The Campaign Lives: Building projects with Volume
The reality is that music videos are dead, artists don't need them, and producing music videos is dangerous. The internet is saturated with tons of content and every day new technology releases, making just about everyone capable of producing "quality" content. Why hire a professional videographer? Truthfully you shouldn't. High-quality video isn't enough to sustain musicians, and that's why music videos are becoming less and less effective.
A common approach we take with our artists is talking them out of big, flashy ideas. A wow factor is essential, and we absolutely love producing big ideas; however, we want to make sure a project is effective and sustainable. We find this approach to set the right expectations and get us into the conversations we want, directed at a strategy, instead of only the video. So, where to start?
We've never really seen ourselves as music video producers, but we know that's what we get labeled as most often. It makes sense from the outside, but if you've worked with us, you know how much we value delivering a body of content. We preach the importance of brand touch-points, emotional buy-in, and brand identity. We are more focused on delivering campaigns with a large volume of deliverables that strategize to support pre-release, release, and post-release follow-up strategies. We know this approach is far more useful for our clients and often overlooked. Why?
We take time to see things from their perspectives. Most artists are getting more business savvy, which has us ecstatic, but quite a few still need a soundboard they can trust. Bands write meaningful songs and ultimately want to make connections with their fans. Being good at our job is understanding our audiences, audience. Meaning we have to understand our client's fans and make predictions on what these pieces of content should look like, feel like, and interact with the fans. Taking this approach removes selfish desires, only producing the coolest ideas, and moves to a more practical approach, designing a project that feels on-brand and aligns with our client's core values, mission, theme, or all three.
To start every project, we get to know the foundation elements first before we ever start building a quote or throwing out ideas. It takes asking questions and putting your client's interest before your creative interests. At first, it felt tricky, but with time, you get good at building upon your client's vision with your expertise to craft projects that are meaningful to the client, creatively challenging to you, and mutually rewarding.
To follow this up, we also start working towards a win-win-win scenario, our ultimate goal. If our client has a successful project, we're likely enjoying the creative process too, and ultimately more likely, we will continue working together. The client wins, we win, and the relationship wins. It's easy to get short-sighted, thinking that making a cooler creative idea with the best cinematography, biggest team, and latest gear would accel our career and client. In some cases, this can work, but it's a cautious short-term win in most cases.
We often refer to this as shooting for the reel irresponsibly. By no means am I saying to produce lack-luster videos, but sustainability plays a role. We would rather work incrementally towards larger video projects and have a healthy relationship than shooting something grandiose and wait three years to work together again. We're very honest with our clients about what kind of projects we can do with their budgets. It's a game of "reverse engineering" to ensure their idea is achievable, our quality standard remains intact, and the strategy still exists.
We've been producing music videos with this idea since 2013, but it took time to earn our client's trust, build the confidence needed to speak this way, and help more see we are playing a different game. Early on, we would get frustrated when our advice wasn't taken seriously or watch a project tank. This started to change with persistence and consistency. We saw the vision and understood its importance, but people resist change until they realize the pain of staying the same is worst than the inevitable change they have to make. Be there for your clients, start showing them solutions to their problems and play for them more than taking. With time you'll see good things. It's why we still produce music videos. It took years to position ourselves as a unique value-based business to our clients.
These days we have fewer clients, better projects, smoother conversations, and feel more creatively charged than ever before. This isn't by accident. We work very hard to maintain relationships, start each new relationship off on the right foot and add value where we can. We keep things simple and to our core values of serving artists great experiences. We innovate from here to make each project better and make our team more robust and passionate. We were a diamond in the rough for a long time, but these days we're so grateful for those formative years, patience and challenges. They informed who we were and who we serve.
Music videos are dead. The campaign lives. Start giving your artists what they need first, and the returns will flourish.
Take away Action Points
Look for win-win-win scenarios
Focus on relationship over price tag
Discovery clients needs
Vet your clients
Deliver volume with intention