Commercial Agents get on film

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Commercial Agents get on film


Corporate video has been with us for many years. It is a powerful tool, but traditionally it’s been used by large corporate organisations to motivate vast workforces, galvanise opinion, aid smooth internal change, launch multi-million pound products and communicate brand values. Although a highly effective form of communication, its wide spread use was limited because of its high productions and distribution cost.

Yet in recent years, reduced costs along with cheaper hardware and software have meant that video has become a viable communication option for most companies. Perhaps more importantly the ease that video content can now be delivered online has opened up a wealth of possibilities.

Who’s Using Video?

Over the last 18 to 24 months there has been a marked increase in the amount of companies in the commercial property sector actively using online video.

Jones Lang Lasalle, Knight Frank, DTZ, CBRE, Savills all actively use video to some degree or other. Of course video has been used as part of Graduate Recruitment programs for many years, but many of these commercial agents are finding new ways (at least new to the commercial property sector) to exploit the power of the moving image.

Many now feature video on their websites and also post video on YouTube, whereas companies like Knight Frank use video extensively across different areas of their business. Crucially they use it as part of an integrated communication strategy.

Why Use Video?

The moving image, when done well, is the most powerful form of communication available to a business. Video can communicate strong, emotive messages in a fraction of the time that for example print can. And via the right channel it can reach hundreds, thousand and sometimes even millions of people.

Video can also get you noticed in another way, Google! We will look at this in more detail next week, amongst other things. The secret is to develop content that delivers a perceived value to the audience.

How Are They Using Video

Video is a tool for building relationships and conveying personality and atmosphere, hence why corporates use video for recruitment to convey corporate character. But commercial agents are now using video for more than the ‘milk round”.

CBRE for example have corporate profiles targeting different territories, using creative graphics to convey the organisations attributes across multiple languages.  They even have a video covering the company’s history.

Knight Frank feature video targeted at the Chinese market with Mandarin (or it could be Cantonese or Wu, who knows…a Chinaman I presume?) subtitles. Others like Jones Lang Lasalle use video to provide market reports, opinion, forecasts, report on special events and cover their own PR activities.

CBRE also create video marketing collateral for commercial developments and prestigious office space. That said the majority are created in the US and feature cringe worthy music, clichéd scripts and corny voiceovers delivered in an annoying East Coast accent.

Who’s Doing It Well?

Jones Lang LaSalle has a dedicated YouTube channel. This fully branded page was established in 2006 and hosts a range of video covering a variety of topics. Content is divided across playlists for Asia Pacific, US, Americas, EMEA, China, UK and Brazil as well as more general playlist featuring more generic reports, news and opinion pieces.

Production values vary, often its ‘talking heads’ from within the company, speaking straight to camera and not in the most creative of was. Clearly it’s managed in-house and I think it shows. It wouldn’t take much to improve the execution, but only with some outside help.

Knight Frank have a very integrated approach to video. As well as their own YouTube channel, they also feature video on their website and a very well designed and maintained Facebook page. Their Vvideo content covers the usual areas, but one piece is particularly impressive.

The online video showcasing the proposed redevelopment of Battersea Power Station features architect Rafael Vinoly explaining his creative vision. This video is stylish, contemporary with fantastic production values. But most of all I love the delightful creative device of Vinoly sketching his vision. It brings the overall scheme to life and gives it a human perspective. I urge you to check it out.

Cheaper Than You Think

You’d be surprised how affordable video actually is. If you want to find out more look out for future articles over the coming weeks or feel free to get in contact with me.

Philip Burrows, Marketing Consultant