The making of “You Are Exceptional”

The “You are Exceptional” video was designed to showcase the features of Exaltive’s video guided workflow technology. There are some obvious features and a few some not-so-obvious features and here we explain how these work together to inspire user behavior in ways that are not possible with other technologies.

WARNING, This blog contains spoilers, so if you have not seen the video now is your chance!

You Are Exceptional

The objective of the video was to draw in viewers and keep them engaged long enough to hear our core message and see a “Video Guided Workflow” in action. We assumed that if viewers where engaged enough to watch to the contact form, and the technology was relevant to their business, then there was a high likelihood that they would submit our contact us form.

To accomplish the objective we wanted something that was visually and audibly interesting, and yet surprising. We loved the view of earth from space and the accompanying music gave the impression that something big, important and profound was about to occur. Next we introduced an element of surprise by adding a personalization based on time and location data that we could easily determine. Most users are not familiar with the idea of a video that adapts on the fly, and so we hoped seeing this information in the video would sustain the viewer’s interests. We chose the title and opening line to keep a focus on the viewer, and of course, who does not want to hear the message, “you are exceptional.”

The next element was the question. This was added to invoke some level of viewer involvement in the video, which is shown, to greatly increase both attention and retention of the content. Also, a simple interaction at this stage help train the user that this is a different kind of video, one they can interact with. We used subtle techniques of timing and shading to help encourage the viewer to click the desired “there is more” button, but we also created a fun little side path for users that clicked “I am lucky”. Interestingly before the timing and shading was added, viewers clicked the “I am Lucky” 65% of the time.

Next we created some viewer anticipation that we might know more about them, and we use this to create a moment of surprise when we admitted that we in fact did not know their name. That was an important element for this video that was designed for an anonymous web site. In other cases were name data was available we might have displayed the name without asking. Again we are leading the viewer down a path, and introducing the idea that they can add information right in the video – something that is not obvious to a typical video viewer.

By taking the viewers name and inserting it into the video we create another element of interest and surprise when the video greets the user by name, and congratulated them for being “awesome”.

At this point we take advantage of the interest we have created and use this to deliver our core message. “Video Guided Workflow can help your audience act smarter and accomplish more”. But we were not done yet and we wanted the right viewer to provide us with their contact information, so we create a little mystery with “But there is more to the story.”

Finally we invited viewers to share their email address, Company, and Title. We thought long and hard on the level of detail to request, and we decided on “Company” and “Title” as enough to discourage casual viewers, but not those with genuine interest.

The final part was to thank the viewer by name and provide links back to more information. The links were important because this video was designed to be shared on Facebook and linked-in so we wanted to ensure the user could find-out more if they were interested.

You might have guessed the above from careful observation of the video, but like the video says “There is more to the story.”

Design tool – There was nothing special about this video that could not be done by anyone with a little technical skill and access to the Exaltive design tool. All of the text, buttons, logos, and navigation were created using basic features of Exaltive tools and could be done by anyone with the skill to create a PowerPoint. No technical knowledge was required. (Contact us for a free account if you’d like to give it a try.)

Personalization – The personalization at the start was crated with a few simple JavaScript function that wrote date to a hidden page element with an ID used by the Workflow Engine fetch and display the text at the correct moment in time.

Dynamic Form – the contact us form was a simple HTML form that was created on the page and hidden. A simple JavaScript function validated the form, submitted it, and jumped the video to a defined time marker exposed by the Exaltive workflow engine. All of this this work could be done by any web programmer with basic skills. All of the dynamic elements were create on a web site, and then we used the embedding method to put the video on the same page as the forms.

Analytics – Another part of the story no obvious to the view is the analytics that automatically track the views and which buttons were clicked. You can view information on arrogate for a time period, or drill down into individual viewing sessions.

Text vs Audio – We specifically chose to keep the message all in text. We could have use a voiceover or a combination of voice and text. We picked text because it is very easy to edit the text in the Exaltive designer. This allows us to quickly make changes and try different versions without all the complexity of video editing. At also allows us to make A/B versions the video while keeping the same underlying video file. In fact this same Space base video file could be used to create almost any type of message.

iPhone Support – this video works on IPhone and Android. Anyone familiar with interactive video creation can attest that iPhones are not supported by most interactive video technology, but Exaltive makes it simple.

Navigation Controls – the video uses several navigation controls to branch the video and to create a loop that allows the video to wait while the user completes the form. A little sound effect is added to mask audio transitions during the loop back. We chose to remove the standard video navigation to skip ahead, but we included a skip back feature in case a viewer missed a segment.

The “You Are Exceptional” video is just one example and we hope this behind-the-scenes look helped to illustrate the many ways a Video Guided Workflow can be used to create user engagement. We hope this inspires you to try it to create something tools. We are always ready to help with a new application.