Video production for food artisans and growers: the story of the new Sweet Eve Strawberry video

by Sofie Boddy1st June 2012

 

Introduction

Increasingly food producers, farmers, growers, artisans and retailers are looking to video production to disseminate brand and product awareness.  Every day Vlogs {video Blogs} are being embedded into websites to help promote new products and introduce readers to a new business or events. But just how expensive are videos to produce, how valuable are they as marketing tools, what is entailed in their production and how can the benefits be calculated as a return on investment? The Foodie Bugle asked Sofie Boddy, the Pam Lloyd PR Agency Account Director for the Sweet Eve Strawberry brand, who recently commissioned a new video for their website, what she thought. Here is what she told us.

The Foodie Bugle:  Sofie, what sort of amount of money would a food and drink business look to spend, on average, for a video of this quality?

Sofie: Realistically, £5,000 would be a minimum budget to achieve something of this quality, £10,000 would be even better!  The Sweet Eve film sat somewhere in the middle. But of course the cost comes down if you are able to do any part of the job yourself or have in house capability for shooting and editing which is where the majority of the big costs lie.  In order to achieve a quality end product you need to consider and budget for lighting, styling, home economy, location, props and music, to name just a few elements.  In the end, however much money you have, you could spend it I'm sure.  If you do it on the cheap it will look cheap.

TFB: What do you think the P.R. power of video is in this digital age, over and above just having a website blog and using social media?

Sofie: In the same way that there are people that want to receive their information through social media rather than traditional print media, so there are people that would much rather watch something than read it. In order to communicate effectively with a wide audience you need to have a number of ways of communicating, and video is just one of them. But as is true with anything like this, it can’t stand alone. Just as you wouldn’t promote a product only using Twitter, so you need other channels to support video content. However, video is incredibly powerful in conveying a message quickly, visually and memorably – if done right. There are also other bonuses, for example a video lends itself very well to being shared virally compared with other content.

TFB: How many people do you think will see the Sweet Eve Strawberry video and do you have any idea as to what sort of sales : per view conversion rate there would be? Is there a precedent that has helped you evaluate R.O.I.?

Sofie: It’s very hard to tell. In the first week of being available the Sweet Eve video clocked up 300 views. However,  when it comes to conversions to sales and ROI it gets even more difficult to put your finger on. There is no reliable way of tracking whether someone who watches a video then goes out to buy a product, but it does apply the rules of behaving like a brand: investing money in raising awareness of your product in general. It’s a long game – people aren’t likely to watch the video, jump up and run off to a shop, but next time they buy strawberries they may think to look for Sweet Eve as opposed to another variety of strawberries.

TFB: When you showed the video to the business owners what was their reaction and comment?

Sofie: As the final titles played, the room fell silent.  No one said anything at all.  Everyone looked to the most senior member of the client team.  Finally, after what seemed like an age, he said, 'I really like it, it represents the product beautifully, but I want to see more.' Fortunately we had a two minute version as well as the 60 second version that he had just seen, which he loved.  Most memorably, one of the clients commented that it is like a John Lewis or Waitrose TV advert, which we took as a very great compliment as I'm sure their budgets have several zeros added on to ours!

TFB: As more consumers are increasingly looking at videos on mobile tablets {including smartphones} what sort of issues does a PR agent have to consider in terms of video production? For example, is there a very specific time-limit, certain types of music in the background, cutting techniques, sequences etc?

Sofie: The old adage applies – less is more! According to Rob Wicks at Eat Pictures the most successful videos are the shortest. Thinking of the gadgets you mentioned, phones in particular, you don’t want to watch something for hours on end on such a small screen – that’s what TVs are for! Anything over two minutes may start to put people off even starting to watch it – two minutes may not sound like a long time, but it’s quite a time commitment when using such a quick and instantaneous piece of equipment such as a smart phone. The other thing to consider is to employ the right kind of software when uploading it onto the internet – you must make sure that any videos you make are compatible with all kinds of phones and tablets, otherwise you will end up with frustrated viewers who want to watch it but can’t because it doesn’t work on their particular piece of equipment.

TFB: If a food and drink producer or grower looking at this video decided they too would like to achieve something similar what would your advice to them be in terms of structure, embedding, time, production etc?

Be very clear about what it is you are trying to achieve.  The film has to be watchable and most importantly people must want to share it.  We test our film ideas before they are approved.  We have to be able, as a team, to answer yes to one of these questions. Is it funny? Is it informative in the sense that it contains information that people will really want?  Is it beautiful and inspiring? And most importantly would our target market want to share it with their friends?  If the idea passes the test, then you need to hire a great team to work with.  On the Sweet Eve shoot we had Rob Wicks from Eat Pictures to shoot and edit, Leanne Porter from Mustard Models to star alongside the Sweet Eve strawberries, Jaine Bevan was the stylist and the location, props and home economy were provided by Silvana de Soissons.

The next thing is to devise a clear story board which, like any good story needs to have a beginning, a middle and an end, no matter how short it is.  Put a timeline to this and agree with the production team what you will shoot and when and how much time that will take. You must also agree in advance what the priorities will be in the edit as some things will inevitably end up on the cutting room floor.  If there are certain shots that absolutely must be in the final film, you must make sure the editor knows, as this could shape the whole film.

 

Further Information

To view the new Sweet Eve Strawberry video please click here

Contacts

Sweet Eve Strawberries : www.sweetevestrawberry.co.uk  Follow on Twitter: @SweetEveStrawb

Pam Lloyd PR : www.pamlloyd.com  Follow on Twitter: @fruitandveggirl

Rob Wicks at Eatpictures : www.eatpictures.posterous.com  Follow on Twitter: @EATPICTURES

Leanne Porter can be booked through Mustard Models and also has a baking website :  www.thenaturalcakekitchen.co.uk   Follow on Twitter: @homemadecakes

Jaine Bevan: www.jainebevan.com

Silvana de Soissons: www.silvanadesoissons.com  Follow on twitter: @SilvanadeS

 

 

About the Author

Sofie Boddy is a PR agent working in the fresh produce industry. She works for Pam Lloyd PR, a leading agency in the world of fresh produce PR, based in Bristol . You can see the team's work at www.pamlloyd.com and follow the team on Twitter @fruitandveggirl.

 
 
The Sweet Eve Strawberry PR campaign

The Sweet Eve Strawberry PR campaign

50 punnets of Strawberries delivered for the food photo shoot.

50 punnets of Strawberries delivered for the food photo shoot.

Our model Leanne Porter in front of the tea table filled with strawberry cakes and biscuits.

Our model Leanne Porter in front of the tea table filled with strawberry cakes and biscuits.

Rob Wicks from Eatpictures

Rob Wicks from Eatpictures

From left to right: Jaine Bevan {stylist}, leanne Porter {model} and the Pam Lloyd PR Agency team, Pam and Rachel.

From left to right: Jaine Bevan {stylist}, leanne Porter {model} and the Pam Lloyd PR Agency team, Pam and Rachel.