Video Strategy: Part 1 (Content)

I play chess with my son. He’s 8. And he’s pretty good. He’s beaten me fair and square a few times. It got me thinking. What’s his strategy? So I asked. His answer was simple: Keep the King Alive. Strategy doesn’t have to be complicated, but it has to work for YOU.

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We get into conversations with marketers all the time about their video and they usually start and end the same. While they’re excited about video, when we ask them about  video strategy, there’s usually a long pause which is generally an acknowledgment of “we don’t have a strategy….”  Our follow-up question is typically something like, “do you know how well your videos are working for you?” we typically get the same long pause. In order for your videos to deliver you’ve got to have a personalized strategy.

No two strategies are the same. At Mad Bear Productions we have a specialized three-prong approach to nailing a video strategy you’ll not only love, but one that you can be proud of.

Here are the three things to consider:

1. Content: What is your story? And how will you tell it?
2. Distribution: Who are you trying to reach and how are you going to do it?
3. Metrics (analytics and reporting): Let’s make sure it’s working and learn from the numbers.

For the purposes of this article, we are going to focus on Content. 

Humanize. Use video to inspire, entertain, and connect on a more personal and emotional level. Get creative with using video to deliver fun, approachable, and humanized content campaigns. Or deliver a personalized video campaign that literally brings each viewer into the story in a way that’s relevant, interesting and memorable. Try some things out and diversify how you use video content, and you’ll start to discover what your most powerful stories are, and what your audience really cares about. It’s about building your brand in way that makes you feel proud and that grabs your audiences attention. We produced a series of videos for Valspar to help paint a story that let’s people know they stand for more than color.

If you aren’t sure what to do or how to do it. Just be true to yourself and your brand. The most important thing is to make sure you are being genuine about what you are showing. If you aren’t being genuine, it likely won’t work.”

-Glenn Zimmerman, CEO Mad Bear Productions

Be (A Little) Daring. We are not suggesting you throw caution to the wind and produce something outrageous that will scare your customers. But you have to stand out. And to stand out you have to take some risks. Consider adding a splash of humor, maybe choose some music you normally wouldn’t. Choose an approach that is a little bit out of the box. To help a Cyber-Security firm launch a complex piece of technology, check out how we used Sun Tzu’s Art of War.

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“But don’t do something unexpected and different just for the sake of it. Make sure you stand out for a reason and most importantly… that  the reason matters to your audience.”

-Glenn Zimmerman, CEO Mad Bear Productions

Do something unconventional, but do it to connect with people in a more emotional way (see Humanize above).  If you’re uneasy at the thought of trying something, don’t give up just because you are scared. Take a breath and see it from the users standpoint. It may accomplish the job better.

Make it Interactive.  In general, we find that marketers tend to be conservative in their use of video content. Explainer videos and educational webinars are pretty common now, since marketers know that video is the best way to educate given its high retention rates. It’s going to be tough to get anyone excited about your video strategy if you’re producing another screen capture video with a voice-over. But you know what they might get excited about? If you delivered an interactive video with survey questions to really engage your audience. Choose your own adventure style videos are another great way to get some engagement. What else? Well, here is one video from a campaign we completed with Northwell Health. This was one of several videos used to encourage the viewer to vote for one of three different innovations in healthcare. Nearly 500,000 votes later… success.

“Don’t feel pressure to use the latest and greatest technology in order to be interactive.  The goal is purely to engage the viewer. If the interaction accomplishes that… you have succeeded”

-Glenn Zimmerman, CEO Mad Bear Productions

Overall, a video strategy keeps you from creating aimless content. Your videos should have a purpose aligned with your business goals. So, now you have your story. Stay tuned for our next blog which will focus on how you get the right people to see it!

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About the Author: Roshni Hannon
Contact: roshni@madbearproductions.com

Her name means “light” and that is what she is… high energy, bright and fast. And yes… she does run regularly. While we’re not sure what she is running from (perhaps her two young kids) we know she’s covered a ton of ground. She was the Executive Producer for an award winning and number one rated morning show in Tampa for years. And now, she uses her unique blend of organization, storytelling and curiosity to help Mad Bear clients find their stories. Think of her as an architect, a story architect.

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The Quiet Man (Jeff Henderson)

Mad Bear co-founder Julian Williams was in Rio for the Olympics. This was his 4th Summer Games. After spending some time with gold medalist Jeff Henderson, he wrote this article.


A slim figure is bent over at the waist, feet together, a slight bend in his knees, sinewy muscular arms hanging low, fingers twitching over the indigo strip beneath him. He taps the surface thrice, tap tap tap, with his right foot and extends it backward, straightening at the waist beyond upright, leaning backward now at a 65 degree angle, while drawing his right arm across his chest; his left leg is extended straight in front him,  left heel on the surface, his toe extended in the air exposing glinting spikes protruding out of the hot pink soles of his Nikes.

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Taut, still,  his eyes burning into the middle distance,  in one motion, he leans forward, his left toe rocks down, his right knee explodes forward, with calculated choppy steps he accelerates, chop chop chop chop, building speed, 20 yards, chopchopchopchopchop, at forty yards, upright, knees like pistons, elbows pumping, spikes a blur, still building speed,  50 yards full throttle, approaching 25mph, at 60 yards, top end, a long stride, wham! His left foot slams into the white wooden board embedded in the runway, the spikes grip, in a fraction of a second his hamstring contracts, body compresses low, and uncoils as he explodes off the surface into the air and and soars, arms forward, legs flailing, flashes of pink and white and blue.

McAlmont, Arkansas,  ‘MacSide’, occupies almost three square miles smack dab in the middle of the state.  Population 2,000, Median house price $71,000.  Jeff Henderson attended nearby Sylvan High in Sherwood, where he starred in track and football.  Despite his speed, he received no Division 1 scholarship offers and only partial Division II scholarships.  Unable to pay for college for more than a year at a time he used partial scholarships to jump from one school to another finally landing up at Stillman College. It was here at a national indoor meet, bouncing between the 60m sprint and long jump, that he caught the eye of Al Joyner, himself a former gold medal winner in the triple jump.  Joyner offered him the chance to travel with him to California and train at the USOC facility in Chula Vista, CA.  There was just one problem; Henderson had no money, not even enough to buy a plane ticket to California.

Joyner saw enough in the young man to take care of the flight and put him up in a hotel for two weeks. Henderson recalls leaving with all his worldly possessions in two duffel bags, including two pair of Nikes. After that two week session, Henderson returned home to Arkansas, where Joyner would text him workouts.  His local high school had no proper track, so he conducted his workouts on the macadam “running track.”  He would travel to meets and  compete, living on a shoestring, with whatever help his father could provide.

He spent the next year back and forth between Arkansas and the USOC facility in Chula Vista, living in the dorms paid for by the USOC, his expenses  handled thanks to the benevolence of his coaches who believed in his talent.  In 2015 he had made the US team, where he represented the United States at the World Championships in Beijing.  He finished in 9th despite having the longest jump in qualifying competition.  He was despondent.  The depression turned to anger.  He swore he would win his next meet.

The next international meet was the Olympics.  Following the U.S. trials in Houston, which he won, Al Joyner gave Henderson his gold medal telling him to return with two.  Henderson returned the medal before he left for Rio, assuring Joyner he would return with one of his own.

In yet another unlikely twist of fate, during one of those visits to California, he met a photographer who introduced him to an agent friend who was looking for a track man with a background in football.  That meeting resulted in workouts with a wide receiver coach in whatever time was left over after track workouts,  which in turn led to a workout with  the Kansas City Chiefs.  They have asked him to join them training camp when he returns from pursuing his Olympic dream.

The flailing legs brace for landing as 175 lbs of desire descends into olympic sand,  his rear barely scraping the surface, bounding up and out of the pit, more antelope than human, bursting with adrenaline, sprinting across the midfield all the way to the far end of the track, he stares at the board…8.38 meters. 27 1/2 feet.  That’s your Chevy Tahoe bumper-to-bumper with a Mini Cooper. Better yet, that’s a gold medal. By one centimeter. That’s this far: (  ).  His hand raised in triumph he breaks into a sprint, 175lbs of blue lycra clad joy streaking across the matching blue midfield.

When Jeff Henderson returns to his innocuous apartment complex in Southern California, few will know the gold medal winner next door; he won’t tell them.  He doesn’t want people to know. He will return with medal for Al Joyner, this one all his.  He will place the medal in his mother’s hands who will not recognize him for she is in the last phases of Alzheimer’s.  He will join the Kansas City Chiefs, where he will be the fastest thing on a football field Kansas City has ever seen.

He’s not done.  He promises he will be back at the World Championships in London, and plans to defend his title in Tokyo in 2020.  So if you missed the quiet man in the kerfuffle surrounding swimmers, and gymnasts and mosquitoes, you have a another chance to catch Jeff Henderson on the long runway leading to glory, because no one is going to catch him on the football field.


About the Author

Julian WilliamsJulian-bio2

As Director of Photography and co-founder of Mad Bear Productions, all things visual pass before Julian’s creative and experienced eyes. He has been capturing the story as it happens from behind the lens for more than fifteen years.

Julian’s ability to find the extraordinary in the seemingly mundane is his gift. As both a cameraman and editor, Julian understands the importance of shooting the right material the first time. With a developed love for telling stories and a deep appreciation for being allowed inside the worlds of thousands of people, Julian loves shooting every kind of story.

From Shuttle launches at Cape Canaveral, natural disasters, historic elections, Super Bowls, The Olympics, a World Cup to a royal wedding across the pond; Julian brings his global experience and understanding for the latest technologies and trends to Mad Bear’s clientele.

Michael Phelps: The Most Underrated American Athlete of All Time…

Mad Bear co-founder Julian Williams is in Rio for the Olympics. This is his 4th Summer Games. Read on as he reflects on Michael Phelps: The most underrated American athlete of all time.


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A friend replied to me regarding Phelps with the argument that he has more opportunities to win medals; and while he does not really care for him, he does respect his accomplishments. That got me thinking…

Most people (no one else!) are physically unable to qualify for 6 (or in the case of Beijing 8) races in one games. Phelps does not just qualify, he wins!

Imagine if Usain Bolt ran the 100, 200, 400, 800, 100 hurdles, 400 hurdles, and two relays in the same games. Ridiculous. Anyone has the opportunity, but physically being able to go through that watery-meat grinder is a different story. Remember, for every final you watch, there was a qualifying heat to get there.

Phelps has done it over the course of 20 years! A swimmer staying elite, not just elite in terms of making it through trials for 20 years (if you make the US Olympic swim team you are an elite swimmer), but being essentially the overall best swimmer in the world for 18 of those 20 is simply absurd. It is just not done.

Every Olympics he has had rivals that challenge him, even beaten him, but four years later, they are gone, Phelps is still there and has been since 2000.

To put it in perspective, Ian Thorpe is an Aussie legend (5 Olympic golds and 8 Olympic medals total). Thorpe first beat Phelps in Sydney, when Phelps was 15, and he was 17; by the time Beijing rolled around Thorpe had been essentially retired for a couple years, and Phelps was winning eight golds. EIGHT GOLDS!  Two of them in the most physically demanding disciplines: the 100 and 200 fly; and the individual IM! Then, he comes back four years later and wins four more golds in London!

Yet, only someone who has been a competitive swimmer or follows swimming can even begin to wrap their head around what he has done, and continues to do.  To respect Phelp’s accomplishments is to disrespect his body of work; you should be in awe of him as you would a force of nature. For that reason, he is the greatest individual athlete in modern history at his particular sport; the only other person who comes close is Jack Nicklaus in golf and Tiger was getting close before he imploded. He is what Tiger might have been.

No one is getting close to Phelps. Phelps is a more dominant swimmer than Ali was a boxer. More dominant in his sport than Sergei Bubka. Serena. Roger. You name it. However, because of the place swimming holds as a sport in our country and culture, he is also the most underrated individual athlete in the history of our country, not in the swimming world, but in terms of the general public, the average sports fan, and the sporting press.

Keep this in mind tonight when you watch Phelps. Force your children to watch with you, for you nor they will never see the likes of him again.

Even if he doesn’t win, even if he is beaten by the younger men who idolized him growing up, men who will climb on the blocks tonight because he inspired them to take up the sport, and in the case of LeClos and Kasuke, he is the reason they chose to swim butterfly in the first place.

Know that merely respecting him is disrespectful. He is Einstein. DaVinci. Hawking. Picasso . El Capitan. Merckx. Bannister. In terms of swimming he is as big as Everest and meaner than the Matterhorn . He is all that even if he loses tonight. More from Rio coming soon…


About the Author

Julian WilliamsJulian-bio2

As Director of Photography and co-founder of Mad Bear Productions, all things visual pass before Julian’s creative and experienced eyes. He has been capturing the story as it happens from behind the lens for more than fifteen years.

Julian’s ability to find the extraordinary in the seemingly mundane is his gift. As both a cameraman and editor, Julian understands the importance of shooting the right material the first time. With a developed love for telling stories and a deep appreciation for being allowed inside the worlds of thousands of people, Julian loves shooting every kind of story.

From Shuttle launches at Cape Canaveral, natural disasters, historic elections, Super Bowls, The Olympics, a World Cup to a royal wedding across the pond; Julian brings his global experience and understanding for the latest technologies and trends to Mad Bear’s clientele.