Brand identity: Choosing your on-screen talent

Abigail Beardsley – Hug Media

Brand identity: Choosing your on-screen talent

In the 21st Century, companies’ rule, brands have become a symbol of self, and competition is at an all-time high. To stand out in a crowd of competitors, create a unique and united brand identity. Do this by choosing the right talent to appear in your branded content.

When it comes to video marketing, your spokesperson is critical to your success. They’re your customer’s first touchpoint; they nurture consumer connection, and they humanise your brand.

Here are a few things to think about when casting your on-screen talent.

Pick your person

Choosing a celebrity figure as your spokesperson can be an efficient way to cut through the content clutter – sometimes it only takes a familiar face to stop someone from scrolling. Not to mention, working with a well-known public figure has its benefits.

Over the years, we’ve worked with many Australian celebrities, including Home and Away’s Lynn McGranger, singer-songwriter Shannon Noll and Paralympics star Rheed McCracken. And it’s worth the hype. Celebrity drives results. That’s not to say it doesn’t come without its costs (literally).

Using a non-celebrity figure in your video content is often more attainable and can be equally, if not more, rewarding. With the rise of social media, everyday users appear in promotions far more frequently. Some have even risen to celebrity status in their own right; think the influencer phenomena.

The key is to choose talent that reflects your brand, your audience and the message you’re promoting in your video. It could be someone close to the company – an employee, internal stakeholder or loyal customer. Who knows, the perfect person for the job may be right in front of you.

Embody your brand

Whoever you choose, they need to speak your brand. Their sense of self, lifestyle, past and present behaviour needs to be reflective of the company ethos and/ or video message.

At the same time, it can be effective to choose unexpected talent that keeps your audience on their toes. This move can be risky but, if executed well, unforgettable. Uber Eats Australia did just this with their recent campaign ‘Tonight I’ll be eating’. Teaming up Magda Szubanski and Kim Kardashian West, the company created a standout campaign that combined Australian humour and international status. The response was viral, making headlines across the country.

More recently, we produced a campaign for Lenovo Legion to promote their latest gaming tech, targeting the unexpected gamer. Talent became the main focus, introducing Shannon Noll, Steven Bradbury, Roxy Jacenko and Cassidy McGill as the Motley Squad. Purely through casting, we were able to create a series of humorous videos that spoke to those outside the gaming community looking to play. In doing so, sales increased by 23% and the campaign was awarded Best Influencer Strategy at the Mumbrella Comms Con Awards.

Choosing humorous and risky talent makes for engaging content and can be a lot of fun – trust us. However, it’s important to note, that venturing down this avenue is making a statement. That in itself reflects on the brand.

Hug your talent

Once you’ve chosen your talent, it’s time to get them camera ready. If your talent is seasoned, this may seem unnecessary. However, it’s a vital step towards content that is relatable and engaging.

In the past, we’ve had talent that are exceptionally confident, yet as soon as the cameras roll, they freeze. To avoid this situation, build a strong relationship between the director and talent before production day.

Our top tip: Meet with talent before shooting. At the very least, speak to them over the phone to ensure they are comfortably briefed. We also like to gauge their personality, vocabulary and tone, allowing us to curate a script that imitates the way they naturally speak.

This process ensures our clients get the most out of their talent in a way that reflects their brand identity.

Whether you’re casting a celebrity-star, an outstanding employee or a loyal customer, they need to make sense to your brand identity. Take the time to think, plan and prep, and your talent could be the reason your video shines.