No matter how much time you spend planning and money you invest, it only takes one miscast face or personality to completely ruin your well-intentioned brand video. After years of trial and error, we here at Bottle Rocket Media have developed a few key dos, don’ts and maybes when it comes to casting the right talent for an authentic, effective brand video production.
Let’s start with one of the most precarious methods of casting talent for your upcoming brand video: tapping your own employee pool for the right spokesperson(s).
The upsides? You most likely won’t need to spend any additional cash—and an excited, passionate worker can be worth their weight in ROI. If done with care, casting internal staff could go a long way to build trust and confidence in your audience.
That said, we at Bottle Rocket Media have found this concept to be more of a pipe dream than a feasible option. It often doesn’t work. Even if your project team can find an employee that is (a) in LOVE with their job, (b) presentable, (c) knowledgeable, (d) game, and (e) articulate, there is no telling how all of this will unfold in front of the camera and under the lights.
Withstanding take-after-take can be challenging for any professional, let alone a company volunteer. Lines need to be said perfectly, tone needs to match the company vibe, and consistent performances need to remain… well, consistent..
When put to the test, the most well-intentioned casting choices from the inside can still lead to extra-long hours, disgruntled talent and, as a result, disappointing outcomes. Beware!
To ensure a smooth shoot and the right outcome, we at Bottle Rocket Media HIGHLY recommend looking at actors for a more reliable performance. The most traditional route would be a well-regarded casting agency.
This will especially come in handy if your brand wants familiar faces for the video. Good luck snagging Tom Bergeron on your own.
Casting agencies can begin the audition process for you – narrowing the field to the few that best fit the bill. Most have large, pre-existing pools of actors from all backgrounds that come with specialized talents. By the time you show up to the final callbacks, much of the work has been done already.
And yes—you HAVE to be there for the final talent selection. It is during this penultimate experience that your team can step in and vet the remaining candidates before moving into the production phase.
Another route to better casting can often be done through a full service video production company. This comes in handy for so many of Bottle Rocket Media’s clients that want to make a big impact on a tighter budget. In those cases, we will work alongside a third-party casting associate and personally oversee the auditions. It can be cost effective, and creates an early comfortability between actors and directors – which can be beneficial to the project as a whole.
Finally, startups and smaller brands sometimes attempt talent scouting on their own. Putting out casting calls through online sites or print publications is usually way less expensive than going with an agency. Meanwhile, it puts your brand up against every potential candidate that auditions, maximizing your amount of talent options to choose from. Of course, as with any other DIY project, this will require the most amount of time and effort on your part. Sometimes it can take months to find the right actor(s), and if you are not adroit at the casting process, you may fall short of being able to secure who you want, when you need them.