The emotional impact of video: reminding us why we care

Video marketing is a rollercoaster of emotions for those involved with its production. To engage with the audience, all sorts of organisations – from your largest conglomerates to the smallest local charities – will use it in varying ways, building an emotional link with the viewer.

Now, this may be through excitement, outrage, humour or surprise – but nonetheless, securing that more personal bond between the company and the viewer is crucial to its success. Sadly, many producers overlook this core factor. It’s annoying to see this, because everyday people facing everyday problems understand this so much better than we often give credit for, and simply because they’re documenting their lives – not trying to get a sale, or build brand loyalty.

Before I begin: what I’m about to say isn’t a tenuous link between video marketing and one of the most heart-wrenching vlogs of recent months (if not years), because I’m not trying to link the major focus of this blog to video marketing at all. It’s simply about the connection that video can offer, even in the darkest of times – a connection that reminds us that we’re human.

Additionally, before I introduce a very sad story that recently hit YouTube – understandably getting nearly 3.5 million views in just three days – it must be remembered that online video is a truly emotional investment. We regularly expect films and TV programmes to deliver these, whether they’re fictional or real life.

Sam and Nia (Rader), a husband and wife team, popular video bloggers, last week posted a surprise revelation that Nia was once again pregnant, getting over 12 million views and countless votes of support. Sadly, a few days later, Nia suffered a miscarriage.

Instead of backing down carefully from the cameras to gather their thoughts, the pair sat in front of the lens and displayed their emotions clearly and very honestly to their 332,000-strong subscribers. The first video details a delighted husband telling his wife that she’s pregnant. The second video is not for the faint-hearted.

Their reasoning for the video? Purely educational. They had already lost so much but were learning things themselves, and were intent on communicating this to anyone that would listen. This thirst to share information – whether it’s heart-breaking like this, or exciting, or amazing, or shocking – is the absolute cornerstone of logic both for the Raders and anyone else who produces videos, whatever the purpose may be.

Writing alongside their video, the couple explained: “There is a stigma regarding miscarriage that says we need to be alone in it and keep it private, but what happened is nothing less than losing a baby. The hurt and pain is real. It’s something that needs to be talked about and something that requires support from friends and family.”

Sure, it wasn’t for everyone, but curiosity of even the most casual viewer caused millions to tune in and listen, even if it was a message that sat incredibly uncomfortably with them. Nobody watched that video to be entertained.

Sometimes, it’s worth remembering that if a video makes you want to turn it off, that may actually be a good thing – much like the reactions elicited from charity campaigns, video will often make our eyes widen before we force them shut again, and remembering the potential massive emotional impact of anything committed to film is integral to understanding it, never mind producing it.

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