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Fat Club - Issue #2

Fat Club
Hi there,
Today, we’d like to talk about great video brand identity. 
Some brands nail this. Their content feels ubiquitously “them”, whether it’s a Facebook ad, a big campaign or long-form content. This isn’t the stuff that’s covered in their brand books, yet they manage to walk the line between cohesion and innovation. 
For other brands, video content is spread across so many different creators in the organisation, internally and externally, that it can often feel like a completely different experience to the rest of the visual identity.

Oh and by the way, we’re not talking about idents, or lower thirds, or sonic branding.
To us, this isn’t video identity at all. It goes much deeper than this.
Why are there so few books or articles written about video branding? How come there are hardly any examples of frameworks to be found through research?
To us, it’s because video has the potential to carry more feeling, more tone, more meaningful connection than any other medium, and that is often just too big to fit into a few pages of a brand guideline pdf. 
But with the right framework, it’s perfectly achievable. You can create a video identity that helps grow the brand visual identity in a consistent way. A video identity that actively guides every creator within the organisation without over-policing and crushing creativity. A video identity that strengthens the meaningful connection with the audience coherently across the multi-channel viewer experience.
Sensory gateways are how you translate the DNA of a brand into video. Choosing a selection of sensory layers and movement akin to painting with tone, and sticking to it. 
There are lots of sensory gateways that we can draw on with brands, depending on what the DNA of their visual identity is. 
But here are 4 examples to kick you off. These are the headings that should live and thrive in a brand book next to the rest of the guidelines.
Rhythm - The pace and rhythm of content play a huge part in the viewer’s sensory interpretation of a brand. A higher-paced, off-beat rhythm can be used to interpret brands with precision and innovation at the core of their brand DNA, whereas a rhythm full of drawn-out, luscious space can help translate calm and relaxation useful for a luxurious brand and experience marketing. 
Sound - We’re not talking about music here, but sound. How music, sound design and atmosphere can be weaved to tailor the experience for the viewer in ways that can be achieved by any content creator. Sound plays a huge part in not just tone, but accessibility. Video needs to thrive without sound on social, so brand books need to define when and where sound plays a part. When Center Parcs asked us to evolve their brand book for video, the sensory gateways for their brand DNA were not music, but atmosphere. The wind in the trees, the sound of birds, water splashing on the lake or footsteps through crunchy autumn were critical elements of their brand experience but were never clearly defined or articulated in their brand book until now. Whilst music still played a part in some content, our process made sure that the sensory gateway was identified and protected.
Voice - This sensory experience attaches a vivid articulation of the brand. We’re not just talking about language here, but voice. What does the brand voice sound like? How does the brand write for spoken word? When do we speak with slang, when do we speak formally? How can you walk the line between authenticity and aspiration, how do you stay human but not lose the gravity of the brand?
Light - When video gets a mention in brand books. It’s the composition of a shot that usually gets the focus. But guidelines like this only serve to limit creativity. The real guiding principle when it comes to filming live-action footage for a brand is not in the shot composition, but the light. The brand book and video identity should articulate if a brand should always find lens flares from the sun, or avoid them altogether. It should articulate clearly if an interview should be shot in natural, or controlled light. It should talk about bright tones or high contrast.
We are on a mission to champion video identity
We simply love the potential of giving a brand complete clarity on its video identity. Whatever the size of the organisation, any brand can give its creators and managers vivid guidance on how its brand should thrive in video. 
No lower thirds and logo end-screens. Just powerful, consistent sensory gateways. 
We’re thinking of developing a book, and potentially a video course to take brands through the full process of reviving their video identity.
Which one would you prefer?
This newsletter is compiled by Kate & Neil.
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Kate & Neil
Kate & Neil

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