In high school, we all knew that one kid who had some element of nerd: huge glasses, head in the books, and comic books (or maybe a weird combination of all three). Sometimes they had friends. Sometimes they didn’t. Often, they were bullied for being a little different. In childhood and adolescence, it sucked. But in adulthood? It might be safe to say that nerds are winning.
Despite the different types of nerds (from theatre geeks to sci-fi writers and everything in between), one thing that unites us all is our investment in non-conventional things. We are the ones who hunt for “irrelevant” information. We pay attention to detail. And we’re dedicated to what we do.
We are the “ideal” workers that any employer would love to have. This is probably how we’ve managed to take corporate. With immaculate precision, we’ve infiltrated the workforce. We’ve become the CEOs, technical muscle, and brains behind it all. You know, things that make the real money. And we’re like roaches; we’re everywhere. In your cubicles. At your cafeteria tables. In your elevators. Everywhere.
So, how does this relate to corporate video? Well, when creating content for different corporate businesses, it’s important to find some common ground. A company’s vision has to resonate with their audience in some way. A lot of things we’ve associated in the past with “nerd” are a lot more accepting by pop culture today. It’s becoming easier to broaden your audience while staying true to who you are. Your true nerd essence.
Even if “nerds” are not a target audience, here are a few takeaway lessons that any client will appreciate:
An emotional appeal
Almost every corporate video tries to lure its audience in with emotion. By appealing to the senses, a target demographic reacts on a visceral level. According to PsychologyToday, brand advertising becomes powerful when an emotional connection is established. However, it’s important to keep a balance of a rational and emotional appeal.
Ever wonder why comic books appeal to us so much? Well, let’s look at story. There are certain narratives found in comic book series. They often include a coming-of-age tale, the downfall of civilization, or a hero’s journey. It’s not necessary to follow that same formula in corporate video, but having a narrative helps describe who you are and what your company stands for.
If you’re a niche company, even better. It’s easy to appeal to your audience by marketing specifically to their needs. If you’re a creative coffee shop that caters to a specialized crowd, a minimalist-style video with warm light will suffice. You can even include close-ups of creative latte names. Simple appliances can be decorated with “hipster-esque” themes. The more niche, the better.
Showing off a skill-set
All companies benefit from showing off their services – but not all can do it with style. A clean, chic corporate video that showcases how to use an app not only matches a company’s aesthetic, but also appeals to clean, chic users. For companies who want the nitty-gritty, your video should match that visual and show in-depth how you achieve your goals.
Being the bigger person
Eliminate an “us vs. them” mentally when marketing your company. Unlike the mean bullies in high school who bullied or excluded you, be the bigger person. Or in this case, company. Create a welcoming environment for all walks of life – not just nerds. You never know just who will come into contact with your brand. Market yourself as easily accessible for even the, well, “dimmest” of people, but challenging enough for the average consumer.
Making an audience think
Be provocative with your message. Your audience will appreciate a strong, creative, and witty message. Projecting information with statistics and graphs is fine, but questioning your audience (or better yet, planting the idea that your audience think they has a choice) may get you your desired effect.
But be careful. Something that’s too difficult to understand may backfire or go over your audience’s heads. You don’t want to confuse them.
Moving past the inner skeptic
Who could forget the epic scene in The Social Network when Jessie Eisenberg (who plays Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg) “points some gaping holes” in Harvard’s security system?
Engineer blogger Pete Warden conveniently notes his skepticism when testing out code. Placing our trust in facts and figures is more assured than intuition. Companies benefit from researching the most effective ways to maximize their audiences. Heck, it worked for Netflix.
What are some other ways nerd culture has affected corporate video? Comment and share below!