Profile Videos: An Explainer Video with a Human Face

Posted by | March 12, 2013 | Uncategorized | No Comments

There’s no one size-fits-all approach to video. In fact, the companies that have the most success with video increasingly utilize several types of videos, each designed to achieve a specific and measurable goal. While motion graphic and animated explainer videos work very well for many purposes, there are situations where something else is needed.

Meet the Profile Video

Profile Video is a documentary-style live action video, designed to take the viewer “behind the scenes” of a company, product, or service. By inviting your audience into a place theynormally wouldn’t have access to, you quickly establish a human connection with them. This sense of familiarity is particularly useful when the inspiration behind your message is a key part of the message itself.

A well-made Profile Video conveys the insights of real people while artfully capturing the culture and atmosphere that drive them. This is a powerful way to create a personal bond with your viewer, and can make a huge impact on how your message is received.

When to Make a Profile Video vs an Animated Explainer Video

While motion graphic and animated explainer videos are proven to work well for conveying “the what” and “the how” of a company, product, or service, a focused Profile Video can sometimes be more effective at communicating “the who” and “the why.”

Types of Profile Videos

Situations for which a Profile Video can perform well are wide-ranging, and as with any good creative endeavor, rules and guidelines should be understood then broken with intelligence. Here are four major use cases where we’ve seen Profile Videos deliver consistently strong results.

1. The Company or Product Profile

You’ve worked hard to assemble a team of rock star talent. Here’s a chance to show them off. Company Profile Videos are usually a statement of identity and purpose more than an explanation. The key to making them successful is showcasing the people who best embody the spirit and concepts that define your business.

The Rubicon Project: 


2. Partnership or Customer Testimonial

An on-camera endorsement of your company or product is vastly more compelling than any quote or text on your website. Customer Profile Videos are a persuasive way to show how others have benefited from working with you. After all, your best customers will say things that you can’t say about yourself with the same kind of credibility.

Customer Profile Videos are designed to show a successful business relationship in action, making it easy for the viewer to understand how they could get the same results (and making life that much easier for your sales team).

Magento Go Testimonial: The Deering Banjo Company 


3. HR or Recruiting Video

Attracting A-Level talent is one of the biggest challenges companies face.

Everyone has an “About Us” page describing how great a place to work their company is. But showing off the actual personalities, relationships and amenities that make up your culture really brings your workplace to life in a far more tangible way.

Watch Cake Marketing’s About Us Video then ask yourself if you wouldn’t enjoy working there.

Cake’s About Us page:

Screen Shot 2013-03-07 at 2.52.32 PM



Cake’s About Us page:


Gorilla Group Careers page:

Screen Shot 2013-03-07 at 3.26.33 PM


4. Launch or Announcement

Another excellent use for a Profile Video is to promote an upcoming product launch, or make a personal announcement in advance of an event. In the case of MageCore’s OroCRM, the goal was to create awareness and excitement around an upcoming product without revealing too many details.


For Illuminode, an established company with offices in Los Angeles and Dubai, the founders wanted to inspire viewers to imagine the possibilities of their unique technology in advance of its deployment in a large scale interactive art project on San Francisco’s Bay Bridge
(See NY Times: Long Stuck in Obscurity, Bay Bridge Will Go From Drab Gray to Glowing).


When considering what type of video is best suited to your goals, your first question is always what you want each video to achieve, followed closely by a solid definition of your audience, and the impression you want them to come away with.

Profile Videos are a great way to:

      • Communicate in a human, personal way
      • Introduce your team, ideas, and inspiration
      • Share your vision and personality with your audience
      • Show how a client or partner has benefitted from working with you
      • Attract talent to your organization
      • Promote an upcoming launch or project
      • Make life easier for your sales department


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