Indy AMA
Indianapolis Chapter of the American Marketing Association


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You CAN afford this! Lessons in Video.

Written by Laura Neidig

Let’s face it: video has panache. As marketers, we rarely say, “I’m planning to look over the metrics of the ad campaign today!”

But video? That’s something we slip into our conversation, don’t we? “Oh, I have a video shoot tomorrow!” Video is fun, and often the result of a great shoot can tell a story like no other medium. Yet many marketers don’t use it to its potential, or at all, because they think they can’t afford it.

“Staying Focused: Putting Lessons From a Big Budget Director to Work For You” was the topic of the April luncheon of the Indy AMA. The guest speaker was Kerry Shaw Brown, an award-winning film director with big name, and big budget, clients. He offered some great advice on how to add video to your repertoire of marketing tools.

“The great thing about using video content to deliver a message is that 15 years ago that also meant having a broadcast media budget which is why it often became cost prohibitive,” says Brown. “Now with the rapid expansion of the web as a content delivery medium, we can often get ‘free media’ on sites like YouTube, Facebook, our own company/brand websites and use email and click-through ads as a way to get people to watch it.”


The attendees at April’s AMA meeting were treated to Brown’s insight, and walked away with some powerful ways to implement video into their own marketing campaigns. “If you don’t have a big budget, use sleight of hand,” says Brown. “Divert their attention elsewhere.” There are a dozen ways to save money, including making the most use of a venue, (as in a recent Verizon commercial he directed, where the entire commercial was shot in the same house.) “Every dollar can work three times harder if it needs to.”

Money can be saved, but you have to save it intelligently, and not dumb the product down in the wrong places. This also depends on what you need communicated — be it a product demo, educational message, awareness — but the same fundamental best practices are at play no matter what. (Here’s an example of a fantastic piece he shot for Stevens Point Brewery, to communicate a simple awareness — in a powerful, cinematic way — of their 2012 Black Ale.)

Another money saving tip was to choose your director wisely. Do your research, prep them, then give them the room to create. You will save money by nailing your message the very first time. That’s what a good director can deliver.

Local videographer, AMA board member and owner of B Media House, Heather Brogden, said: “Kerry Shaw Brown’s presentation showed that creativity is not only essential in producing video content, but you can still get a great, artistic, final product while still adhering to a budget.”

Big budget, small budget and everything in between, the video must communicate the right message. Brown’s opening statement really sums it all up: “The art must further the goals of any brand.”

Indeed. That is the essence of marketing.