There was a recent announcement that GenArts had partnered up with Pixelfish to bring their video effects (VE) to the video marketing company’s clients. The partnership announcement didn’t really thrill me, I thought ‘just two more companies working together,’ but that was because I didn’t realize the scope and coolness of this. You see, GenArts, provides VFX to about 80% of minutes to TV and theater today. That means they are obviously some of the best stuff in the world, and there is far more to it than you might imagine. This is what made me realize I should tell you all about it.

I had a chat with Katherine Hays, CEO of GenArts and John McIntyre CEO of Pixelfish about the fascinating world of video effects and the complex nature of getting them right as well as their new partnership.

Video effects are used to give a video more polish and drive engagement. A video without effects is flat and lifeless, like a television show without a soundtrack or a film without sound effects. That being said, what VFX does is create more time on ad, more purchase intent, more engagement. How much more? According to a GenArts report that is getting the final touches put on it (see how cool it is to be a journalist?), target audiences were 9% less likely to stop watching the video with visual effects before its end vs. those watching video without visual effects.

Also, purchase intent among viewers of the video with visual effects ranged between 9% and 12% higher than those who  watch the video without visual effects. Nine to twelve percent!

What about ad stickiness? Visual effects decreased the likelihood to fastforward or abandon the video; target audience was 9% less likely to close out of the video vs. than those watching video without visual effects.

I think that all deserves a Kung Pao!

Now, before we go too coo-coo for cocoa puffs, we have to remember the source, we have to see the methodology and all that. But right now the results are looking promising, plus, who wants to watch a video that has no video effects anyway? That’s like…so 2005 YouTube!

Swimming with Pixelfish

Pixelfish, for their part, is a video production house that produce tons of video, have been using VFX but not as much as they could. The highest quality VFX have simply not been cost effective, the lower quality were but not the same level of quality as GenArts obviously.

To bring this level of quality at a similar price point is a total game changer. Not only for Pixelfish, but for many of you out there who might be doing your own video, you can’t afford that $2,500 for a package of video effects that plug into a piece of software like Final Cut Pro or After Effects. Or you simply might not want to do your own video production and distribution and need a firm to do it for you, that’s where Pixelfish comes in. The fact that you can get Hollywood style, professional quality VFX into your videos is a major step forward.

You’ve Got the Look

Some of the interesting things about VFX are that there are specific demographic and regional breakdowns on what works best. Who knew, right? Well, of course an area like Latin America definitely has a whole different lifestyle and aesthetic so of course one would want some effects that fit into their expectations. But even on a more local/regional level things can vary.

To accommodate that, GenArts have created what they call “looks” which are basically a sort of template for the same video content with a different set of ingredients that will play well in specific areas. So you can have one brand message and set of creative, but it is then catered to get the best reaction in the areas you want to show it. This allows Pixelfish to quickly implement and rollout a video ad campaign in multiple regions, with multiple looks to ensure the maximum impact is attained.

On top of that, there are even more things in the works where overlay technology for YouTube will allow more complex ad campaigns with more video effect. It seems that the corner of Online Video Avenue and Video Effects Boulevard is going to be a very busy place indeed in the near future. I will keep you posted on the final results from the GenArts study they are doing as well as get some further information and hopefully some examples so we can see how video effects really can help you compel your audience to watch, act and remember.