Our client, a leading FMCG global manufacturer required 3 min international video diaries featuring real consumers to share at a virtual global summit with over 500 people in attendance. The purpose of the international video diaries was to illustrate and address how they, as a company, intended to meet their consumers’ wants and needs. They wanted a video in order to bring to life their consumers and to add colour to their research.

They needed this within 2 weeks of commissioning us and across 6 countries; Germany, Indonesia, The Philippines, Mexico, USA and South Africa. The subject matter was sustainability and we had under 2 weeks to recruit, film and edit a final video.

With Covid restrictions in place, self generated video diaries were the best and safest way to proceed. There are many benefits to this approach, but in our experience it needs careful planning.

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1. Recruitment

All those taking part needed to be consumers the client could relate to and have the mindset and consumer behaviours they were looking for.

There are a few ways to recruit, all depending on time, budget and complexity of the recruit. There are many agencies who specialise in this for the market research industry and this is the best route if the recruitment criteria is complicated, however it is costly and it can take up to 2 weeks to find the respondents. Alternatively, if it’s a fairly straightforward consumer that you are looking for, then it’s possible to do it via more informal networks of friends, contacts and family – this has the benefit of speed and also reduces the cost of recruitment dramatically. This is what we did in this case.

2. Briefing respondents and moderators

It’s not enough to just ask people to film themselves and to then leave them to it. We spent time with the respondents in each country to make sure that everyone had detailed instructions and tips for filming and were really clear on the responses required. This meant creating a comprehensive questionnaire that would generate at least 5 minutes of footage per person.

3. International Video Diary upload

There are many ways of uploading video, via platforms, dropbox, Whatsapp, etc. With this project we used Whatsapp, which has a benefit of giving the respondents a direct realtime contact with us and reassurance that their footage has been transferred successfully.

4. Review

We then reviewed the video diaries to ensure they meet the brief and project objectives, and our production department double checked the footage in terms of the audio and visual output.

5. Editing and storytelling

Keeping in mind the client objectives, we proceeded to edit the content down into a 3 minute final video. We create a narrative and order the clips by theme. For this project, as a means to highlight key information and to make it easier for viewers with English as a second language, we also produced ‘buzzwords’. Buzzwords are essentially words that pop up on screen to draw out keywords taken from consumer quotes, providing the viewer with almost tangible information that they can hold onto.

The Result

The final film supported other research trends, it brought to life consumers for everyone watching and created an impact. It did its job!

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