2019 Video Trends

Jan 18, 2019

As we begin 2019 at Corduroy Media, A San Francisco Bay Area video production company and creative agency, I thought we could take a look at trends I have seen in the world of visual storytelling. Many of the insights I have listed below are based on directions and conversations we have received from top leadership from our clients in tech, healthcare, education, and fashion.

1. Make it work without Audio i.e. “The Living Still”

Since I have a background in still photography, I like to think of this trend as “the living still.” Due to the large amount of video being watched on social media, there is a need to make video stories work without sound. In fact, 85% of facebook video is watched with the sound off. Strong visuals need to carry a video, which means creative agencies like us need to consider the best way every image can tell a story. Consider our project we did for Samuel Merritt University this year:

One piece  I found quite powerful is “The Plastic Ocean” for the Sea Shepherd. A powerful visual treatment catches the eye and makes quite a statement on the dire situation in our oceans today.

2. Stream It

TV advertising has fallen flat. At the same time, the amount of people with streaming services steadily increases, as does the market share of digital media buys.

More and more of our clients are purchasing rights to stream content as pre-roll ads on youtube or hulu rather than blanket the world of TV with commercials. One of my favorite spots we produced this year, for Teladoc, targeted specific markets on hulu. The pros are huge- tailor a specific message to a target audience rather than blast a megaphone to the masses.

A great targeted ad is the Covered CA Campaign with an awesome P.O.V. aesthetic. The commercials targeted specific demographics that were likely to need health insurance.

3. It’s got to be a Campaign

When our team develops a video, we go into a deep process of discovery with our client. We uncover what a brand is all about, it’s emotional attributes, and key impact. This discovery allows us the right framework to create a powerful, yet focused story. Now more than ever we are asked if we can further develop the priority video into assets to create a campaign, whether that be social media cuts, still images, or printed work.

One of my favorite campaigns was our UC Hastings #ForJustice Campaign. After floating many concepts, we arrived at this powerful visual statement on why Hastings alumni and students decided to practice law. Social media cuts and still images allowed the campaign to get refreshed with new content daily for weeks.

The NYTimes “Truth is Hard” Campaign is one of the most successful campaigns in 2018. Encompassing powerful short films, still images with simple graphics, and billboards, the campaign depicts why journalism is worth paying for, and facts don’t come easy.

4. Keep it Simple

For reasons stated above (online streaming, videos on social) simplicity is now a top priority.  With mobile taking up more than 60% of video plays online (and steadily rising) video needs to catch attention quick and be visually bold.

Haggar Clothing Co. worked with us in 2018 to produce a series of videos promoting their partnership with the ASPCA. Since the goal was to grab attention online, we pitched a series in which we film dogs playing in hyper slow motion. By focusing on reaction and form in our studio, the fun images resulted in more than 3 million impressions across the web.

Square has done a beautiful job of carrying over a clean visual style across their whole brand. Their use of bold colors helps capture attention and focus on the small white card reader that has transformed how millions of people run their business.

What video trends are you seeing? Feel free to let us know!

-Sean Donnelly, Creative Director


PS. We are recognized as a top Video Production Company on DesignRush!