Watching a promotional video is fascinating if you pay attention to the details; it can tell you things about a program that no one else will.
We just produced a new video for our boy’s camp, Timberlake, and used a new videographer. His style was so different than the person who did our Merri-Mac video that we were forced to think about the values underlying each of our choices. We were thrilled with both results, but their differences are hard to miss. So here are four decisions that camp directors make, or don’t make, that you should pay attention to.
- Who is the audience?
Parents, campers, staff? Who do they expect to make the decision about camp? Of course the best videos have something for everyone, but determining the camp’s primary audience tells something about their priorities. The music they choose is sometimes a clue here.
- How much are they willing to invest to get it right?
A well-produced video is not cheap, but it is not the most expensive thing we do either. With a little bit of investment, and an awful lot of time, you can tell your camp’s story very well. The question is how much is the camp willing to invest to get it right? Every decision about a camp program or camper safety requires careful attention to detail and a well-produced video is a clue to whether a director is able to do this.
- Who tells the story?
More specifically, who’s being interviewed? Directors say what they want to happen, counselors say what really happens, parents give credibility and camper interviews are an invitation to join the group.
- How well do they do it?
When you turn on a camera most people turn into flat-faced groupers. The only way that anyone can be semi-articulate is if they feel so strongly about what they are saying that they stop thinking about the camera and start thinking about their message. Great camps have lots of these people, but finding them sometimes takes time.
No video does everything perfectly, at least none of ours do…but we still love making them. Where else do you get the chance to make thousands of families smile and laugh as you invite great kids to be fantastic campers.