How to use timelapse in your video marketing

08th June 2015

Timelapse photography is our focus in the third instalment of our video techniques series. After our first two articles on animation and 3D, you can now read more to find out how timelapse could be the most effective option for your next project…

How to create a timelapse video?

Essentially timelapse helps you to tell a story about a product or service which occurs over a long period of time. It is an effective means to bring a lengthy process to life – by transforming it into a short, punchy video.

How does it work? Timelapse takes a sequence of still images over a prolonged time frame and puts them together. The frequency at which the frames are captured is much lower than used to watch the final film, so the footage seems to be moving more quickly. We can film your event or project at whatever frequency you require, this will then be played backed a greater frame rate.

Let’s look at some examples of how you could use timelapse to promote your product or service…

Construction timelapse

When we think of timelapse and marketing, the construction industry comes to mind immediately. It is the perfect way to show how a construction or demolition project has developed from start to finish. It can show the scale, intricacies and complexities of architectural builds.

Timelapse can also help to demonstrate your business operations as a selling point. We worked with Hermes UK to film the construction of their new state-of-the-art UK hub facility, in order to show that they were way ahead of their competitors in their approach to logistics. A timelapse of their new interior as it was constructed really brought this to life for the brand and it was used to clearly communicate what they had achieved at client presentations and in sales pitches.

In addition to pure promotion, timelapse can also help you and your team to monitor a new project. For instance, we live streamed the Hermes project to update their UK and international team on progress We also provided a full archive of pictures after filming as well as a broadcast-quality HD video file.

Demonstrate brand personality

You may have noticed that we’ve used timelapse ourselves as a fun way to show how we work in the Hurricane office (including ballet pirouettes). There’s a serious point here in that timelapse could be used to signify how busy your brand is or how active you are on your customers’ behalf.

The film below has been around for some time, but interestingly is still part of Dove’s ongoing ‘Real Beauty’ campaign. They use timelapse to show their brand differentiation as the viewer is shown how long it takes for a model to get ready for a beauty ad campaign, giving false expectations to consumers.

Innovative storytelling

Timelapse can offer an innovative way to tell your story which grabs the audience’s attention. Famously Guinness used timelapse in their advert as a creative way to demonstrate the brand strapline “good things come to those who wait.”

Another drink manufacturer with a much lower ad budget used timelapse to show how their beer is made in a fun way.

Timelapse photography does shortform

Timelapse is also available via shortform video platforms. A brand which really gets shortform, Lowe’s, used timelapse as part of their DIY tips series on Vine.

Another digital leader, Burberry, also used timelapse effectively to show that they were opening in Shanghai.

If you’re working on a timelapse for Vine, Twitter advises that you clean your screen and dry your hands before starting to give you a shorter tap. They also say that you can achieve 140 taps in one Vine video (that’s almost 24 frames per second). Instagram has also introduced an app for IoS called Hyerlapse to help you create shortform timelapse videos.

Events and timelapse

The format can also be a really useful way for marketers to recreate and promote their event in an exciting way. Adding a soundtrack can really bring the memories of the event back and make those who couldn’t attend, feel they missed out. When marketing events or festivals, timelapse can help you continue to connect with your audience post-event and encourage them to share via social media. It can also be used the following year as a marketing tool.  Here is an example from Burning Man:

Timelapse can also generate interest in events in advance. We used timelapse to document Bristol street art festival, See No Evil giving audiences the chance to follow the progress of some of the larger street art murals via a live feed which captured stills every five minutes, 24/7 throughout the project.

Tourism timelapse videos

Just as with events marketing, timelapse can bring places to life for the tourist industry. From the natural world, to the city buzz, a timelapse film can pack your key selling points into a short shareable film. Here is an example from the Australian Tourist Board, which focuses on the Gold Coast. Timelapse has helped it sell itself as a holiday destination in just four minutes. Something we would point out here is that there could be a drop off in views after just 15 seconds, so they would have been wise to include a clear call to action at the start of the film or even cut it to under a minute.

Get the right team

You need to get the right team on board as timelapse photography can have many challenges. These include positioning the cameras to show the scale of a project, meeting health and safety requirements and minimising disruption to the site.

Find out more about the timelapse services we offer.

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