Most business want attention, but simply jumping up and down in the online space shouting “look at me” is not going to cut it. You need content that involves and embeds the name of the company in to the memory. One tool that is becoming more popular is YouTube. However, finding content and arranging to get it produced can be very difficult, particularly if you are dealing with a celebrity endorsement.
Recently at The Watch Hut we arranged for an interview with Moto GP rider and Jorg Gray watches ambassador Ben Spies at the British Moto GP. However, fate was to intervene and Ben suffered a series of injuries, one of which required shoulder surgery (you can see his sling in our Skype interview).
With competitions and other promotions lined up we still needed content, so after a little thought we arranged to use Skype to overcome the distance between our office and our intended interviewee. The technology is now routinely used on TV news channels to offer input from correspondents in war zones and to interview experts from their own homes or offices. With Ben kindly agreeing to be part of our experiment, we were back in business.
Skype video and audio is only ever as good as your input. If you are doing a traditional TV or radio interview “down the line” from a remote studio, there is usually someone on hand with enough technical knowledge to ensure that the equipment is lined up, this is not really possible when you have no physical presence, no staff and none of your own equipment at the venue.
In our case we were stuck with a resolutely 4:3 aspect ratio, standard definition webcam mounted on top of a monitor in a small office.
In our office, the set up was a little different. The camera at our end was a fairly decent Hewlett Packard Webcam that produces a 16:9 aspect ratio image and operates in high definition. Sound at both ends was supplied by the web cam microphone.
This variation in aspect ratio between shots obviously caused a number of issues for our video editor. However, he solved the issue by pillar-boxing the 4:3 images within a 16:9 frame and using the local video in full frame.
To capture the Skype call we used Evaer. This £15.00 plug in is able to create a number of video files as well as create a side by side mode. We set the software to produce two full screen MP4 video files. Upon local testing we found this to be the best format as AVI produced variable quality results on the PC.
Whilst it may not be exactly what we had in mind when we planned our Jorg Gray Watches promotion video with Ben Spies, the result will still give a valuable shot in the arm to our marketing campaign which includes a Facebook competition with data capture.
You can see our video with Ben Spies on our YouTube channel at www.youtube.co.uk/thewatchhut