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Telling the LV Story in 15 Seconds (or less!)

When Laurel Village, CSU’s newest residential community, opened at the start of the academic year, Residence Life wanted not only to show off its cool architectural features, but also to tell its story. We set out to create a video introducing Laurel Village in a way that was personal, humorous and, above all authentic. To paint an authentic picture of Laurel Village we looked for students with interesting backgrounds and interests to describe, in their own words, what life in LV was like for them.

We got incredibly lucky and found three amazing students offering three very different perspectives to explore in our video: Asia – a self-confessed animal science nerd with a love of all things bovine, Jesse – a gamer whose personal style is reminiscent of a supporting character in the Legend of Zelda and Ryan – who spends his time getting huge at the Rec when he’s not doing PT for Air Force ROTC.

Because of how well the LV video went down, we decided to start production on a new web video series about each campus hall showcasing their unique personalities through the eyes of residents. These videos are set to go live this summer (I’ll explain more in a future post because they’re shaping up to be pretty cool), but I digress!

In this post I want to show how we were able to repurpose our original 5-minute Laurel Village video into shorter microvideos that we could share across platforms.

Our original video came in at a whopping 4 minutes and 57 seconds, which is loooong as far as digital video goes. But, because our target audience is made up of potential residents and incoming students, the content is particularly relevant and retains engagement despite its length. This is reflected in the positive stat that more than half of total views are retained past the 4-minute mark.

But we also wanted to give a wider audience a feel for the LV vibe but it’s unlikely that someone without a vested interest would sit all the way through a 5-minute Youtube video. So we cut down, and I mean, REALLY cut down the video: first to 15 seconds for Instagram:

And then 7 seconds for Vine:

According to Business Insider, it only takes 7-seconds to make a strong first impression. So if you know what you’re going for, microvideos are a pretty good way of introducing places, as narrative is less important than an overarching mood or feeling.

The emotional impression I wanted viewers to come away with after watching these clips is that Laurel Village is a place with a relaxed energy that is, at once, modern and timeless; timeless in that going away to college for the first time has a universal way of invoking a sense of possibility – equal parts scary and exciting – no matter who you are or when you matriculated.

So by cutting down the video to shots with lots of movement – from either the camera or subject – and by using scenes with bold color palettes from across the visual spectrum, I tried to show a dynamic energy and positivity that almost bypasses the brain and invokes a visceral reaction. Hopefully, that visceral reaction is that Laurel Village is kind of amazing.