cultural-touchpoint1I recently picked up a film scanner and was scanning old 35mm negatives from my college photography days. While I was sorting through the negatives my five year old asked what they were and I was caught a bit off guard as to how to explain this.

I’m normally very used to explaining things in ways to my inquisitive son so he can at least sort of understand. But my son has no concept of taking photos and not seeing them instantly. He will likely never have the experience of shooting photographs and then waiting to get the film developed.  Then trying to be patient to see if the pictures he shot were good 24 or 36 frames on celluloid at a time. By the way, did I mention that the images are in reverse of how it actually looked? Hence the “negative” but you know this. My son, on the other hand, was born into the age of digital photography where you instantly see what you captured when that shutter button was pressed, you can fire off 200 frames in a few minutes and instantly delete anything that is blurry or not worth keeping.

I mention this because when you create a video for your business, it’s important to have cultural touchpoints, but you need to make sure they will resonate with your specific audience. If your product or service is very technical but the person buying your product or service isn’t, you need to bring it down to their level so they get why it will help them.

A cultural touchpoint or touchstone can also help add a level of personality to your video that a video laced with corporate gobbledygook is not able to achieve. Something like getting film developed would probably seem foreign to anyone under 20 however someone over 20 could probably relate to that process of capturing images and waiting to see the result. Certain pop culture references for television or music do the same thing.

If you are trying to appeal to an audience with a broad spectrum, you need to use references they can all relate to. Maybe it’s dreams, food, family or weather. Maybe even zombies or some other humorous metaphor that anyone can relate to without needing an explanation.

It’s important to know the audience persona you are looking to attract with your video. Who is that ideal customer who buys your products or services? Is it a 50 something year old male engineer who has worked in IT his entire life or a 20 something first time working mother? Sometimes those touchstones can be work related as a problem point everyone can relate to. Other times those references are more personal as in a “coming of age” joke that the people you are looking to attract with your video will get a little chuckle out of. That little chuckle helps them warm up to you and what you are trying to say.

So when you are working on the concept for your businesses next video, what cultural touchpoints will you try to work into the script?



Eric Guerin is the founder of Adelie Studios. He chooses to use his creative powers for good and not evil by helping businesses to better market themselves using animated marketing videos. He can easily be bribed with coffee. Read more of Eric’s posts