Video in 2016: Top Five Trends

Any videomaker worth their salt is continually looking for new sources of inspiration and exciting technological breakthroughs. And clients, frankly, should be doing the same. A new year is the perfect time for reviewing our work and looking to the future, so with that in mind, here are our top five video trends for 2016.

1. Virtual reality

For the last few years the jury has still been out on this much-hyped trend, but recent technology improvements such as Samsung's Oculus and Google Cardboard, as well as some new hardware players entering the market, means VR could be ready to make waves in 2016. Although it’ll likely shake up the entertainment industry first, VR will inspire the commercial world and open new opportunities for brands to connect with their audiences.

We got a first taste of VR’s potential with the #VolvoReality campaign, which used Google Cardboard and some epic production gear to allow consumers to test drive the new 2015 XC90.

2. Cinemagraphs

Cinemagraphs are like gifs 2.0. They’re made from a series of images or video that have been edited into a seamless loop (and one that you can take to meet your parents). When done well (think A+ art direction and a skilled DOP), they’re hauntingly beautiful, impossible to look away from, and can sometimes say more than a much longer video.

We've been using them as stand-alone content in our EDMs and engagement (in the form of clickthroughs) has been off the charts.

Cinemagraphs.com © 2011-2015. Kevin Burg and Jamie Beck

Cinemagraphs.com © 2011-2015. Kevin Burg and Jamie Beck

3. Integrated video campaigns

Unfortunately there is no cookie cutter solution for video – you simply have to adjust your content for different platforms. What someone wants to see when they’re hurriedly scrolling through your site at work, versus casually browsing your Instagram on the sofa at home, are very different things, and the agencies and brands that know this are the ones that succeed with video.

Hotels Combined knocked it out of the park in 2015 with their integrated campaign based on Max the bear, and we predict more big online brands will go all in on video this year. Creating an impactful video campaign is a considerable investment but when you do it with a clear strategy and with the right partners, the return can be phenomenal.

Hotels Combined developed a cute bear named Max, a symbol of trust and familiarity that stood the company apart from their competitors. The strategy to bring the Max content together across twitter, facebook, websites and tv commercials was a big hit.

4. Video chapterisation

This might sound boring, but it’s actually the opposite. Have you ever watched a video and wanted to skip straight to a particular section without having to fast forward in 5-second increments to find it?

Chapterisation gives this power to the user while also challenging the creator to consider how best to script and produce a video so that it can be easily watched in chapters. A technology advancement that also helps hone the age-old skill of clever storytelling? You can see why we’re excited about chapterisation.

5. Internal meets external

Although in most cases you don’t get to see it, today's corporate world are seriously raising the bar when it comes to internal video communications. These are broadcast-quality videos that truly embody the company’s manifesto and a part of an overall content strategy – not the oft-neglected afterthought they once were. Today’s companies know that you don’t save the slick stuff for consumer-facing comms – attracting top talent, clients and partners requires an equally savvy campaign.

Don't be left behind

Dipping your toe into some of these trends will spark your creativity and certainly keep you up with the play. But as ever, there’s no hiding behind bells and whistles – a strong story, told well, is what we all should be aiming for. Get that right and everything else is gravy.

What new video trends are you excited about this year? Let us know in the comments below. 

Nathan Fitzpatrick is the Digital Strategist at The Explainers; an award winning digital communications agency based in Sydney and London. Read their latest interactive report on online video.