May 24, 2017
Listen! Remember what you’re taught, or you’ll spend your whole life flipping burgers! That’s what a college lecturer once told me when I was studying English, whilst also flipping beef patties at my local Burger King restaurant. I did listen and I’m pleased to say I haven’t flipped a burger in over a decade, but I do still enjoy things that flip.
Skateboarding legend Tony Hawk performing flip tricks, Mexican wrestlers rotating around the ring, circus trapeze artists somersaulting in the Big Top rafters – I love them all. I even love the water bottle flip shots that seem to make up 99% of all recent YouTube uploads.
But what does all this have to do with video I hear you ask? Well, one of the most engaging, unique and popular approaches to sharing research, insight or key messages can be flip board videos. Flip boards involve respondents writing a word or phrase on a dry-wipe white board and then flipping it towards the camera to reveal. Below are the five top reasons why you should use flip boards in your insight videos.
A typical vox pops video can include about 6 respondents in a minute, whereas in a flip board video you can comfortably feature 15 people across 60 seconds. This can be particularly beneficial when bringing research findings to life, or trying to share a lot of stats and figures in an engaging why. If you really want to show you have surveyed a cross section of society, flip boards should be the way to go. When trying to understand how often millennials looked at their phones a day, we used flip boards to help get as many respondents as possible into the beginning of the video.
Comedy magician Tommy Cooper famously said “always leave them laughing”; George Bernard Shaw said “If you want to tell people the truth, make them laugh, otherwise they’ll kill you” and almost everyone under the sun has once said “laughter is the best medicine”.
It is often hard to get people to have fun, or be funny in front of a camera, especially if you have just stopped them on the street. Flip boards can be a great way to help people to have fun when answering research questions on the street and can definitely elicit more fun results than a normal questionnaire for your insight video.
Last year, we used flip boards as a fun way to discuss train travel with commuters on behalf of the Trainline. Using flip boards helped turn a potentially boring or cantankerous subject such as rail prices into a fun topic as respondents drew pictures of how they would spend the money saved through booking tickets online via The Trainline.com. Filming across a Bank Holiday weekend also meant people drew wacky and funny items.
Trainline used the final videos as part of its social media campaign. The train firm isn’t the only company we have worked with on flip boards for social media, as they can be a really effective way to engage with people through their social media without them having to reach for the headphones. Even if the flip boards are being used as part of an insight video, think about how the content could be used elsewhere – in other channels and for different audiences.
As the main focus is on what is written on the boards and not what people are saying, people can watch the videos without the sound and still take home the key messages and information. This also means that these videos can work really well in all places where you want to share a message without blasting out sound, for example on people’s mobile handsets, in a reception area and on plasma screens.
But, back to social. We created a series of flip board videos for Co-op Funeralcare in which we used the boards to play a Mr & Mrs-style game at County Shows across the UK. In the game one person had to write their answer to a funeral-related question on a flip board and their partner had to write what they thought they had written. Themes ranged from what music people would like played at their funeral to if they’d like to be buried or cremated.
Using flip boards for the Co-op Funeralcare Mr & Mrs game show also helped create suspense and intrigue over whether the answers would match. When the answers were revealed, and were often very far off matching, it created funny answers and lots of natural debate between respondents.
By asking each of the couples a number of questions in the manner we did meant that once they had got a few wrong the intrigue grew. It left the viewer wondering if the couples would ever get an answer right and helped keep the viewer engaged and intrigued until the end of the video.
This was particularly important for these videos, as although they were meant as a bit of fun the important message of ‘people need to talk more about funeral plans’ didn’t truly come until the end of the video.
Flip boards are also a highly effective way to conduct a straw poll with respondents on a new product. When Asda wanted to know what people thought of its new Chicken in a bag product we hit the retailer’s aisles and asked shoppers to write their initial thoughts on flip boards. This helped create a buzz around the product and reflect how excited people were about the chicken in a bag. Using flip boards can be perfect for both a pure research project to get to the bottom of what people think of a new product, or to illustrate existing research.
I encourage you to think about how using flip boards might apply to your research, because it is a great way to deliver insight with impact and engage stakeholders. You can read more about it on our website and get in touch if you’d like to consider using flip boards in your next project.
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