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!
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.)
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
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.
THAT, my friends, is the power and charm of simplified marketing.
2 words and your mind has been hijacked by a catchy jingle, an image of two bubbly tablets dropping into a glass of crystal clear H20 and possibly a pale faced, indigestion-plagued person sitting next to their half eaten deep dish pizza… about to toss their simmering seltzer salvation down their gullet.
Just 2 words and without thinking, you’ve recalled a problem that can be solved by the product. BRILLIANT.
So let’s take it wayyyyy back to marketing meetings of yesteryear.
It’s probable that at some point the indigestion big-wigs of this company met with the advertising crew and gave an hour long in-depth display of why these dissolvable tablets work. Charts, product testing, scientific results and guarantees were no doubt tossed around during a monumental data-packed discussion that would surely convince even the most discriminating consumer of its usefulness… so why didn’t Alka-Seltzer go with:
“Sodium bicarbonate can be used to treat heartburn, indigestion and acid reflux by reacting with and neutralizing excess stomach acid through effervescent tablets that contain three active ingredients, aspirin, sodium hydrogen carbonate and citric acid. Also, aspirin belongs to a group of medicines called non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). It works by blocking the action of an enzyme in the body called cyclo-oxygenase and oh what a relief it is!” as their jingle???
Because they understood that ENTERTAINMENT can be more valuable than the over-stimulation of EDUCATING your audience to death.
Though this product is complex and scientifically proven, the message is simple.
Bottom line… if your stomach hurts, plop-fizz your way to relief.
Problem. Solution. That’s all they need to know.
Close your eyes… (wait, actually don’t because I still need you to read my words) IMAGINE that you’re taking your target-audience out on a blind date.
You put on your best suit, douse yourself with high-end cologne and drive to that fancy corner steakhouse, eager to meet your new muse.
Do you sit across the table from this beautiful stranger, rub your sweaty palms together and then begin reciting every mundane moment of your life so that she can fully appreciate each and every morsel of the man that you have been, currently are and ever hope to be???
(Good luck getting second date.)
But what if you tried courting your audience instead?
What does she need? Why did she agree to this date?
Dinner, companionship and connection… not the details of last week’s wart removal… so take a deep breath and give her just enough of what she needs to get her to agree to date #2.
So what’s the equivalent of a 2nd date in the world of marketing?
Google searches. Leads. Phone calls. Emails. Consultations.
You’ve gotta spark enough interest to get some action from your call to action and that’s done by making sure your message is simple, memorable and easily absorbed into the viewer’s mind.
The more you can narrow in on the meat & potatoes of your message or the sweet & simple essence of your service and stop trying to push your beloved information watermelons through human attention span-keyholes…
The more you’ll start seeing your efforts convert into genuine, profitable results.
Like these campaigns:
Got Milk? (Totally makes you thirsty.)
Maybe She’s Born With It? (Fake your natural beauty.)
Give Me A Break. (Who in their right mind would refuse a chocolate break or a piece of broken chocolate?)
The Breakfast of Champions. (Cereal box heroes.)
The Best A Man Can Get. (Smooth, manly jawlines.)
Melts In Your Mouth Not In Your Hand.
(This is a lie, but I still buy/eat them.)
I Want My BabyBack-BabyBack-BabyBack-BabyBack. (You just sang, again… didn’t ya?)
Double The Pleasure, Double The Fun. (Hot twins. Who cares what they’re selling.)
Dilly Dilly. (Nothing to do with beer. Sometimes simple & stupid = memorable.)
When done right, marketing with simple, clever videos can be powerful enough to make your message last a lifetime (just ask the plop-plop peeps)… and Ydraw can help you do just that, oh what relief it is!
At one point or another, each of us have had that gut feeling that defies the facts and numbers. When everything looks right on paper but for some reason it just doesn’t “feel” right.
So where does that feeling come from?
Contrary to what you may be thinking, it actually comes from the BRAIN!
Simon Sinek, a British-American author and motivational speaker, does a great job explaining this in his book called “Start with Why.”
He talks about the two parts of your brain
The Neocortex or “the what” and the Limbic or “the why”
The Neocortex being responsible for our rational and analytical thought and language and the Limbic being responsible for our feelings, behavior and decision making. He also talks about how our Limbic brain has no capacity for language.
What this means is the part of our brain that DRIVES BEHAVIOR, our Limbic Brain, doesn’t even understand the vast amounts of information you are throwing at it. It just hears BLA BLA BLA!
So how does knowing all this, help make better videos?
Studying the human brain helps us understand what motivates our audience leading to lifelong business.
Like Simon mentions, when we first communicate the “why” and get our viewer believing what we believe, we establish an emotional connection. After that connection is formed, it doesn’t really matter what we have to offer them or how we have it because “people don’t buy what you do they buy why you do it.”
You can explain to your viewer till your blue in the face what all of the facts, features, benefits and details are of your company but at the end of the day, if they don’t trust you, they aren’t going to click on your website or set up that free consultation or even think about contacting you.
So before smack your viewers in the face with 7 million reasons why your company is exponentially greater than your competitors….
Ask your self WHY you do what you do. Ask yourself if you actually need all that nitty gritty, technical jargon in your video. Ask yourself if you are selling a product or selling an idea.
Understanding the role of the emotional unconscious and how it plays a role in the decision-making process of your audience is critical in making your video successful.
Remember…. “People don’t buy what you do they buy why you do it.”