Why watch a hospital spot?

I think that to most people’s way of thinking, hospitals are only a peg or two above funeral homes in their mind’s catalog of “things I want to dwell on”. So they’re a little more difficult to advertise than, say, cars or vacations. People turn them off in their heads before they even get started. Not really fair :(.

So what can a provider do? Good advertising works — if it gets watched. And what do people want to watch? Good outcomes. Happy endings.  All the “after” and none of the “before”. With a storyline or a testimonial from a believable source,  these will be watched and remembered.

We have been making award-winning and well-remembered commercials and web videos for providers of all sizes — from Pilates studios to full-sized hospitals. Our best are below. I hope you love them as much as we do. Thanks for watching!


Personal introduction videos for business websites

Personal introduction videos are in growing demand now, and we have been asked to create a few of them for our clients. Basically, in the age of social media and “no more secrets”, people want to get a sense of what kind of person is behind the text and stills of the service provider website they are considering.

This is happening a lot in the health care field, where a bit of hand-holding can be required for those considering medical procedures they’d rather not think about. But it’s also spreading to other fields, including law and finance.

And the reasons are plain: we are conditioned to read faces and make judgements. Do we trust this person? Do we like him? Would we feel safe in their care? These are the (unspoken) questions an introduction video is designed to answer. Not “How much do I know” or “What cool whizzbangs I use”. Those can be put across in text and bios.

These short videos are designed to present the provider’s personality in a positive and welcoming way. As someone the viewer can feel comfortable with and trust.

And that’s what we designed for Dr Heather Dooley of Lifetime Hearing. I was hired to shoot stills and a video for her new site through Audiology Designs, in Texas. After a visit to her offices and an interview with her about her practice, I wrote a script that she approved and began to memorize. (We can use a teleprompter if that’s a problem.)

On the day, we shot stills with extras standing in for patients and then set up for the video. Shooting in the waiting room, I broke the shoot into five shots, using a slider to add movement and giving her a cue to turn to the next camera position at the end of each shot. This gave the video more visual interest and gave Dr Dooley less pressure to remember all the lines for each take, since we were only shooting one part at a time.

She did a fantastic job, as you will see if you watch the video above. She came across calmly and authentically, needing only a little direction from me. And all those who will be looking for an audiologist in her area will now have a chance to meet her, not read about her. And get a feeling for not just what, but who she is.

Which puts her waaay ahead of her competition.

Asking your viewers for money

I was approached a few months ago by the AOTF, or American Occupational Therapy Foundation. They would be in Nashville for a huge industry-wide convention and wanted to take the opportunity to create a “donor video” by shooting interviews with past recipients of their grants.

So far so good. But I prefer to shoot testimonial videos with people in the middle of their lives. It makes for more interest and veracity. These folks would be sitting and talking to me off camera. How to make it as interesting as possible?

We had, ultimately, four stories to tell — one from each person. But one overarching story had to run through them all — the value of the AOTF funding to their research in occupational therapy. So the structure would be one story told by the four of them as we intercut between their personal stories.

We had about an hour with each of eight subjects over two days. Fortunately, most were staying at the Omni Hotel, and the staff there knows me (by now) and was very helpful (anyway). I found great locations to set up and shoot all around the hotel, including their gorgeous breakfast cafe (thank you, Lauren!). And for even more variety, we went to the Sole Mio Restaurant near the hotel for one of the interviews. Most with bright or windowed backgrounds that would complement the upbeat narrative. So, yes they all sat in a chair. But each was in a new location so as we cut between them, there was something new for the audience.

These kinds of shoots are all in the planning. First, participant demographics are decided, based on the target audience. We develop questions that will guide the interviews. Then, the client reaches out to appropriate membership, patients, customers, etc., with an email explaining what we are doing and asking for anyone who’d like to be part of it on camera to respond. When we have 12 to 15 responses, I call the finalists to assess personality. This is basically a casting call to judge how they might be on camera. From there the actual participants are chosen and schedules are locked for the crew and and this case, eight interviewees.

Then we can shoot.

We shot the footage in two days with two cameras running: the main angle and a side angle for cutaways. That second camera allows me lots of freedom in the edit to cut within sentences without jumpcuts. Maren Voss from the AOTF was a huge help in coordinating it all, and Anthony Guerrero was my camera op for the shoot. Many thanks to you both!

The final cut is below. Please LMK how you like it!