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:

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:

  1. What prior marketing campaigns have been the most successful and what tone did they take?
  2. What type of tone will your target consumer be most responsive to?
  3. 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:

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!

What Is Tone and Mood and Why Do They Matter to Your Video?
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