The Intersection: Jan 2014

Welcome to The Intersection, a series designed to help you anticipate and prepare for public policy challenges and opportunities.

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“Where’s that camera?” – The Evolution of Video Capture and What It Means for Your Brand

As the winter holidays took place, I was reminded of a story about new technology making its way into the home. It’s a story my mom brings up every Christmas, usually right after she records a family video with her iPad.

When my mom was growing up, Christmas morning was always the same. She and her siblings would wake up early and huddle by their bedroom door for the first sounds of my grandparents’ movement. As soon as they heard their footsteps downstairs – the signal that a big breakfast and presents just might be ready – it was time.

Vintage Christmas – Christian Montone – flickr.com/photos/christianmontone/

Flickr.com/Photos/ChristianMontone

They’d throw open the door, run downstairs, and tear open their gifts with abandon. They’d enjoy their new toys for all of two minutes… then they’d be ordered to meticulously re-wrap them, trot back upstairs into their bedrooms, and do the whole thing over again, ecstatic smiles and all. My grandfather hadn’t setup his movie camera in time, and they needed that home movie!

Stories like this one are rare today as we hear that old family cry, “do it again for the camera!” less and less. With iThings and mobile devices in everyone’s pockets, or with Google Glass resting on someone’s nose, there’s no need. Smartphones and wearable, life-casting technologies are making video capture the expectation, not the exception, which is changing the communications landscape for everyone. Companies and individuals have nowhere left to hide – the technology to capture every moment on video now surrounds us.

From a public affairs standpoint, this changing video atmosphere presents a new opportunity to reach your audiences. On the one hand, bad news travels fast and your worst mistakes can now be instantly made public (FedEx knows this all too well). On the other, your message and your audience can now grow faster than ever. Imagine what can happen when this technology enhances a grassroots campaign. Imagine being able to prove your CSR commitment with live video of your staff engaging with local communities. Your audience will be able to sample your brand within a few minutes on YouTube, and they won’t be looking at your logo or your tagline. They’ll be looking at the basic human interactions that make up your company.

There’s never been a better time to anticipate this change and make sure your brand is proactively producing the content that you want your audience to see.