almost two million people in the UK with sight loss.
This video attached is a 3 minute animation and offers a fresh, unorthodox feel for the consumer. The film is pleasing to the eye, intriguing and different. Originality is crucial if you want to stand out – hence the distinctive style and colours adopted here.
As well as the free flowing visuals, the narrative is educational, informative and moving. In the video we also hear from real people who have benefited from and worked for the charity. It is a well rounded video that offers a flavour of something different. It goes without saying – but charity video content doesn’t have to be sombre and muted.
Prostate Cancer UK
Prostate Cancer UK’s profile is rising and a factor that has played a part is the video content they provide. The charity works closely with high profile organisations such as Sky Sports to help their cause. Athletes and presenters such as the former longest reigning world cruiserweight champion of all time, Johnny Nelson have been a part of the charity’s video content platform.
This video is only 30 seconds long and shows one of the many public figures who discuss their own personal experiences with prostate cancer. However, as the video is short, it is impactful from the outset. The simple method of a one shot set up allows the consumer to focus on what Johnny Nelson has to say.
There are two points to take away here from this style of video content. Firstly, simple can be very effective and strong with the appropriate character with a relevant storyline. Secondly, using public figures can be a good way to promote the charity as they will have large followings. This can bolster the growth of the charity.
This piece of content by Women’s Aid possesses similarities to the Prostate Cancer UK’s style. They both use a poignant, upsetting and powerful film to spread their message.
The narrative of this piece of content is a woman who suffers from domestic abuse. In the scene, Hayley sits down as artists put makeup on her face. They chat as if everything is normal. Then we see the narrative slowly turns out to be something sinister, the audience are not expecting it.
The makeup on her face is designed to make her look as if she has been attacked. Hayley then goes and sits down on another chair and begins to cry, shaking uncontrollably whilst looking directly at the camera. We then learn about the true story of another woman who was abused by her husband.
The video is distressing and may be upsetting for many viewers. On the other hand, it is an effective and straight-to-the-point way of displaying a message. The consumer will be stunned by how the narrative plays out inside the three minutes and should be left feeling moved by what they have just watched.
There are lessons other charities should take from this film. Charities don’t have to create nice, positive content to hit home a message. Showing pain, destruction and discomfort also gets the consumer engaged and can push them towards this charity with more emotion. When you’re formulating a charity video strategy, it’s crucial to consider the emotional takeaway.
Dog’s Trust assembled a film from an interesting mix of creative ideas, to hammer home the significance of their message. This video had 856K views on Facebook and demonstrates why charity marketers love this platform so much.
Facebook remains on top with a staggering 72% voting it the channel that offers the best results for charity videos. Facebook was voted the #1 platform where consumers enjoy watching brand videos.Raw London
This is a great piece of storytelling as we learn so much within 60 seconds. The highs and lows of the story are exaggerated by the use of set design and colour. The audience don’t need to hear words, the visuals are enough to feel what we’re meant to be feeling.
In this top tips video, the NSPCC shows parents how to teach their children about social media. It’s a very short teaser video, designed to pique the viewer’s interest and send them to a longer version on YouTube. The use of one contributor speaking to camera forms a relationship between the charity and the viewer. She’s a fellow parent, who shares their problems and offer simple advice without being preachy or patronising.
The use of animated graphics helps grab people’s attention on the news feed and adds a bit of originality and colour. This video is a good example of filming on a low budget; simple can be very effective.
Help For Heroes
Help For Heroes put out a highlights video to celebrate an annual event that couldn’t take place in 2020 due to the pandemic. We see fundraisers from Help For Heroes, cycling through the sites of World War I & II battles while taking the time to reflect.
We get a strong sense of camaraderie, positivity and reflection that feels totally on-brand for this charity. The film remembers the heroes who gave up their lives to preserve the freedom of others, while also showing the importance of individuals coming together in harmony for the sake of a common objective. We see the pride flowing in the final shot, a large group of fundraisers all celebrating as a collective. It gives off the impression of a family within the charity, which will no doubt have an uplifting influence on the viewer.
Here at Studio 91 Media, we hope you found this blog useful. We believe it is self evident from the ten examples above that video content within the third sector should be a thriving enterprise. Third sector video content can be produced in a variety of different ways, short and snappy or long and compelling. It can be fun, bursting with energy and positivity or it can have a deeper and more dramatic tone.
Marketers should use this blog as a blueprint for their next creative projects and look towards professional support in bringing their vision to life. Video content doesn’t have to destroy your budget with high production values. You just need passion, professionalism, creativity and a story. Get in touch with us if you’ve got any questions about what options are available to you.