In these straitened times of ours, organisations of every ilk are having to get creative with their video marketing campaigns. And if the times are teaching us anything here in the video production business then it is most certainly that frugality need never mean banality. During this newsletter, we shall discuss one company in particular – Square Meal – who entrusted us with their marketing video for pioneering homeless charity StreetSmart recently to great success.

This is because Square Meal was proud to be supporting StreetSmart through its 2012 campaign, for the fourth year running. StreetSmart works with more than 500 restaurants nationwide by adding £1 to every bill throughout November and December, which is donated to local homeless charities. StreetSmart’s sponsor, Deutsche Bank, pays all admin costs, so every penny raised is spent on helping homeless people.

The key ingredient in the success of this collaboration was that, from the very beginning, Square Meal understood the importance of preproduction in ensuring that the most value was wrought from a film. They not only gave us the resources required to write an informative and humorous script, but they were also very realistic in terms of what we, as their video production partner, could achieve within a very limited timescale. They were willing to allow for enough time and money to be spent in preproduction to create a coherent, thoughtful script which not only allowed for gags to be prepared for beforehand, but also allowed us to maximise our time with the star of the video, Richard Bacon.

If you have an agreement from a celebrity to endorse your charity, then your actual time with them will undoubtedly be precious. Developing a script beforehand not only allowed us to distil the key messages that had to come across during the shooting of the film, but it also allowed us to maximise the amount of shooting time we had with Richard, which inevitably led to a more content-rich film.

The video proved a success, with almost 6,000 views on YouTube. It is also now the first point of contact for audiences when they reach the StreetSmart website. It will undoubtedly be used by Square Meal for a long time to come, and we here at Spectrecom will be glad to keep track of the ways in which the video raises awareness for the cause.

If you’re thinking about utilising video production to raise extra awareness for your charity then remember that preproduction is paramount. Not only could it make all the difference to clarity of message when the film is complete, but it will most certainly get you more bang for your buck too, and in these austere times that is food for thought indeed.

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