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Stories on screen – how we tell them, and why

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Frances Hulme of MCI UK and Karoliina Voldek, Maraya Bidjerano and Lachlan Ippolito of MCI Netherlands chat about engaging audiences with video and the opportunity this medium gives our clients to show, as well as tell, their stories. 

Whether for a medical congress, a videogame launch or a brand experience, it is the job of the storyteller to craft a narrative that is understood and remembered. The one goal that sits above all of that is simply getting an audience from where they are, to where the client needs them to be. As we know, nothing moves people like a well-told story. 

That’s why at MCI, we always start with the question: “How do we take the audience from where they are to where we want them to be?” Once the start and end are plotted, the journey can begin.  

And after all, it’s almost always about the journey.  

 

So why is video such a powerful mode of storytelling? Is it the passive nature of watching? 
 

Three of our team across MCI Netherlands and MCI UK share with us how video has and continues to be an impactful way of shaping stories.

Frances Hulme, Marketing and Communications Director, MCI UK: Over the years of working across a broad range of sectors, we have seen that, when done well, video is an exciting and inexhaustible way to tell stories.  

Moving imagery presents such a powerful and dynamic form of storytelling. From catching the eye, to stirring a range of emotions, video can connect an audience with a message in a multitude of ways.   

At MCI we can leverage our broad skillset to assist our clients in engaging effectively with their audiences. The content we generate has to demonstrate a deep understanding of our clients and their audiences – we can narrate their story in a myriad ways, with video being one avenue that offers a heightened, creative realm of engagement.  

Whether your communications campaign has an experiential element or it is stand-alone, dynamic content like video can be implemented throughout at different touchpoints. It can be embedded into the environmental design, it can enable your audience to have a voice, it can make your message more immediate and more relevant. 

 

Watch: Highlights from the SLB Investors Conference 2022 (produced jointly by MCI Switzerland, MCI USA & MCI UK)

Maraya Bidjerano, Content and Campaign Specialist, MCI Netherlands:  Video can have a significant impact. It's because, deep down, we are wired to connect through stories. Stories have shaped our understanding of the world since the beginning of time. They captivate us, inspire us, and leave a lasting impression. And that's exactly why video is such a powerful tool for organisations looking to convey their purpose and make a meaningful impact. 

When an organisation uses video to tell its story, it taps into our innate human desire for storytelling. It goes beyond selling products or services and dives into something much deeper – sharing a compelling narrative that resonates with audiences on a deeper level. From after-movies that commemorate milestone events to thought-provoking commercials that raise awareness about pressing issues, video provides us with the platform to connect, inspire, and make a lasting impact. It allows us to bridge the gap between brands and their audiences by creating narratives that truly matter. What sets us apart is our effort in understanding our clients. It's not just about creating a video; it's about respecting the diversity of their audiences and finding the perfect channel to bring their stories to life. We take the time to listen, to learn about their purpose and values, and to uncover the stories that will truly resonate. 

 

Watch: The after movie produced for the World Glaucoma Congress 2023

Impactful videos require more than just technical skills – at the heart of their success is the creative strategy? Could you talk us through some examples? 
 

Karoliina Voldek, Video Producer, MCI Netherlands: I can give many examples from our work this year. Recently, we had the incredible opportunity to create an after-movie for the World Glaucoma Congress in Rome, commemorating their monumental 10th anniversary (see above). Our goal was to showcase their inspiring journey over the past decade. We spent the week at the event, carefully crafting an after-movie that perfectly captured the essence of their story. The result? A visually stunning and emotionally captivating video, filled with interviews, to be sent to past and potential attendees. The after-movie served as more than just a medium; it became a powerful testament to their remarkable achievements.   

Another project that showcases our expertise is our commercial for the World Energy Congress. The goal was two-fold: we aimed to promote the Congress but also raise awareness about the pressing issues surrounding climate change and environmentalism. Our team rallied together, pooling our expertise and passion to find the most engaging way to communicate our client's message. We brainstormed tirelessly, crafting a compelling storyboard and script that captured the essence of their brand. Throughout the entire process, from conceptualisation to execution, our collective creativity and deep client understanding shone through. We were able to strike the perfect balance between engaging storytelling and impactful messaging, creating a commercial that made a lasting impression on its viewers. The commercial (see below) aired for two months on CNBC in the US. 

 

Watch: The commercial for the World Energy Congress 2024

There are so many applications for video, aren’t there? How do you choose the right one? 
 

Frances Hulme: Absolutely. Within video, there is an array of options – from live streaming and collaborations with influencers or thought leaders to testimonials with snappy post-production, from an advert or a marketing communication initiative to stop-motion or anime-style animation. The key is to understand the purpose and objectives of our clients and the fundamental message that needs to be conveyed. From there, we help develop the narrative and the most effective way to communicate this for the transformative outcome. 

For instance, for the Forum for Global Challenges, we worked with the University of Birmingham to build engagement and expand the inaugural event's reach. We developed different video narratives that targeted the diverse attendee profile, from policy makers to students (see below). Content focused on global challenges and championing attendees to be at the event to make a difference, where collective action was needed. 

For the 2022 SLB Investors Conference, the stage and environmental design showcased the corporation’s new branding. MCI developed a creative strategy to animate the “new” brand in digital format on screens, as part of on-stage presentations, and other touchpoints like an animated invitation. We used dynamic imagery to tell the brand story in a variety of ways. There was a video arch, which animated the whole concept of responsible energy extraction. In one presentation, the head of Digital and Integration had a conversation with his hologram “twin” about the ambitions of the past versus the vision for the future.  

Recognising the diverse needs of audiences and choosing appropriate platforms – be it reels, YouTube, or LinkedIn – is paramount. I think essentially, our USP is our client relationships: fully understanding what they're trying to achieve, what their audiences need, respecting the differences in those audiences and finding the right channels. 

 

Watch: The promotional video for the Forum for Global Challenges 2022

What, would you say, is unique about MCI’s video offering when it comes to providing solutions for each client’s unique needs? 
 

Lachlan Ippolito, Video Producer, MCI Netherlands: I believe every company has a unique story to tell. Trust is the cornerstone of any successful collaboration, and trust in our capabilities is what allows us to bring our clients' visions to life. We don't just narrate stories; we breathe life into them. And that's where our specialisation comes into play. Our expertise in the events and engagement sector gives us a unique perspective and allows us to reach targeted audiences effectively. 

Karoliina Voldek: I agree. We've established strong relationships with our long-term clients and understand their unique requirements. I believe our strength lies in these relationships but also our specialisation. To reach a targeted audience via video, our profound creative and strategic experience in the events and engagement sector is our greatest strength. 

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ABOVE: The MCI Netherlands video team working on their next campaign.

 

To boost your engagement with exceptional video storytelling, contact MCI today.

MCI Content Team