The Successful Video Concept: Examples, Components and Checklist

Video concept: examples, components and checklist for your own video conception
Video concept - you have to be able to answer this question | © Pixabay

A video concept can be anything. Or nothing. In order for it to fly at all, important questions have to be answered even before the video conception. The most important of these: what do I want to say in the first place. Professionals call this focusing a story on what you want to say.

What is the key message? For the first time, this question sounds banal, even self-evident. But she’s not! Especially not when you are supposed to formulate the answer in a few sentences. This article shows how to define the goal of a story unambiguously, briefly and professionally.

You need to know

  • Every video concept must provide three answers: What do I want to say? Who am I speaking to? In what form do I deliver the message?
  • The desire to make a statement is at the heart of the conceptual work for a video.
  • The core statement can be developed according to the modular principle (see checklist, below).

Three basic questions for any video concept

Any semi-professional corporate video concept must answer at least three basic questions:

  • (1) what am I trying to say with the video,
  • (2) who do I tell, and
  • (3) how do I say it.

In practice, the second point, the target audience, is often at the beginning of the film work.

Determining who should watch an image film, a product video or a social video is usually easier for the client and the video production company than determining the necessary content. The only thing that is usually clear, spoken or unspoken, is that the content should be unique, original, effective and cheap to produce.

Less problematic is the determination of the shape. Once you know the target audience and content, you can derive the form for a film or video.

The video concept is preceded by the desire to make a statement

The video concept is the sum of what, who and how. The testimony request is the what. And that what I’m trying to say is the point here. In a sense, the statement desire is the video concept before the video conception. It defines the core message and the thrust of a video or film. It is the guardrail and compass point to which originality, effect and production effort must be subordinated.

Supplementary article: How and why to create a concept.

Anyone who has not defined the statement requirement before the video conception must not call himself a producer. To simply write down an idea and to throw it in the client’s face is window dressing. It may succeed to inspire a client of an image film honestly. However, this does not guarantee targeted and effective communication with moving images.

1Example 1: Not like this, please

One can and may be divided about the originality and raison d’être of a statement request in a video concept. Here, however, we should not care about originality and creativity any more than we care about whether a company that wants to be the perfect partner for all its customers has done its homework in positioning itself in the market.

Let’s take a look at an example from video design that is often found in practice:

Example-1 Video concept
Video conception: Example 1

What is to be made of this?

Let’s look at the facts. Let’s remember the who, what and how. And let’s ask ourselves whether with “Our new image film should show that company X is the perfect contact for all customer wishes.” is it clear to the client and producer what the video concept entails?

  • Check 1: Who is the target audience? The target audience here is all customers (in good German, this means everyone: customers from 3 to 99 years of age). One film for all, that’s rarely a winning idea.
  • Check 2: What should be said? I don’t know … empty phrases and empty formulas are no substitute for concrete content.
  • Check 3: How do I say it? The statement request gives no indication of emotionality or why I, as a viewer, should invest my life time in the video.

Instead of formulating a statement request, the task in this example is (consciously or unconsciously) simply delegated to the following work step. Let the author or director answer the question of what they want to say in the context of the video concept (and fail at it themselves)!

2Example 2: Well …

Let’s take the existing example and push it a step further. In doing so, we look for clarity, avoid empty phrases (things that I as a reader either already know or don’t need to know), and try to put more than a mere statement of intent on the concept paper. Also, we try to already hint at a feeling of how the film will come across. After all, the planned video should be unique and stand out and differentiate itself from the films of the competition.

Video conception: Example 2

What has changed in the video concept?

First, the opening sentence is simplified. “Our new image film …” is deleted. Because: is clear! Whose else’s film or video would it be? The competitor’s?

Second, the statement desire concretizes the how. The employees are at the centre of the film concept. The image film demonstrates why the company’s employees deliver a top performance. He shows the viewer why this is apparently still done with joy. At the same time, the video conception already hints at first emotions and promises a certain authenticity.

Thirdly, still restrained, but nevertheless, with “(…) everything to do, so that (…)” the dramaturgy already sounds quietly and for the first time. Perhaps these extra steps in the service of the customer are not always without. In this way, the image film suggests excitement and interest.

Fourthly, the customers are now more specific: primarily existing, secondarily new customers are addressed.

3Example 3: It is possible to live with this

Let us sharpen the preceding example 2 again. Ultimately, we want simple, memorable, understandable formulations for our message, which leave little room for misunderstanding in the video concept and which serve as a basis for well-founded discussions (and offers).

What needs to change? What is missing or can be improved in video design here? Let’s take on dramaturgy and emotion. Let’s accept that the viewer isn’t hell-bent on having a good time watching this movie from A to Z. Let’s give customers a reason to watch the movie and give the company a face as the sender of the video.

Example-3 Video concept
Video conception: Example 3

It follows that:

The film doesn’t show more. But he lets the viewer experience. Authenticity, closeness and insights instead of schoolmastery and instructional film from the late 80s. The viewer is immersed in the corporate world. This is given a human face by the employees of department X and Y in the video concept. At the same time, as in real life, there always seem to be challenges in these departments.

The dramaturgy is further concretized by the naming of hurdles (in the technical language of the dramaturge, this is called the height of the fall). And overcome. Thanks to know-how and the joy of striving for the best possible solution, the obstacles are overcome.

4Example 4: Here beckons the top grade

Let’s take it up another notch. The protagonists have once again become more concrete and tangible. The wording emphasizes their role and importance as part of a larger whole (the company). The hurdle is deliberately mentioned as part of the film’s dramaturgy with the phrase although. Emotions and information are given as part of the video conception.

Then the brief for the video concept reads like this:

Video conception: Example 4

Nota bene: From which narrative perspective and the image film will be told (from the perspective of Ms. Muster and Mr. Beispiel) and in which genre (documentary? reportage? fictional short film? video testimonials?) will only be concretized at the video concept stage.

Checklist / kit for video conception: analysis and structure

A statement request is composed of various building blocks in the video concept:

In the subordinate clause, the subjects (protagonists / plot devices) are defined. He makes it clear who the “heroes” are in the plot. And at the same time makes it clear that they must be understood as part of a team (and thus of the company).

This part of the sentence makes this unmistakably clear in the video conception and specifies the intended audience (in the current case there are two target groups)

“In the new image film (…)Naming of the genre respectively the function (it is about image and awareness, sympathy)
(…) of the sample company AGEvery film has a sender (not to be confused with narrative perspective). He is named here.
experience (…) customersThe verb “to experience” gives an important indication of the type and design of the image film. Experience is active. Other terms with different weights are: experience, understand, recognize, learn, etc.
(…) existing and future customersAn image film is not made for the sender, but for the viewer.
as Ms M. (34) and Mr B. (52) from department Z and service centre Y together with their teams (…)
challenging customer problems (…) The object in the sentence states the actual fact: what is the core issue?
(…) solve effortlessly and with pleasureAdverbs and adjectives clarify the emotional direction. Likewise, they are an indication of the value of the story.
(…) although at first they seem insoluble.”This clause specifies the resistance or conflict that the subjects must overcome on the way to the solution.

The analysis of these building blocks is the construction manual for the video concept.

Next Steps after video conception

Video conception can consist of simple tasks and short films:

  • Testimony Request,
  • a picture idea for the design
  • Notes on the sequence and structure of the image film
  • and a list of questions for interviews / statements

For longer videos, all the content of the sequence is worked out in detail, if necessary even with a storyboard. In this case, the video concept includes:

  • Statement request,
  • Design Idea,
  • Detailed sequence with differentiation between image level, sound level and a list of questions for possible interviews or testimonials, supplemented if necessary with sketches for the staging of key scenes or with a storyboard.
  • Timing (length of the respective sequences)
  • Shotlist
  • any additional information (such as location requirements, casting of participants, etc.)

In doing so, it is always important to keep in mind: Statement core and video concept have the task of creating clarity about the story. That’s why they are an indispensable element for storytelling. This is especially true in commissioned films.

At the same time, the core message and the video concept also form a binding agreement between the contractor and the video producer on the type and design.

Obligation of the client in video conception

It should always be possible for the client (!) to formulate the desired message as the basis for the video concept in the commissioned film. It serves as a basis for the offer, the dialogue and the evaluation of a video production.

Therefore, dear film producer, do not trust any client who is not able to formulate the core message of his image film or video himself. Anyone who works as a marketing and communications expert in a company and is unable to formulate a core statement does not know his employer and his working environment well enough or does not know his job. Or else play a game. Sooner or later, both will blow up painfully in both parties’ faces.

To the moon!

That’s why, esteemed clients, shoot every video producer to the moon who accepts an order and, when called at three o’clock in the morning, cannot immediately and without thinking state the core message of the image film!

Trust that every so-called filmmaker and self-proclaimed video producer who cannot derive a professional video concept from a professionally formulated statement request within a matter of weeks also belongs behind the moon.

Short formulas for checking a video concept

The short formulas AIDA and GIULIA stand for a number of important questions, which also help in the conception for a video. Both formulas are to be understood as a checklist for the set-up and structure of a communication measure with moving images. You can find out more about this in the article “7 reasons why you should get to know the DANIELA Principle®”! and Aida vs. Giuila: How commercial video films make an impact on customers!


A video concept is impossible without a prior definition of the message core. A mix of video conception and statement desire is not advisable. This mixes up the initial situation and concretization. A professionally worded key message contains only a few sentences. Usually a main clause and a subordinate clause are sufficient for this.

This article was automatically translated into English using AI. If you would like to help us improve the quality, we would be happy to hear from you.

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