I see posts like these sometimes…and I think it’s great. I don’t have a problem with people trying to emulate our stuff:

Product Presentation Video (San Diego)

Date: 2012-02-22, 8:29AM PST
Reply to: j4mwx-2864779725@gigs.craigslist.org [Errors when replying to ads?] 

Hi there.

We are a small startup company in San Diego, and we are currently looking to have a product video presentation done for our product. The “look” we are looking for is informative, yet fun and relaxed. You can look at gisteo.com to understand what we are looking for, except for their pricing which is out of our range as a boot strapped company. 

Please email us your portfolio, and/or resume. UCSD ICAM students strongly encouraged to apply. 

  • Location: San Diego
  • it’s NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests
  • Compensation: no pay

Source sandiego.craigslist.org

If you haven’t seen this video for JCPenny yet, check it out. This is the type of great writing that drives a compelling video. The execution isn’t filled with tons of Avatar-like special effects, but it’s a insightful well-written piece with excellent acting…and that makes the difference. 

At Gisteo, we’ll sometimes donate our time and creativity to non-profits. One such case is in this simple video we produced for DonorsChoose.org.  It’s just a great cause and a excellent platform for helping teachers and their students. Check them out!

This is a question that I get asked a lot and see out there online. I’ve answered it on Quora and I’ll answer it here too below:

There’s no formula or absolutes when addressing a question like this. To me, a video is just part of creating a brand and creating differentiation in the marketplace. 

A demo video should be one component of an integrated marketing approach. It should not be seen as some sort of “silver bullet.”  Surprising coming from someone who creates these things? Perhaps, but it’s my firm belief. In some of these threads, I’m seeing a fundamental departure from the principles of branding and I’m seeing lots of “horses” being put before lots of “carts” out there in the fever to produce a video. 

I’m a reformed corporate guy who worked on some of the biggest brands out there. In addition to running Gisteo, I run The Slogan Shop (www.thesloganshop.com) and we create brands from scratch for a lot of startups.  So before creating your video, I’d ask:

1. Is your name unique and memorable?

2. Do you have a slogan/tagline that nails what you do in a few words and makes a splash? 

3. Is your logo polished/professional?

4. Is your website attractive and easy to navigate?

5. Is the messaging (copy) on your website and other marketing materials well-written?  Have you established a “voice” for your brand?  Have you determined in general what you’re going to stand for as a brand?  What’s your reason for being (should tie into #1 and #2 obviously) beyond what you do- what are your convictions?

And there are many more questions there but it’s important I believe to build a brand, especially in a competitive marketplace.  A brand can help you build value over the long term that will be the “gift that keeps on giving.” 

An little example I used teaching my students at the Miami Ad School that always seemed to resonate with them: 

Imagine a romantic scene at the Piazza di San Marco in Venice (you know, the one with all the pigeons). A man gets down on one knee and proposes to his beautiful girlfriend. He pulls out a small box and hands it to her. Inside the box is a gorgeous diamond….but the box itself says “Costco” on the outside. 

What’s wrong with this scene? In all actuality, the diamond from Costco could be the same or even better in quality than that of say Tiffany’s. But obviously Tiffany’s has build a brand, an image, a mystique (in this sector at least) that someone like Costco has not. That’s the power of the brand. In the scenario, the only real difference lies in that small space between your two ears called a brain. 

Finally, in my humble opinion, even if you have money to burn, try to save cash for a rainy day. Do all of this in “baby steps” and don’t blow through tons of dough too early.  Look for people who know what they’re doing at a fair price every step of the way. Adopt a frugal mentality when approaching your expenses.  Avoid pricey ad agencies (I used to work at a number of them): they’ll kill you with kindness and clean out your coffers before you know what happened. 

Oh, and in the video space, there are so many options out there- look for a company like say…ummm…mine that “gets it” and will do something outstanding for under $5K. 

OK, I’ve been waiting to launch the blog until I could properly manage it. That time has come. I look forward to sharing our thoughts, philosophy, work and more on this blog.

What is Gisteo? Why Gisteo? Here’s our little guy to tell you more in like 90 seconds:

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