The Marriage of Video and Audio
There’s no denying the power of how video can tell a story. Whether that story is a feature-length production or an ad that is designed to connect a brand to its target audience, video makes clear and immediate impact. So much attention and care goes into getting the right imagery on camera, that one other component to video production can get easily overlooked: audio.
The all-encompassing power of audio
Because we, as audience members, are watching moving images, we might not at first realize how important sound (read: audio) is to the overall experience. The fact of the matter is that audio is the primary—and necessary—complement to video. The expression, “you can’t have one without the other,” may come to mind, yes? No! Look at the growing popularity of podcasts—and by extension, podcast advertising—where it’s all about listening to content. Audio can therefore stand on its own to reach an audience. And there’s more than meets the eye—and ear—in regard to audio’s role where video production is concerned. Let’s turn back the clock….
Video, audio, and their combined history
Before the advent of video, motion pictures were, and remain, a popular form of entertainment and storytelling. Until the late 1920s, movies were silent. Or were they? While the term “silent films” is applied to the era before advances in technology added a soundtrack that was synced with actors’ voices—which turned them into “talkies”—motion pictures were never truly silent. As Filmsite.org points out, the term “silent films” is inaccurate because even the earliest motion pictures had some kind of sound to accompany them—whether it was a record that played on a phonograph or a live piano player or organist, among other choices. So, the use of sound to supplement moving imagery has been around—always.
Sound enhances sight
Very simply, audio brings added engagement and life to video. If you are part of a creative or marketing team and are putting together a video campaign for a client, you must realize the importance of the soundtrack that will match the moving images. As you gather all the “basics” of the campaign—who the target audience is, what the client has to offer, and why a video strategy is necessary—you should factor audio in as well. What would the target audience want to hear? What facts about the goods or services can be relayed by voice? Why should the audience want to seek what is offered? All of this is important, because regardless of how eye-catching the video content is, the addition of sound brings knowledge and emotional reaction of what is being seen into sharper focus. How so?
Knowledge and emotional reaction
Let’s say you are planning to create a video for a cutting-edge dental office. Visual footage of the office alone will not communicate the message. A voiceover is needed to describe this establishment—its specialties, hours of operation, and other points to set it apart from competitors. The narrator (or voiceover)—who should speak in a pleasant tone of voice—provides viewers with the knowledge about the dental office. Additionally, including background music is an added bonus, as this helps inspire an emotional reaction in viewers. By having a narrator who is easy to listen to, complemented by music that's bright and upbeat, the typical dread of going to the dentist is taken out of the equation. (Who’d have thought that presenting a dental office as a place someone might like to visit was possible? And it's the soundtrack that makes this possible.) Now that you know—or are reminded—of the importance of audio in connection with video, be mindful of the quality of what will be heard.
Go all-out on audio quality
It may seem obvious, but the quality of an audio track should be as top-quality as the video it is complementing. Imagine: You have shot beautiful, attention-getting footage for a client’s campaign. The lighting is perfect, the actors are attractive, and all that you wanted—from a visual standpoint—is just about perfect. But then, you notice that the soundtrack is fading in and out. Then sound “crackles” through the speakers. All of the work you put into creating a terrific video is now useless because of a poorly recorded soundtrack. In short, the amount of time, effort, and expense that’s invested into audio production must equal that of what you are putting into video.
Yes, the attention to what is heard in a video campaign cannot be overemphasized. Dialogue, music, sound effects—or all three—have the power to turn what may be considered a “good” video into a “great” video. If you have are considering a video strategy for your brand or business, get in touch with the EGC Group. Our creative team will bring your campaign to life in The EGC Content Studio, and give 110 percent attention to the type and quality of the audio track that will accompany your video. Case in point…
Seeing—and hearing—is believing…
Remember the example described above about the proposed video campaign for a dental office? This did indeed happen for EGC’s client, Dental365. In order to stand above and apart from other practices, the campaign we created showed video footage of happy people in several different settings—reuniting with loved ones, playing in the rain, and visiting the Dental365 office. Very importantly, the audio track featured a narrator who had an informative but friendly voice, along with light, jazzy music that played underneath. (Wow, were those too many spoilers?) In any event, please see—and hear—for yourself in EGC’s “Dental365: 365 Reasons to Smile” campaign, which won a Healthcare Advertising Award for television advertising.
Let EGC help make your video campaign be seen—and heard.