What Is Tone and Mood and Why Do They Matter to Your Video?
By Erica Schmidt Jabali
According to a Harvard professor, at least 95% of purchasing decisions are made subconsciously – or based on how we feel. We could be influenced by a brand’s commercial, their marketing, brand packaging, and more.
This means simply giving the facts and figures in your video isn’t enough – you have to strike an emotional chord with your target consumer in order to motivate them to act. (read more here)
This is one reason why we ask in our questionnaire and on our kick-off calls what tone and mood you want in your video.
And, we are usually met with crickets on the other end of the line.
Turns out, for those of us who haven’t been in high school English classes for a long time (okay, a really long time), we might need a little brushing up on our tone and mood skills.
Don’t worry – we got you.
So, sharpen your pencils and sit up straight – because your speed-round refresher course on Tone vs. Mood starts now:
Tone is the author’s attitude towards the subject. Remember when your mom used to say, “Don’t you take that tone with me!” Well, she wasn’t wrong – the tone we use in our speech is similar to the tone a piece of writing or voiceover in a video takes.
Here are some examples of videos that use a different tone:
In this video, the client wanted a confident, inspirational, educational tone:
Whereas in this video, the client asked for a relaxed, fun, beachy vibe, so our fan-favorite, chameleon of a voiceover talent, Dawson, actually used a surfer accent to achieve this goal
In this video, we wanted to replicate that infamous movie trailer voice to give it that movie trailer tone:
So, in short, tone is the inflections used by the voiceover in order to communicate how they feel about the subject.
Our VO talents are pros at taking a script and inferring the tone that it is trying to convey.
WHY THIS MATTERS:
You know your target customer better than anyone. You know what they like and don’t like. You know what their interests are, maybe their demographics, and even their buying patterns.
So, how do you think this person wants to be talked to?
Do they want that warm, motherly tone that says, “I’m here for you…”? It might end up sounding a little bit like this:
Do you want a fast-talking, witty, lightning speed commentary like this one?
The tone you choose for your video should be directly related to how your target consumer wants to be talked to.
So, when deciding the tone for your video, consider the following questions:
- What prior marketing campaigns have been the most successful and what tone did they take?
- What type of tone will your target consumer be most responsive to?
- What tone will best represent your vision for your business and how you want to be perceived?
Try to think of three key words to describe this tone.
Excellent. Now that you have your tone figured out, let’s move on to mood:
This is how the viewer will feel after watching your video.
For example, this client focuses on food kits for emergencies:
How did this video make you feel? That’s the mood of the video.
Our goal was to create a feeling of urgency, to make you feel that you need this product in order to be prepared and protect your family.
You need to think about the mood because you want to have that target in mind when writing your video.
For example, if you want your viewer to feel emotionally moved and compelled to act, then you’ll want to write the video with that goal in mind – and anything that does not compliment this mission has to be cut.
Sometimes, it can be painful to make cuts or reduce a video script to get it to a certain time – but if you think about all of your choices through the lens of – what will make my target consumer feel [x, y, z] – then it becomes much easier.
Since we know that people make most of their purchasing decisions based on how the branding or marketing makes them feel- then selecting the most appropriate tone and mood for your video becomes imperative.
WRAP IT UP:
- The tone is the author’s attitude in the video and the tone of the VO and the script writing will communicate this
- The tone creates the mood that your viewer will feel
- With most purchasing decision made based on emotions – how you make your viewer feel is very important
- Consider your target tone and mood carefully when preparing for your kick-off call!
There you have it. Everything you needed to know about tone and mood.
We hope this helps as you prepare for the scripting process. We’re here to help and hope to make the process as easy on you as possible.
Please reach out with any questions. We can’t wait to work with you!
When talking with a Project Manager or other Creative here at Ydraw, it is important to help us understand exactly what your company wants.
Otherwise, how can we blow your mind with incredibly awesome and mystical videos?
One of our favorite things is getting to work with heaps of companies with unique brands and differing requests. Unfortunately, working with a wide range of opinions can make it difficult for our team to pinpoint your companies wishes.
It’s true…we are made of stardust and wishes and magical things, but let me tell you a secret…we can’t actually read minds.
I know, weird right?
For years, we have been diligently looking for a mind-reading crystal ball and unfortunately haven’t found one yet. But…we haven’t given up hope just yet, so we will let you know when that happens!
It’s important that we continue to ask lots of questions and paramount that you and your team clearly communicate your wishes.
If you don’t know what you want, and we don’t know what you want, we’re just shooting in the dark. And although our accuracy is near perfect… we aren’t quite there yet.
Listen, we do this all day every day, so trust us when we say we don’t get our feelings hurt. We love working with diverse companies and that is why we have made our process collaborative and flexible.
So be raw, be truthful and communicate clearly.
By the way…
We are POSITIVE that if we did have a crystal ball, it would tell us that YOU ARE FULL OF MAGIC!!
Here at Ydraw, we work with amazing people every day, from all over the world, to create awesome videos.
Our completely custom videos are perfect for companies, because we can create EXACTLY what they need. From the scripting, to the choice of art style, to your voiceover selection, to our custom music composer, everything is tailored to our customer’s needs.
Since each video is entirely unique, it requires both parties to be equally invested and provide timely feedback. COLLABORATION IS KEY! This can be both a blessing and a curse.
One of the biggest challenges we run into when creating videos is understanding each parties’ roles in the project. We rely on the client to provide the information needed for us to understand their product or service, and in return, ask our clients to trust us when it comes to creating the best content for them.
Sometimes clients will focus in on one minor detail that has little or no impact on the overall messaging of the video, and can eventually lead to an experience or end product that isn’t so spectacular.
For instance, have you ever looked at a word so many times that you convince yourself it’s spelled wrong? The more your stare at it, the weirder it looks… even though it was right from the beginning. This can happen when creating content.
When creating videos, we notice this problem in the artwork phase. For example, a client will get so hung up on the color of “Mary’s shirt”, and before you know it, they’ve convinced themselves that their ENTIRE video is a failure, because absolutely NO ONE is going to understand or even watch the video, if her shirt is red, and NOT blue…
Sounds dramatic… but we see examples like this happen with our clients often.
We completely understand that these projects, these videos, are as important as your first born child! You have a lot of pressure to produce an amazing product, but it’s imperative to remember to step back and focus on the overall message of your video.
So if the color of Mary’s shirt isn’t the most important part to creating a successful video… then what is?
First, you want to establish your message. Keep it clear and concise! Second, ensure that your content helps to portray that message.
Don’t know where to start? The good news is that Ydraw can do it all for you!
(and don’t worry.. if you want Mary’s shirt to be blue, we’ll make sure it’s the prettiest blue you’ve ever seen.)
“Hello, my name is Mr. Important the CEO of Important Products… but the true important person is you!”
Uh wrong… Can you believe this guy?
He has officially lost us within the first line.
Code #282: If you want your audience to believe your product is important… focus on them and their needs, not on yourself.
This code is very important when creating successful content.
Don’t be Mr. Important.
What makes things funny? Our own sense of humor isn’t always funny to the guy sitting next to us. So, let’s look at a few simple principles used in Improv to make your video funny to all of your audience!
First and foremost, there is TRUTH in COMEDY! The funny comes from the experiences we have all had in our lives. Think about sitcoms, why do they work? They take something so simple, like everyday life and exploit it. The ups and downs of dating and heartbreak or fighting for that perfect job, only to find out that it isn’t so perfect. But where does the comedy come from?
The funny comes from the unexpected. The moments of truth. It comes from showing not telling. We have all been there…the time in the grocery store when two people are having a conversation in public and you can’t help but listen, even though you know the topic should have probably been left at home…yeah that stuff.
So let’s take a look at this funny scenario….
We see two shadowy figures digging holes in a graveyard. It’s dark, but we can see that there’s a body behind them. It appears that they are covering up a murder! The scene is quite grim and creepy… so how is this funny? The car lights flicker on and we get a better look of the situation… only to reveal…two clowns? Okay, now this is way more terrifying, but their must be more to the story… so as we get closer, we overhear…
Clown 1:“Look Stan, all I’m saying is I’m sorry she left you. You deserve better!”
Clown 2:“You know Joe I just don’t understand, I did everything I could to make her happy.”
Clown 1:“Hey, you know, it’s okay if you want to cry. It’s just us brother.”
Clown 2: (in tears) “Life is just so unfair! But hey how’s the wife and kids?”
Clown 1: “They’re real good. Sally just started walking…”
The conversation continues as they are digging a shallow grave wearing their clown costumes. So, we know they are clowns, we know they are friends, and we know what happened…but they don’t have to tell us that they murdered this guy. We just know! If we focused on the body, or what happened the scene would drag on, the audience would get board with details and information that they don’t need.
This scenario leads us to the truth of comedy…Relatability!
Think about how you feel when you pop bubble wrap. Did that put a smile on your face just thinking about it? How about when you scoop peanut butter from a freshly open jar, yeah there’s that satisfaction face. See how easy it is to relate? All you have to do is capture a moment when someone has used your product in such a way that it brings a clear feeling to your audience.
Just remember that comedy is subjective, but so is being bored out of your seat. By using these tried and true principles of Improv Comedy, you can help your audience laugh at the unexpected, learn about your great product/service and keep them interested and wanting more.
So, let’s get out there and take a fresh approach to comedy, and whatever you do, if you see two clowns walking your way…RUN!
Teddy Roosevelt has been quoted many a time, “Nobody cares how much you know until they know how much you care.” And this goes especially for Marketing to Your Audience!
You see, you CAN begin your marketing by sharing your giant Pedigree* of Success, your giant Rolodex* of clients that come at your every beck and call, and your impressive collection of Vintage Star Wars action figures, boxed in mint condition. BUT THEY DON’T CARE!
Okay…maybe the Star Wars figures, I mean especially if they have that one Rare Boba Fett*…
My point being, don’t make your first impression with your audience ABOUT YOU. In fact, you may consider, minimizing the mention of “you” to the smallest amount possible. Your marketing NEEDS to be about THEM.
The Mom who is exhausted carrying around a giant purse that contains everything known on the periodic table of elements. She wants to know that you care about her and her plight, when you sell her your amazing, mega-organizational handbag.
Spend the time in your marketing, connecting with her. Show empathy for how hard it is to carry that overgrown purse. Use humor to help her have a chuckle about it because she knows how impossible it is to find that lip gloss when her chapped lips are screaming for moisture, and the kids are clawing their way to find a granola bar in there too. She will totally think to herself, “Been there done that!”
By doing this, you will establish a relationship with your audience, in this case the Moms of the world. Now, they’ll care to listen to YOU! You have their attention because you relate to each other, on an emotional level. You are selling a relationship BEFORE you sell a product or service. So now, proceed to show some of the cool features of this “Heavenly Handbag” and again relate those features to them.
On a side note, keep your features explanation brief. They don’t need to know the process of “cutting and stitching every nuanced detail” that you researched; they just want the HIGH LEVEL facts that relate to them. This will keep them EMOTIONALLY engaged in your marketing.
In the case that you do spend time talking about YOU, make sure it’s to show how you relate to them. The purpose of sharing this piece of you is to connect with them, and not to gloat about you or in any way make you seem superior. If you don’t connect with them, be on their level, share their emotions, they will see right through you and go elsewhere for a solution to their need.
So…QUICK 5 POINT RECAP
- Marketing is about THEM
- Show Empathy
- Use Humor
- Emotional Engagement
- Sell a Relationship
NOW, get your groove on and practice that Electric Slide together! It’s all about the relationship, and your audience will respond to you once they know that you care about them.
*Pedigree – Pretty sure it’s some type of dog food.
*Rolodex – The Stone Age variety of a contact list on your smart phone. Geesh, writing all those cards sucked.
*Rare Boba Fett – A Boba Fett figure that was designed exclusively as a cereal box mail-in item in 1979. It was advertised with a Rocket firing backpack, but the actual production firing rocket was made stationary, as it was deemed a “choking hazard.” This figure is still highly sought after by collectors and has fetched upwards of 20K at auction.