Authentic Videos Work Better Than Ads

Authentic Videos Work Better Than Ads

Authentic Videos Work Better Than Ads

So this blog post explains why authentic videos work better than ads based on the latest trend data from Google.

Authentic Videos Work Better Than Ads

YouTube is the world’s second biggest search engine.  Second only to Google.  And they’re part of the same company – Alphabet.  As a result, YouTube publishes the best trend data about videos and how they’re consumed via Think with Google

Importantly, YouTube has now identified a strong trend away from traditional ads featuring celebrities and showy product shots.  And it reports a related trend towards authentic, branded content featuring influencers and insights that ring true.

Subsequently, content featuring real people sharing truth is 4 times more effective than celebs or paid actors regurgitating lines written by clever ad execs.

And the same drop off in cut-through applies to generic video ads crafted from stock libraries.

So audiences are turning away from content that feels fake or generic in greater and greater numbers.

Why It Matters

So we now live in a world where even the news is too often fake.  Therefore, audiences and consumers are flocking to authentic content.

And time and again, brands and organizations come to me and ask.  So why isn’t my content working?  Besides I’ve invested in producing it.  Or.  Another thing is we’re using the latest software service.  And.  Most of all I’ve spent a small fortune advertising it.  But it’s not working.

So then I look at the content and the problem is evident.  Above all it screams advertising.   Because it’s too polished, or too corporate, or too generic.  In short, it feels fake, posed, or salesy.

And given the sheer amount of advertising targeted at us all on social media these days.  Likewise your online audiences may well feel like they’re navigating a market in Ho Chi Min City where even trader they pass screams “Buy Now!”

So increasing numbers of them just skip-on-by without a second glance.

So what’s the solution?

The solution is simple and effective.  Now we know for certain that authentic videos work better than ads.

So firstly, the solution is to stop making ads.  And to substitute them with authentic bite-sized content.

Secondly, swap expensive celebrities or paid actors for real-people.  Or influencers your audience already trusts.

Thirdly, try a production company that specializes in authentic content, rather than a shiny ad producer.

Finally, avoid generic stock imagery that could just as easily apply to any of your competitors. 

Instead, invest in producing a pool of your own authentic images and video that are unique to your offering.

There are some excellent software services available that can really speed up the workflow of producing short-form videos.   

The key to utilizing these services in your toolkit is to customize them to represent your brand.  And to make it feel tailored for your audiences.

Authentic Videos Work Better Than Ads But Should Still Look Great

Content that’s authentic doesn’t mean cheap or unprofessional.  But it does need to ring true.

And most importantly, authentic videos should give your audiences something useful.  Like insight, inspiration or incentive. 

Authentic videos give your audiences a reason to stop, listen, connect and respond. 

In conclusion, the trend data clearly shows us that this approach works way better than ads screaming “Buy now!” as your audiences virtually walk-on-by.

By Mike Hill, Founder & Filmmaker, Moonshine Agency.

Moonshine Agency is a production company that specializes in producing authentic films and videos.  Working with leading brands and organizations around the world, the company’s mission to move humanity forward by telling stories that matter.

Connect with Mike on LinkedIn

Are you wondering how video could work to advance your mission? 

No problem, just take us up on our offer for a free consultation to discuss your concerns or ideas. We love to talk about ‘video’.

Call us or send an email.  Just click your choice of a button to the right.

Education Needs A Makeover

Education Needs A Makeover

Education Needs A Makeover

Discover why education needs a makeover in this blog by Mike Hill, producer of Innovation High.

Education Needs A Makeover

I’ve noticed when I say the words “education”, “teaching” and “learning” people fall asleep.  Not literally, but it has the same general impact.

Many of us, myself included, like to parrot pearls of wisdom like “Education is a passport to the future” (Malcolm X) and “Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world” (Nelson Mandela).

But given the superficial interest we seem to show to education as a topic of conversation, these are platitudes at best.


What seems to interest most people outside the education sector, especially parents, are things like: prestige, price, uniforms and facilities.

Doesn’t this miss the point?  What is education actually for?

Maybe part of the solution is giving education a makeover, starting with some word-play. I’ll swap:

  • “Education” for “future-proofing”
  • “Teaching” for “coaching”, and
  • “Learning” for “mastery”

I want to future-proof my children in a rapidly changing world through expert coaching that provides mastery over the skills they’ll need to have a happy, meaningful, prosperous life.

Hmm, that might work better in getting their attention.

But wait, I also want that for myself. 

Why? Because it’s relevant to what I do and where I want to go.  It moves humanity forward.

And that’s what education for isn’t it – moving humanity forward.

One of the problems with how we view education is its hard-earned “old school” reputation.  In my opinion, this is not aided by the Hogwarty schools run by old boys where prestige, price, uniforms, and facilities, seems to get more airplay than future-proofing, coaching and mastery.

I’m fortunate enough to have seen many examples of innovation in my line of work as a filmmaker to know that cutting-edge education deserves more than a yawn or a snore.

In the upcoming series Futurists World I interviewed The Entourage founder Jack Delosa.  Jack’s a high-profile investor, one of Australia’s leading entrepreneurs and has been listed in the Australian Financial Review’s Young Rich List.  Jack could do anything he wants but has turned his focus to education because he feels it is well-overdue for massive disruption.

In the original web series Innovation High about 21st Century Education, experts in the field echo Jack’s sentiments.  With the rapid move towards AI and automation, future-proofing is more important today than ever, and schools need to innovate and evolve fast to keep up.

Our work with groups like Learning Environments Australasia, Hayball Architecture and the Melbourne Indigenous Transition School demonstrates that great leaps forward are taking place right now and innovation is transforming outcomes for students.

So I think it’s high time education has a makeover and we should begin at the top with the Minister of Future-Proofing, leading the Department of Coaching & Mastery, committed to the Domestic Market Development of our Next Gen Tax Payers because “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest” (Benjamin Franklin).

By Mike Hill, Founder & Filmmaker, Moonshine Agency

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Film Video Editors Jobs

Film Video Editors Jobs

So this post is about film video editors jobs at Moonshine Agency in Melbourne.

Film Video Editors Jobs

Intermediate/ Senior Editing Opportunities

First of all, regular contracts are available for film video editors jobs at intermediate and senior levels.

About Moonshine Agency

So Moonshine Agency is a film company creating stories that change the world. Furthermore, our mission is to work with amazing people to make a lasting positive impact. So we produce great content and make sure it reaches its audience.

Subsequently, as a specialist agency based in Richmond, we are focused on creating films, campaigns and innovative projects that inspire change.  So we work with clients and also produce our own projects.  And our work revolves around effective visual storytelling through film, video, and photography.  Also, our focus is on moving audiences from passive consumption to active engagement across traditional and digital media.

Since 2010, our work has been viewed by millions across the world on TV and online.   And our team travels the country and the world to capture stories that inspire their audiences to take action.  So the projects we’ve produced have been recognized with over 40 international awards to date.

Furthermore, our thoughtful, innovative and creative approach is coupled with respect for audiences.  Finally, careful strategic planning and effective communication ensure we work closely with our collaborators to deliver successful, well-executed projects every time.

Learn more about our values.

Film Video Editors Jobs

Key Responsibilities.

End-to-end editing and delivery of content including:

  • Setting-up PP project based on ‘house’ standards.
  • Basic media management.
  • Syncing multiple cameras using PluralEyes.
  • Picture editing.
  • Intermediate color grading.
  • Basic and intermediate motion graphics using supplied assets.
  • Intermediate sound mixing.
  • Export & scheduled review delivery via Vimeo Pro.
  • Daily backups and peer-reviews.

System Information.

  • iMac Retina 5K 27 inch
  • iOS: Mac OS Sierra
  • Adobe Creative Cloud

Furthermore, Moonshine Agency prides itself on a strong, valued-based culture revolving around its mission to Tell your Story, Change the World.  So we are looking for a pool of freelance editors who share our values to work closely with us on an ongoing basis. 

Learn more about our values.

Finally, only positive team film video editors with the required skills, a keen eye for detail, a proven track record, who enjoy a creative challenge and have references need to apply.  if this sounds like the kind of team you want to be a part of, then please apply by emailing hello@moonshine.agency including a cover letter with your resume and references letting us know why we should meet with you.

Keep an eye on the Careers page for other production and post-production opportunities.

Are you wondering how video could work to advance your mission?

No problem, just take us up on our offer for a free consultation to discuss your concerns or ideas. We love to talk about ‘video’.

Call us or send an email.  Just click your choice of a button to the right.

Impact Films What They Are and Why They Matter

Impact Films What They Are and Why They Matter

Impact Films What They Are and Why They Matter

This blog is about Impact Films What They Are and Why They Matter.

Impact Films What They Are and Why They Matter

So Nelson Mandela reflected.  “If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head.  If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.” 

Furthermore, Mandela’s great gift was to generate empathy, compassion, and empowerment.  This is also the goal of impact films.  So impact filmmaking is a communications specialization.  And it uses moving pictures to move audiences to action.

Lights, Camera, Social Action!

First of all, with their unique visceral power, films have the capacity to harness the mind and spirit better than any other medium.  As a result, Not-For-Profit organizations in Australia and abroad are increasing partnering in the production of films.  And these films are mostly produced in the documentary genre.

So one example is the Creative Partnerships award-winning production LIFE Before Death.  This multiplatform project incorporating a feature film, TV documentary, 50 short films, Video-On-Demand, DVD, iPad App, website and social media places.  Furthermore, the project was funded by a coalition of seven philanthropic foundations.  As well as two screen agencies and the Australian production company, Moonshine Agency.

Making an Impact

So LIFE Before Death, which advocates for better health care of patients in pain who need strong medicines and palliative care.  The film has publicly screened over 300 times in 40 countries and was subtitled into 15 languages.  And the TV doco has been broadcast in five countries and the short films have been viewed on YouTube over 1,300,000 times.

Furthermore, the initiative has informed and galvanized local, state, federal and international policy decisions through hosted screenings.  This includes at Parliament House Canberra, for a Senate inquiry into palliative care.  As a result, the project has helped to generate multiple six-figure donations.  And also to make the case for green-lighting major health initiatives, including a diagnostic cancer center in Zambia.

Selling the Sizzle with Impact Films

So when the hackneyed sales adage “Sell the sizzle, not the steak” was coined, fundraising and philanthropy were probably not top of mind.  However, in a cluttered communications landscape, it can be exceedingly difficult to stand out from the crowd and be heard.  This is particularly true if your core message relates to a tough social issue.

Therefore, by using screen stories to hook audiences by speaking the language of the heart as well as the head.  As also releasing them across entertainment platforms and via film events, NFPs can create their own unique sizzle.  So these projects build both cause and brand awareness in new and arousing ways that can dramatically expand the reach.  And also deepen levels of engagement with your supporters, new and old.

Beyond the Messaging

Subsequently, evolution is currently taking place where film-based communications strategies are evolving beyond the traditional form of public service announcements.   And these new forms rely on topical issues and in-depth character studies that engage audiences over an extended period.  By integrating calls-to-action, audiences to engage and take action.

So powerful stories, quality filmmaking, and interactive platforms comprise some of the key elements.  These are the core ingredients of all successful moving pictures advocacy projects.  Furthermore, the unique benefits of this approach are that it more readily creates the opportunity for both events and experiences.

As a result, films provide a focus for low-cost events such as hosted screenings, regional premieres, and conferences.  As well as educational workshops, festivals, and topical calendar activities or ‘days’.  Each of these occasions can be used to drive targeted advocacy, social action, and fundraising initiatives.

So well-told screen stories can also foster memorable experiences rivaling the deep engagement by sleeping rough or fasting for a good cause.  And once they’re produced, they can continue to facilitate these deep impressions for many years and at a very low cost.

Do you speak Story?

Importantly, the language you share with your audiences is not only lingual or intellectual but emotional.  And as psychologists well know, much of our behavior is driven by past and anticipated ‘felt’ experience, that is our emotional responses.  So well-told screen stories can engender, albeit vicariously, this deep personal connection.

Finally, at the center of a great story is character and plot.  So these two factors inform what approaches best serve your unique story and how those forms should be supported by a strategic communications plan.  And in our multi-screen world, moving pictures advocacy projects should never be limited to a single form or screen.  Subsequently, interactive technologies like mobile devices and social networks are particularly valuable in soliciting audience engagement.

Therefore, screen stories can take an infinite number of forms and there is no magic formula.  However, a clear project rationale and a considered communications strategy combined with a skilled filmmaker can deliver remarkable results.

And for those with more ambitious aspirations, unique incentives exist in Australia to encourage documentary film production.  The Producer Offset and Producer Equity programs, a Federal Government initiative, offer 20% and 40% refundable tax offsets .

7 Fundamentals of Film Advocacy 

1.  Define your Broad Goal.  So this world-changing ambition will guide every important decision you’ll need to make in shaping your moving pictures advocacy project.  Furthermore, if other organizations, groups, and activists share your goal, consider forming a coalition with them from the outset.

2.  Define your Objectives.  So a specific and measurable objective might be geared around awareness raising over a period of time.  Reach objective = project media impressions + TV ratings + public screening attendance + YouTube views + DVD/ Blu-Rays distributed + students reached through curricula/ library screenings + video-on-demand downloads.  And a fundraising objective might be measured by the total donations from hosted screenings + conversion tracked online donations + DVD sales, royalties and license fees.  Whereas a policy objective might measure its effectiveness by the number of decisions makers the project screened to, then anecdotally track the outcomes of those impressions.

3.  Know Thy Audience.  So a clear understanding of your target audiences, their readiness to engage with your story and their values is key.  Furthermore, these demographically targeted groups will inform your marketing efforts and help you move the decision makers who can make your broad goal a reality.

Impact Films What They Are and Why They Matter

4.  Manage your Message.  So spend the time to distill the theme that best frames your story, and then define your core message in simple terms.  As a result, these steps will help you determine whom and what your story should be about.

5.  Find your Forms.  So decide which platforms best serve your audience and objectives.  Furthermore, these may include touch points like a theatrical release, television, DVD, iTunes, Vimeo-On-Demand, YouTube, Apps, websites, social media places, and hosted screenings.

6.  Craft your Calls to Action.  So marry appropriate calls-to-action to each form.  As a result, these may include an invitation to learn more, discuss the issue, share the film, volunteer, petition, pledge support or make a donation.

7.  Build your Budget.  So based on all of the above steps draft your budget, then do a reality check.  Does your logic add up?  Is the project likely to achieve its objectives?  Does it warrant a green light?

Moving pictures advocacy is an emerging trend in Australia where, as with projects from abroad like Britdoc Impact Award-winning films The End of the Line and Budrus.  Furthermore, multi-platform productions have demonstrably moved audiences to action and have provided staggering returns on investment for their philanthropic partners.

Closer to home, it’s encouraging to see local NFPs like the National Heart Foundation of Australia and Common Ground Canberra spearheading film advocacy projects.  Subsequently, this is a trend that’s likely to continue over the coming years as film self-distribution channels become even more readily accessible.

As Mandela well knew, the heart wins over the head in every language.   And moving pictures are an incredibly effective way of tugging on the heartstrings.

About the Author

Mike Hill is the founder of Moonshine Agency, an Australian-based international company specializing in impact film production.  The company produces Academy-standard documentaries and factual programming for global audiences designed to shift consciousness and drive social change.  Through a combination of original and commissioned work, Moonshine Agency produces a suite of multi-award winning, globally relevant factual projects. 

Imagine a World without Words

Imagine a World without Words

Imagine a World without Words

This blog, Imagine a World without Words: Content 2.0 and Business Marketing by Mike Hill is also available as an audio podcast.

Imagine A World Without Words

As we steadily read less and watch much more, how do we prepare to market our businesses in a new visual age?

Forward-thinking businesses can make huge gains by preparing for Content 2.0 now.

The searchable Internet has largely been built on words – billions of them – designed to be ‘read’ as much by Googlebots as human audiences.

But the written word is a dying medium.

This house of cards will fall as information technology supersedes words in favour of more powerful visual communications assets of video, audio and images.

It’s important to note that while the written word is dying as a principle method of communication, the importance of literacy will take on a more important role as the hidden foundation stone of visual communications.

Most of us now lack both the time and the mental processing power to read more than a headline and summary before moving on.  That’s why the average stay on a single web page is just 10-20 seconds (Nielsen Norman Group).

Visual and audio technologies liberate us to absorb more information, faster and better, than reading words.

The reason for this is hardwired into us – reading and writing are not skills we’re born with, unlike seeing and hearing.

When we receive information through audio-visual mediums, our brains are innately designed to receive it, make sense of it and, if it’s deemed important enough, remember it – all at breathtaking speed.

Imagine a World without Words Podcast

by Mike Hill | Activating Audiences

The Future of the Written Word

Let’s start by thinking about where we do the most reading – from newspapers, books, on our computers and devices.

The decline of print newspapers over recent times has been dramatic and it sets a trend for all print media.

This foreshadows the start of the Paperless Revolution.

The current trend from books to audio books and film adaptations will continue to the point where the publishing of books in written form will be as novel (parden the pun) as printing an LP is for recording artists today.

Within a generation only a truly nostalgic and environmentally-irresponsible book worm will opt for the arduous option of thumbing through a paperback.

The same goes for all printed materials, especially marketing materials which will become both anti-social and unaffordable due to their disproportionate reliance on natural resources.

This not only means a shift to pixels, but a shift away from words on-screen. 

Reading on computers and mobile-devices is already unpopular, particularly for passages longer than headline and summary paragraph offering a clear value proposition.

The result – more and more visual communication reminiscent of the user experiences provided by today’s apps which are heavily reliant on explanatory videos, images, graphic design, icons and buttons to carry key messages.

Screens Everywhere

Computers and mobile devices themselves will take on a far broader definition.

As anyone with young children knows, the idea of a screen that isn’t a touch screen is now unimaginable for the next generation.

Screens will soon replace whiteboards, menus and even coffee-tables and refrigerator doors.

Our experiences will be enhanced as the smart screens that surround us will be dynamic, multi-lingual, interactive, and most importantly for our businesses, audio-visual.

Should we lament?

Would the great wordsmith William Shakespeare turn in his grave at the thought of this technology-induced word vacuum?

In my humble opinion no.  Shakespeare knew the real power of words was through human performance and I think he’d find our current abuse of the written word repugnant.

“Hell is empty and all the devils are here”

Business Marketing in a Brave New World

The eradication of the written word from our daily lives will be slow but steady. 

Consequently our visual cognitive abilities will be supercharged.

Savvy marketers and business owners are adapting to this new world order now.

The key is to stop looking at your content through the keystrokes of a word processing program and to think about your brand in terms of its key messages and stories.

While your starting point is likely to remain at your keyboard for some time to come, the final communications piece you produce will evolve like a caterpillar into a butterfly – a far more beautiful and memorable creation.

Your key messages will be worked into visual communications mediums such as banners, captioned-photos and infographics. 

Words will be used sparingly, allowing graphics and icons do as much of the communication as possible. 

Stories, the ancient tradition of human knowledge sharing, will be migrated from words to audio and video.

As they already are for experts and thought leaders, stories will become among the most important assets to all businesses.

So where do you start?

In short, think more visually.

Start with the wordy pages of your website and social media places and begin adapting them to more screen-friendly formats like videos and podcasts.

This simple exercise will take you far less time than it took you to write the original piece in the first place and breathe new life into your old content.

This is cheap and easy to do and early adopters will be rewarded with a huge boost in their visibility online.

Start with the wordy pages of your website and social media places and begin adapting them to more screen-friendly formats like videos and podcasts.

This simple exercise will take you far less time than it took you to write the original piece in the first place and breathe new life into your old content.

This is cheap and easy to do and early adopters will be rewarded with a huge boost in their visibility online.

5 Actions to Future Proof your Business

  1. Invest in quality video, design and photography.
  2. Add a video to every key information page on your website.
  3. Ensure your website is dynamic and mobile responsive.
  4. Take the time to optimise your videos and images with search-terms.
  5. Syndicate your visual communication assets across all your social media places.

If you’d like to find out more about how to ride the wave of the paperless revolution, reach out to us via www.Moonshine.Agency

Do you agree with me on this?  Let me know your thoughts on the dawn of the visual age!

Blog by Mike Hill, Founder Moonshine Agency

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