Most of our clients, when they first work with us, have not used video before. Consequently, they don’t know how to brief what they are looking for in a video. It’s certainly not difficult, and not that far removed from briefing other market research requirements.

Here are a few pointers when thinking about how to brief video research.

#1 Start with the end in mind

What is the end purpose of the video? Consider who the target audience is and how and where they will be watching the video. This will help determine how long it needs to be.

How many videos are required? If asking a set of questions you may want a video per question, theme, demographic and so on. Consider how best to present your insights to keep things as simple and engaging as possible.

As with any research, specify the objectives for the video. What do you want people to think or feel as a result of watching the work?

#2 Can we find your respondents via intercepts or do we need to pre-recruit?

Split image with a vox pop interview on the left and a pre-recruited interview on the right.

If we are going to conduct vox pops interviews, we do not need to pre-recruit. Instead, we seek out your target audience on location, aiming to get between 12-14, 10-minute interviews a day. This service can be turned around in well under a week, even 48 hours.

If your sample is harder to reach then it will be a requirement to pre-recruit. The most common filming method for pre-recruited candidates is in-home depth interviews. We allow a minimum of 1.5 hours per respondent giving time to set up the camera and delve fully into the subject matter. Basic cutaways are also captured to provide context for the interview. Depth interviews can be turned around in under 2 weeks.

#3 Be clear if this is pure research or if it’s for illustrating research findings you already have

Knowing this at the start of the project enables us to structure questions accordingly. If the video is for pure research we would ask balanced and open-ended questions. If however, you need the video to illustrate findings already known, we would ask more leading questions that support the insights already found.

#4 How involved do you want to be in the process?

Once we have filmed, we normally have 2 hours of footage for every half-day of filming. We edit this down to a “best of” edit that is usually around 15 minutes long for a final video length of 3-4 minutes. At this point, the client can watch and decide which exact quotes they want to be included in the final video.

Other clients leave it all to us. We’re easy on what option is chosen. It tends to be that for “pure research”, clients want to be more involved in the process, and for the illustrative work, when the brief has been far more specific, they are happy to leave us to it.

#5 How creative do you want the end videos to be?

Clients need to decide if they want to go for a Classic or Semi Creative edit.

The Classic edit is simply the edited film. With semi-creative edits we add text and graphics to bring added meaning and clarity to the messages being conveyed by the Video.

As Video research grows in popularity clients are becoming more interested in the post-production possibilities that semi creative editing brings.

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