Key West Video Best of 2018

Key West Video Best of 2018

Over the course of a year, we work on a lot of projects at Key West Video and 2018 was particularly busy. We worked locally with cities and regions. Clients such as Ornge, Bain & Company and Sun Life Financial were regulars on our roster. There were music videos shot in our studio and we supported more than one crowdfunding campaign. Cars, kids and colleges all had starring roles in our productions. We promoted apps, animated beer taps and even got into the international film scene. In short, it was one heck of a year! Here are some of the projects that left a lasting impression.

Local Heroes

Grant Thornton has been a client for years and they bring us a lot of interesting work. In the summer, the accounting and business advisory firm asked us to produce something they called Five Stories. We were given twenty-five biographies and asked to think about which would translate best to brand stories. Our DOP had the first look and he chose candidates that represented his visual interests. After he made suggestions, the client had the final say and we narrowed the group down to five. We were asked to flesh out a story for each that ran sixty to ninety seconds. The theme was human connection. It was our job to show how each Grant Thornton employee was connecting with their client while also contributing to the community. We shot in Nova Scotia and B.C. for the videos that now live on the client’s careers website. 

This project was a top pick for many of us here at Key West Video. The owner liked that we were asked to do something different. It was up to us to pitch ideas, shoot in a more cinematic way and step outside the corporate box. Our DOP sunk his teeth into a dramatization that illustrates how these employees are involved with their community and have a real impact on their client’s lives. He saw firsthand how services are tailored to specialized industries in different parts of the country. The resident writer loved the challenge of telling each story in a way that satisfied stakeholder goals and connected with the viewer.

Here’s the story of Josh, Orchard Hill Farm and one of the cutest babies we’ve ever seen.

Key West Video Best of 2018

Talking Beer Taps

Many of our videos are created to be used internally. Sometimes these are training videos or CEO addresses shared with the entire company. Other times, they’re lip-synced music videos and spoofs that bring some levity to a meeting or seminar. Last winter, we produced a series of videos for Labatt Breweries to be used at their National Commercial Conference. There were videos that showcased branded swag, employees throwing out pitches for the Blue Jays, GIFs, and one video in particular that featured animated characters. The editor who worked on this project dug deep to bring some recognizable bar staff to life. Some other Key West Video employees pitched in with voice work.

Key West Video Best of 2018

Keep on Truckin’

Our DOP loves assignments for creative advertising agency Tattoo Projects. Based in North Carolina, Tattoo has clients all over the USA. That means our shooters get to travel and are often working with artists. It’s fun to shoot colourful visuals and capture the passion so many of these subjects have for their work.

In the fall, we worked with Tattoo Projects to help promote their client, convenience store chain Sheetz. These stores are well-known and well-loved with 500 locations across six states. Our DOP liked that this promotion was tied to artists working on pieces that represent their regions. He enjoyed learning about local features and the pride people took in their hometowns. The editor who worked on the video below had fun with all the footage our shooter gathered and liked cutting with music that isn’t the norm around here.

Key West Video Best of 2018

Small Business, Big Impact

Key West Video understands what it’s like to be a small business. We may work for some pretty big companies, but we also like to feature the little guys. Client Copper Marketing hired us to produce a series of videos featuring small businesses for Toronto Finance International. One of our shooters said the video for Paul’s Boutique was one his favourite jobs this year. He liked the opportunity to move away from an office environment and shoot in a visually stimulating setting. We think you’ll see what he means when you watch this video.

Key West Video Best of 2018

Learning and Growing

Key West Video Best of 2018
Line art from a new animation

Animation is a big part of what we do at Key West Video. Our animator is always busy with explainer videos for new apps, promotional pieces for benefits, and all sorts of other projects. She’s currently working with some line art and iconography animation, which she likes because it’s different from the usual story-based projects.

Our writer enjoyed scripting an animated piece for the Learning Disabilities Association of Ontario. From the first meeting with LDAO staff, she felt connected to this project. Part of working in corporate video is learning about new businesses and services. This project taught our writer about the language used in this field and challenged her to consider the perspective of the characters being represented in the video. It’s the writer’s job to get inside the head of the target market and write in a way that connects with the audience. On top of all that, she loved what the animator did to bring the script to life.

Key West Video Best of 2018

Fun, Fun, Fun

We have one word to describe working with the City of Vaughan on their part-time recreational jobs video: fun! This client was accommodating, full of ideas and really excited about their program. When we shot with the workers featured in the video, it wasn’t hard to sell the idea that this would be a great place to work. We pitched an idea that showed the employees in action and paired that with an animated white card to punctuate their job titles and why they loved their work. The writer had a vision for this project and the editor was challenged by the technique used with the cards. Do you know which tv show we’re paying homage to with the introductory sequence?

Key West Video Best of 2018

Key West Video Final Thoughts

Thanks to all our clients for bringing us another great year of projects. In 2019, we hope to stretch our minds and flex our video muscle even more. Regardless of the message you want to deliver, Key West Video is up for the challenge. Call us today and let’s see if we can get you on our best of list next year.

App Demo Videos

app demo videos

So you made an app? Good for you! Now you need to let people know about it so they can start downloading. You can promote your app on a website, push it on social media, or buy search ads. But one of the fastest and most effective ways to create awareness is with an app demo video.

Why Video Works

Video generates awareness. When it comes to apps, people want to see them in action. You can describe what your app does, but showing how it works enables the viewer to imagine using it. Reading that an app matches paint colour is one thing. But watching a short demo showing you how the app takes a picture, matches your wall colour, and identifies nearby stores that carry your paint is something else. Once you’ve seen the demo, you’ll remember that app when it comes time to put a fresh coat of paint on the living room wall.

App Demo Videos
Your app stands out with a video demo

Whether a potential customer comes across your app in a search or stumbles on it by accident, a video can lead to conversions. In a search, your product will stand out if it has a video attached. If you’re selling your app on the Apple App Store, take advantage of the app preview option. Google’s Play Store also allows you to include a short video. Use this opportunity to convince the buyer that your app will make their life easier.

App Demo Essentials

The first thing to remember when creating a video for your app is to keep it short. You may only have fifteen seconds to sell your product, so get right to the point. For super short videos, you need that hook that convinces an audience why they can’t live without your app. Tell them what problem you’re solving or how you’re making life easier. When you have a little more time, start with the practical features and navigation. Does your app save the user money? Will it make a commute less dull? Show people how it works with a simple demo. Brand your product and tell the audience where to get it. Ideally, this video is appearing in tandem with an option to buy and download. If not, make sure you tell people how to buy your app with a CTA.

Format and Tone

App Demo Videos
Speak to your target market with a demo

Choose to make a video that aligns with the spirit and branding of your product. When it comes to a format for your video, both animation and live action work well. Have a look at some existing demo videos to see what you think would work for your app. As for tone, what kind of service are you promoting? If it’s fun and whimsical, use that approach for everything from scripting to music. A financial investment app may call for a more serious tone. Consider your Target Market and what will appeal to them.

App Stats

How many apps have you used today? Here are some numbers illustrating how much we rely on apps.

  • There are 8 million apps in the Google Play store
  • You’ll find 2.2 million in the Apple App Store
  • Total mobile app downloads last year: 197 billion
  • People use an average of 9 apps daily and 30 apps monthly
  • Last year, mobile apps were the source of nearly half of global internet traffic

From Our Files

At Key West Video, we’ve been asked to make a variety of video demos to promote apps. There was the one for parties and events, the one for online investing, and now we’re working on a video for pet services. We also created this demo for Crosslinx.

App Demo Videos

Let’s Talk

Make video part of your marketing plan to promote an app and see the results for yourself. Boost awareness and conversions by letting your customers know what your app is all about. Call us today for a free quote.

Using Bloopers in Corporate Video


Have you ever been one of the last people left in a movie theatre and you’re surprised by some outtakes the director has left for the end of the credits? (See the classic example below.) It’s a bonus bit of fun we all love. You get to see your favourite characters flub lines or maybe you’re privy to a scene or line that didn’t make the final cut. These little extras make us feel like we’re part of an inside joke. Even in corporate video, you can make the most of your outtakes.

The Origin of the Blooper

Whether you call these extra bits of footage bloopers, outtakes, or gag reels, it’s all about mistakes and unused footage caught on-camera. The original “blooper” reference comes from wartime censorship—short for a “blue pencil” used by the “blue-person” to cross out parts of documents and letters deemed unacceptable. Radio used the term to denote the “bloop” sound a radio receiver made when interfering with nearby sets. Blooper was also used in baseball as a slang term for an error.

Using Bloopers in Corporate Video
Baseball was an early adopter of “blooper”

In the 1950s, television producer Kermit Schaefer used the term blooper for mistakes made while recording. Schaefer went on to produce a series of record albums filled with bloopers and even a book series of transcribed bloopers. Did we mention the feature-length movie Pardon My Blooper!? Television shows were dedicated to the blooper and some movies added reels to the end of their production. Bloopers made audiences laugh and it made even polished professionals seem a little more relatable and human.

Use Outtakes for…

Bloopers can be used to great effect in corporate video. They can make a CEO or authority figure more relatable or a serious subject a little lighter. Seeing outtakes gives the viewer a better idea of all the hard work that goes into creating a finished video—some people don’t realize how much footage has to be cut around to extract that one perfect take. This look behind-the-scenes may also show more of the set or the crew. An internal-facing video is an especially good place for a gag reel. When you know the person on-camera and understand inside jokes, the reel becomes even funnier.

If you have some clips worth showing, there are a lot of places to use bloopers. Take a cue from Hollywood and place a series of outtakes at the end of a video as a kind of bonus feature that doesn’t interrupt the flow of the project. Use bloopers as transitions or bumpers between sections of a video. This is a good way to break up a longer video and gives the audience a little treat to anticipate. You can post a blooper reel on your website as a way of making your client-facing image more fun and personable. If you do a lot of video work, you could make a blooper compilation to show at an AGM or holiday party.

Bloopers to Avoid

Using Bloopers in Corporate Video
Only use bloopers that are funny to all involved

When it comes to outtakes, use your judgment. A bunch of retakes in a row isn’t funny—it’s the reaction to all those retakes that can be funny. If the person making the mistakes is growing more and more frustrated, don’t exploit their difficulty by compiling the takes. However, if the person is laughing at their mistakes and celebrates finally getting through a difficult line, it could be a good blooper. If anyone’s feelings could potentially get hurt, it’s best to err on the side of caution.

Outtakes are meant to be funny. They aren’t about making fun of someone having trouble on set, they’re about everyone on set getting a laugh out of what happened. Bloopers that could potentially reveal company secrets, embarrass employees or clients, or are rude or distasteful should all be left on the cutting room floor.

Examples of What Works

You may want to take a few minutes now and enjoy the following gems. I know we had fun researching this section filled with some very entertaining outtakes.

Using Bloopers in Corporate Video
Birds seem to cause a lot of live news problems

The Laughs are Free

Bloopers are always a part of video production and sometimes those mistakes are included as part of a project. Whether you decide to stick to the best takes or include a few fun outtakes, Key West Video is ready to deliver your message. Call us today for a free quote.

Video Works Best for Internal Communications

internal communication video

Video is a tool we all use to relate to our world. We watch a clip of our niece’s birthday party in Alberta. A funny dog video is something we share online. At work, we talk about memes. We use video all the time in our personal lives, so why wouldn’t we use it as part of our professional lives? Internal video is the future of business communications.

Internal Branding

Branding is typically talked about in reference to the public-facing image of a company, but there’s also internal branding. Internal branding is an extension of external branding. The way a company represents itself through employees in the workplace should mirror the values and mission statement the company presents to the public. Ideally, a business wants employees to live the company brand at work. A great way to define and reinforce internal branding is through video.

Effective Use of Internal Video

Video Works Best for Internal Communications
A message from the boss can make employees feel like more than a number

Long gone are the days when the big boss sat in an office on the top floor and was talked about in whispers but never seen. Video is a effective way for a busy CEO to relate to their workforce. Use video to send out company-wide announcements about the new pay structure, but also use it to send out a holiday greeting or an atta boy so employees know you care.

Even if you don’t want to be on-camera, there are plenty of ways to use video internally. In fact, it’s a good idea to tailor the video type to your message. A software walk-through for a new employee needs shots of the program being used. A training video for customer interaction could show employees at work in simulated situations. Safety videos make sense when they feature equipment used in case of emergency.

Internal Video is a Time-Saver

There are so many advantages to using internal video, starting with its ability to save time. Let’s use a welcome video that gives some general and specific information necessary for all new employees as an example. Rather than giving the same speech over and over, just update your welcome video occasionally and you’re all set. Now, nobody is taking time out of their busy day to walk a new person through an established process. As for the newbie, they won’t feel rushed or anxious about their first day on the job. They can take the time to pause a video and review anything that’s unclear. If they still have questions after watching the video, it’s likely those queries will be focused and limited.

Video Works Best for Internal Communications
A video address can across time zones

Video is a great way to reach everyone, no matter where they work.  Employees in different locations, different time zones, and on different schedules can be hard to reach as a group. Try sending a pre-recorded video message or hold a town hall meeting using live streaming. In both instances, every worker has the opportunity to draw from the same presentation.

Knowledge Sharing

Video facilitates knowledge sharing and gets everyone on the same page. From policy updates to meetings to the new fridge in the common room, a video means all employees are getting the same information. Is everyone filling out an expense report differently? Fix that problem with a video that clearly shows the correct steps and saves your finance team hours of frustration and overtime.

Video can help you avoid knowledge attrition. If you make one video that contains all the necessary information about a process in your business, you’re potentially heading off future issues. As humans, we’re error-prone and forgetful. An employee might forget to share a couple of things when training a new hire, then that person forgets a couple things when they train the next new hire, and so on. A few employees down the road, you have a new hire that only knows a fraction of the job. Cover your bases with a comprehensive training video and follow-up with worker support.

Show Your Personality

Video Works Best for Internal Communications
Internal videos can be more informal

Inject your video with some personality. With internal video, you can really have fun! Celebrate a company milestone or a holiday with a skit or a music video spoof—we’ve been asked to produce our fair share of both over the years. Nothing boosts morale like seeing the boss don a silly wig and get down with the work crew. Because this video is for employees only, you can include inside jokes and capitalize on what makes your workplace unique.

Case Study–Deloitte TV Network

Deloitte is a huge company with over 244,400 professionals working in 150 countries. How do you promote engagement across such a large and diverse workforce? Enter Deloitte TV Network, a space dedicated to connecting employees and executives on a more personal level.

Deloitte TV Network has been a massive success at every level of the organization. The page consists of tabs representing company-related topics, such as Global, Brand, and Community. There’s also a separate channel that features CEOs offering advice and sharing personal anecdotes. All of this is serving to put a human touch on a structure that could otherwise be overly-corporate and cold.

You’re the Boss

Internal video can be whatever you need it to be. From training videos to anniversary celebrations, Key West Video can help you deliver your message in an engaging format. Call us today for a free quote.

How to Prepare For Video

preparing for your video

You’re ready to make your next—or first—video and a meeting with the production company has been set. What can you do to make the most of this get-together? The better prepared you are when you come to us, the more we can do for your business. We’ll make suggestions when it comes to the best way to deliver your message using video, but we need your input. Here are some of the things you can do to prepare for your video.


How to Prepare For Video
Feedback can shape your video

Take stock of what your audience is saying. Are there any problems or issues you want to address in the video? Also, consider the good feedback you’ve received. Play up the positive aspects of your business and let potential customers know why your product or service is worth trying.

Get Back to Your Roots

Video preparation is a good time to think back to when you started your business. Do you still have the same core values? Do you want to reinforce those values as part of your brand? Take the time to really define your business so we can help showcase it through video.

How to Prepare for Video:  Creative Brief /Client Questionnaire

How to Prepare For Video
A client questionnaire provides direction and focus

A creative brief is a document that establishes the defining aspects of a creative piece of work, like a video. These are hugely helpful for us, but not every business provides a creative brief. In the absence of such a guide, we like to give clients a questionnaire that serves the same purpose. The answers should be easy for you, the business owner, to answer. If any of these questions cause you to stop and think, that’s probably a good thing. The answer to each question should be clear. If not, it may be time for you to readjust focus as part of video preparation.


The kind of video you create is largely dictated by your audience. Define the viewer and we can help you figure out the best way to reach them.


Why are you making this video? What do you want people to learn by watching or how do you want them to react to the information they’ve seen? A video is used for many reasons and a clearly-stated goal will help us hit the mark.


Is this a training video? Is this a branding video? Are you promoting a new product? Answer this question and then think about how you will support your message.


This is a two-parter. Features and benefits are obviously important to highlight in a video. Equally important when it comes to wooing customers is telling people what makes you the best choice in your industry. What sets your company apart from similar companies?


A lot of videos start with a question or raise a pain point. Don’t you hate it when your coffee gets cold before you finish the cup? Are you always searching for coins in the bottom of your purse? Relate to your customers and their issues, then solve their problem!


There are a lot of ways to support claims made in a video. Customer testimonials are popular, trustworthy, and emotional. Provide stats on satisfied customers or talk about your money back guarantee. Social Proof also includes endorsements, case­ studies, and reviews.


This may be where you consider your brand. Are you a fun-loving doggy daycare? Or a serious financial investment firm? The tone is also dictated by your message.


A CTA generally comes at the end of a video. Tell the viewer what to do next: Call this number or visit this website for more info; go here for a 10% off coupon.


Do you have a budget in mind? If not, you may want to do some preliminary research to get an idea of how much a video can cost. Most people are pleasantly surprised to find out how affordable video is, especially considering ROI.

Now You’re Ready!

A video isn’t just a translation of your online or print marketing. Take advantage of the ways in which video is unique. Show something cool, like your product in action. Capitalize on emotion, convey a lot of info in a short amount of time, or show your personality. Have a look at your competitor’s videos and ask what do they do well? What can you do better? Take note of the videos that appeal to you—we love examples that help point us in the right direction and give us a feel for what you’re after.  If you haven’t talked to Key West Video already, call today for a free quote. Together, we can make a great video that gets results.