We laughed. We cried. We're amused by this very post-modern video production with the pop retro touch and the notion of human hardship in "waiting" for something," like Heinz Ketchup, improved videoconferencing, and investment returns. The question is, which group of people are the ones really waiting?
The opening and closing of the TV show the Brady Bunch that features the (an early post-modernist visual touch in TV Land) in America's favorite alternative family show continues to influence video directors. In this Tandberg corporate video, the video heads say "we've been waiting for this" and then expound on what they can now do with the implied improved visual solutions - whatever they are, they're not stated - from some provider of such solutions. ...No one ever says "Tandberg." We can easily envision these snippets and its attendant b-roll being re-used and re-purposed for other video promotion in the brand of Tandberg (or companies with other products and services). In the world of photography, as distinct from video, this type of re-purposing is called the stock photo.
Of course, we're exaggerating to make a point with respect to this specific video, but in the mix and mash digital culture, the stock video houses will increasingly offer content snippets to produce a video similar to what Tandberg shot to brand their corporation. Postmodern deconstruction becomes post modern reconstruction.
More interestingly, the message of Tandberg's video is that everyone has "been waiting for this." The lead actor says it, the people say it, even in different languages. If ever there were a branding promo where a company's marketing message speaks to itself, it's this! It's a huge no-no, but the bigger the company the more likely it is to do it, even with those fat marketing and advertising budgets. Business professionals haven't been waiting for this. Everyone in this industry since 1964 has been "waiting for this." Everyday working managers - the same ones who popped their eyes in seeing a fax machine work for the first time and popped their eyes again ten years later receiving their first emails - haven't been waiting. Shopworn phrases like "just around the corner" and "we're at the inflection point" have been the catchphrases of the videoconferencing industry for years, but business professionals haven't cared; they've been busy harnessing ever new productivity tools, gizmos and systems all along. (Perhaps it's no wonder Cisco attempts, often awkwardly, to latch on to a sexier term like telepresence.)
It's the videoconferencing companies and shareholders who have "been waiting for this," and guess what? ...Their time has come. If only it could be promoted with smarter branding!
Overall the production quality of Tandberg's video isn't bad, though we think a 4/4 beat instead of the Van Halen-like guitar music would have been much hipper and in sync with digital culture.
Our ratings: Production quality B+. Brand messaging: D-
March 9, 2007