A corporate documentary—sometimes called a branded documentary, promotional documentary, or even a corporate brand film—is a business video filmed in documentary style. As a versatile video style, it can be useful for public relations (PR) announcements, marketing efforts, and promotional campaigns.
But what is a documentary style video, how can you brainstorm your own project in this style, and how does that style affect the feel and reception of a corporate piece? More importantly: what are some real-life examples of corporate documentaries, and how can you use a corporate documentary to promote your brand once it’s made?
In this article, we’ll address these questions and more to give you a thorough rundown of the corporate documentary video style.
How can you plan for a corporate documentary?
First, the planning process. To begin work on a corporate documentary, you should first assess your audience’s feelings and your storytelling goals. Ask yourself the following:
- What do you want your audience to feel about your brand?
- What do you want your audience to feel about your products or services?
- What are some of the most authentic parts of your corporate workflow?
- Can you allow a film crew to capture footage of the answer to question 3 in a way that highlights the answers to questions 1 and 2?
As we’ve said before, to begin planning a corporate doc: identify the place where your audience’s values correspond with your business initiatives, and you’ve found the soul of your video. But if addressing the questions above causes too much creative burden, outsource your video production to a documentary production company that knows corporate video and the creative needs of a business.
What is the difference between a video and a documentary?
In short, a video can showcase any filmmaking style—from quick cuts between action-heavy b-roll to pure comedy. A documentary almost always takes a serious, emotion-driven approach that’s punctuated by interviews with key subjects. Below are some of the main elements of a documentary video, even in corporate filmmaking:
- Interviews with subjects that speak to an interviewer just off-screen or who speak directly to the camera
- Scenes of improvised activity or conversation interspersed with subject interviews
- Handheld camera moves for a more natural, engrossing viewing experience
We’ve explained things a bit more on our page about documentary video production.
So, what is a corporate documentary?
As previously stated, a corporate documentary—sometimes called a branded documentary, promotional documentary, or even a corporate brand film—is a business video filmed in documentary style that uses the elements above to advance corporate goals and visions.
What is corporate filmmaking?
Corporate filmmaking is a general term for the creation of corporate videos. These videos may be internally or externally released, and their subject matter could range from vision-setting corporate communications to department-specific training.
What is the purpose of a corporate film?
A corporate film, first and foremost, advances a corporation’s vision and goals by using the highly effective medium of video. A corporate film may aim to stir emotions, encourage action, convince viewers of a certain opinion, or share hard data. Whatever purpose a corporation’s marketing or content team may have for a project, that purpose can be reinforced by the art of film.
Once a corporate film is made, whether it’s a documentary or other style, it can be used in a number of different ways. While most businesses feature documentaries on their Youtube channel and website, effective use of a documentary will include social media sharing, paid ad promotion, and even use of the video at live events.
What are some examples of corporate documentaries?
Next, let’s look at some well-produced short documentary examples that helped emphasize a corporate purpose.
Corporate Documentary to Explain a Company’s Purpose
Everactive, a deep technology manufacturing company, released the corporate documentary above to explain its company’s function and the pain points that it solves for customers. This documentary includes some attractive slow motion and timelapse shots, interview footage with the company’s co-founder and co-CTO, and even some helpful animations.
Brand Film to Introduce the Company & Products
We created the corporate documentary above for Doosan Infracore North America, a heavy equipment manufacturer that supplies construction businesses with their most valuable—and most advanced—tools. We included shots of the machinery at work and eye-popping drone footage to set the scene, and we also limited ourselves to only using customer dialogue to narrate the piece, creating a more cohesive sound design.
Here at The DVI Group, we’ve created some other projects that serve as examples of corporate video and how documentary-style videos can serve as great promotional pieces. We know how to produce a video in documentary style—but more importantly, we know how to study a corporation’s goals to craft an effective documentary story and execute it through professional editing and post-production.
If you’re interested in what a corporate documentary can do for you, give us a call. We’d love to chat about the power of documentary video.