“TikTok is going nuts right now. But it is a trend after all…”

In one corner- raw but authentic user generated videos. In the other- slickly produced, but budget heavy professional footage. Who can go the distance? Frank’s (Melbourne) experimental eye, and Dan’s (Brisbane) two decades of experience make them the perfect MASHers for us to have this discussion with. The floor’s yours team...

The rise of brands using Tik Tok and User Generated Content for video ads has demonstrated a trend towards less polished, ‘low fi’ content. For example, brands can now source a ‘TikTok creator’ from their new Creator Marketplace to assist them in developing ads. Couple that with Pandemic-affected ad budgets, do you think there is still a place and need for high production value content?

Frank: 

There is a time and place for every style of production, each style serves a different purpose, and right now, user generated lo-fi content seems to be most relevant given the pandemic affected world, thus gaining heaps of traction. 

But every project is different and it depends on what image the brand is trying to project. Lo-fi videos project an air of everyday relatability, accessibility, and ease. See my video for Coles: https://www.coles.com.au/inspire-and-create/recipes-tips-ideas/recipes/thahn-and-duncans-vietnamese-coleslaw-with-poached-chicken

But what if the brand wants to be aspirational or stand above the ordinary? A cheap mobile phone video won’t be able to project that sort of image. See the recent Red Rock Deli Chips ads, they are really trying to project an image of premium quality. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WqBxxgXhU38

My recent productions have been trying to bridge the gap between high quality production whilst maintaining a tiktok style of energy. It’s a bit of an experimental approach but it has seen some really great success. It has gained huge traction on Facebook and was even reposted on Mat Preston’s IG Story (@mattscravat) – See Fruit Nerd Chilli Sauce Recipe https://www.instagram.com/p/CE3xoXuDvDA/

A high production video will still look professional and feel more trustworthy when it comes to presenting authority figures or showing a premium image. Lo-fi videos help achieve an air of relatability, accessibility and even at times, believability. They both have their own place for different purposes and are both here to stay.  

Dan: 

High production value content is decreasing and will continue to. But there are still big brands that can afford to use it to their advantage and stand out when it counts.

I think the most important aspect of video content is having a great idea and executed well to your target audience on whatever platform. You could see high production value come into Tik Tok ads to stand out from the crowd! 

What does the buzz phrase “Authentic Content” actually mean to you? And who does it well?

Dan: 

To me, real, honest, not too scripted, makes a connection. I can’t think of any that do it well.

Frank:

To me, the meaning of authentic is when the intention of the content is driven by a personal passion to send out a message. In terms of video content it’s shown when a person’s personality can shine through, when they really believe in the idea they are presenting, and when their passion can be felt on camera. 

Not many big brands have real authenticity – they are too big and guided by the interests of corporate politics and the need to generate sales and profit (it’s inescapable). It might just be me, but even if big brands try to appear as authentic, it is apparent that they are merely trying to be perceived that way through their marketing. 

Smaller brands and people with personal brands are still able to show authenticity through their own passion and drive.

That being said, Nike is pretty good at maintaining an authentic image by leveraging personal brands through athletes and their personal stories. See video with Lebron James https://www.instagram.com/p/B6QjxOvAs-7/

What is a video content trend that’s intriguing you at the moment – can you give examples?

Frank: 

TikTok seems to be going nuts right now. But it is a trend afterall. Just remember that before TikTok, there was Snapchat and before that was Vine (Twitter’s video platform). Both have fallen off the radar and mostly forgotten so who knows how long TikTok will last? Instagram on the other hand, has been able to live long and prosper through these trends. They were able to introduce video posts to counter Vine, and introduced stories to counter Snapchat. Now, they’ve just introduced Reels to counter TikTok. 

Personally I’ve been really interested in dynamic movement and speed ramping between fast and slow motion being popularised by Daniel Schiffer. It’s something I’ve been incorporating into my latest productions and I’ve been thinking about how to expand it into different video genres. See example https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uL3SWSm97-I

Dan:

Having a teaser/ preview of whats coming up in a medium duration video, (3+ mins)  without saying ‘coming up’. The video launches straight into the best part of the video, then jumps back to the beginning to deliver the story. Gary Vee is good at this.

Left: Frank. Right: Dan.

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