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Interactive 360 Video Project Shout-Out: Cocktails With Becci

Using 360 Virtual Reality To Make Videos Interactive

Cocktail how-to videos aren’t exactly a groundbreaking way to promote a mixologist or the bar where they work. It’s a stagnant, standard formula: a static frame around the bartender, shot from the waist up, watching a drink be assembled ingredient by ingredient. We decided to break the mold with our cocktail how-to series focused on Becci, the star drink-slinger at Autre Monde in Berwyn, Illinois, whose fun, outgoing personality can’t be tamed. As big-time fans of 360 video and the many creative ways filmmakers can use it, we leapt at the opportunity to turn the standard how-to on its head with interactive film and content.

“Cocktails with Becci” Q&A with Brett Singer

What was the vision and inspiration behind the “Cocktails with Becci” series?

We made this series during our early days of experimenting with 360 video production. We wanted to create a series of videos that was fun, interesting and educational, and really see how much we could do with this new medium. Weeks before we decided to make the videos I had sat in nearly in that exact same seat at the bar, watching Becci mix up a delicious Sazerac for me, and thought, this is kind of a cool moment. Maybe it’s worth exploring.

How did you come up with the idea to use interactive 360 video technology for this series, and how does it take this series beyond the standard “bartender how-to” archetype?

As a 360 video creator, you’re always thinking about projects and ideas that would benefit from this new medium. I like watching smart, creative people do their craft. I think there’s magic there. I don’t care if you’re an artist, a gaffer, a plumber, or a bartender—I like watching people do physical jobs well. They make it look easy. But most how-to videos don’t capture that whole experience of seeing someone flex their muscle inside their creative spaces. Watching Becci mix ingredients is interesting, but to also capture how at ease she feels in this environment, and what it feels like to watch her do her thing from a perch on a barstool, paints a much better picture of how I felt that first day sitting at her bar. And, you get to learn how to make a drink, too!

What elements contributed to the effectiveness of the storytelling?

I think Becci is the most effective storytelling element. She’s a wildly experienced bartender who teaches classes on mixology and is effortless in front of the camera. I’ve sat for hours just watching her work and it’s incredible. Her work is complex, and fast, and she does it with grace. She’s the best.

I also think adding the second close-up camera is a cool detail. In 360 you often want to lean in, or zoom into moments, and you can’t. This technique allowed us to use both the 360 space and a close-up camera to stitch together a truly immersive experience.

How do you think your approach to this video helped to capture the unique elements of Becci’s personal style and the Autre Monde brand?

Any video with only one person in it will obviously, for better or worse, highlight their personality and put a spotlight literally and figuratively on them. Becci has a huge personality and a massive smile. For the most part we just got out of her way because we knew she’d knock it out of the park.

Did any obstacles come up while making this video? If so, how did you work around them?

Honestly, no. It was smooth sailing and happened so fast (we did one take per video) that we should have planned better and done 6-10 videos. But we literally shot them all in about 30 minutes.

What was your favorite part of the project and why?

The feedback we’ve gotten from the videos has been great. Super positive, and everyone seems to enjoy them. So, that’s always good. Plus we got to do some great day drinking.

Do you have a favorite cocktail from Becci’s series?

I’m a whiskey drinker, and I like a classic, well made Old Fashioned, with great bourbon.

Don’t Send a Human To Do a Video’s Job

A smart and well-placed video can answer customer questions or teach a how-to tutorial so you don’t have to

Providing good customer support often means answering questions—often the same questions—again and again and again. Of course, answering those questions ensures a customer will stay happy with your company, but it can also take up a lot of your staff’s time.

There’s an easy way to cut back on that time and make your customer service more efficient: videos.

Your company can use videos to answer frequently asked customer questions, provide updates to your audience or even lead short training sessions. Some of the biggest companies in the world are doing this: Amazon has made animations and videos showing its millions of customers how to address common concerns, and video hosting company Brightcove uses videos to share knowledge among its staff.

Once they’re made, these videos can be shared within the company or with customers so you don’t have to keep spending time and manpower on addressing the same subjects. That means your team will have more time to devote to more important tasks, like growing the company. Here’s how to make it happen.

Make Your Problem Into A Script

Talk to your staff about the questions they most often hear from customers and colleagues, or other bottlenecks that interfere with their day-to-day responsibilities frequently. Make a list of frequently-asked questions, and use that as the basis for your video’s script. If you’re examining a process, consider a step-by-step tutorial video. Try to keep your script concise and clear so the video will be short and easy to understand.

Prep, Practice and Shoot

Once you have your script and camera on hand, you’re ready to shoot and edit your video.

Distribute Your Video Effectively

Find the best channels where the issue you’re addressing most frequently arises, anticipate users’ questions, and make your video prominent and easy to find in the first place they’ll look. Whether that’s a page on your website (FAQs are a common spot for customer-facing content) or an email newsletter distributed to your team, make sure your distribution channel is well-matched to your target audience.

Consider a workflow like Amazon’s, which uses a video addressing commonly-asked questions as a gatekeeper before customers can access contact information for a real person. If the video is sharing news with customers, you can post it to your blog, website or social media accounts.  If you’ve made a training video for employees, you might want to keep the video more private.

Call in a Professional

Looking for a team that can help your company make the most out of training or customer support videos? Bottle Rocket Media can work with your staff to make your videos customer-friendly and easy to use.

The Explainer Video: The consumer’s go-to for product information

Drive conversions with an explainer video

Believe it or not, one-third of all online activity is spent watching videos. That’s a lot of screen time even for us. This is great news to marketers, though! Here’s why: Video is currently the most popular way to promote and drive brand engagement, and a marketer’s job is to find the best, most effective way to deliver a brand’s message and reach their target audience. Coincidence or fate? We’ll let you decide. Here’s how to capitalize on video’s growing popularity.

Spotlight on Explainer Videos

What are they? Explainer videos tell an audience about a company’s products or services. Most likely to be found front and center on a website’s homepage, these videos are best described as short, fun and informative. And when we say short, we’re talking two minutes, tops. With the next distraction only a new tab away, the quicker and more creatively you can present the information, the better. ProTip: Nix the text-heavy stuff and try something that will make your brand stand out. Spotify does this with basic illustrations, their signature green, heavy brass and a steady drum beat.

Why are they effective? Explainer videos are easy to share, a great way to showcase a brand’s personality, and they grab the audience’s attention (when done right, of course), and they make a brand more memorable to a consumer. That last part alone will do wonders for expanding your audience and increasing brand awareness. Dollar Shave Club checks all these boxes, throws in an extra dose of brand humor, and ends up with one of the most hilarious videos we’ve ever seen.

Why are they worth it? A few reasons, actually. One: Consumers like video, and they also like to be informed when it comes to purchasing a product service. This combination is what makes explainer videos so lucrative. For example, 90% of Internet users say product videos are helpful in the decision making process, and 64% are more likely to buy a product online after watching a video about it. In other words: explainer videos are a catalyst for conversions.

Our work with SOS Soap Pads. We personally love the creative work that goes into helping brands produce explainer videos, which made working with SOS to showcase their non-scratch scrubber so much fun. To show consumers just how well the scrubber worked, we used actual footage of someone using it to clean some significantly caked on, baked on leftovers. A quick voice-over reiterated exactly what the product does and how it should be used, and conveyed that while this product is a dirty dish’s worst nightmare, your hands won’t end up dried out and in need of moisturizer. The final product was creative, informative, engaging, and only 30 seconds long. All key elements of a successful explainer video.

Between our quest to be informed consumers, our short attention spans and perpetual screen time, the explainer video couldn’t have come into the spotlight at a better time for both brands and their audiences. Feel free to browse our video library for more examples of BRM-produced explainer videos, and if you’re ready to start using video to tell the world about your products and services, contact us today.