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Why your customers want to watch video

As a brand, it seems like everyone is constantly talking about making and distributing video. The pressure is on to make more video and get it out in front of your customers. There's a reason for that: people simply like watching videos. What makes video so effective?

In this episode, Hope and Guy break down why your customers are watching more video than ever. Like, over a billion hours of video on YouTube every day more video. Turns out that the way humans process information means that any medium that can hit multiple senses at once, like video, will be more effective than media that only hit one. Understanding the power of video can help brands reach their customers more effectively.

We break down:

  • The numbers. Survey says that video is not just a trend.
  • How different forms of media, such as text, podcasts, and videos, influence the audience.
  • What the next frontier will bring for brands and marketers

Key quotes

"68% of customers say that they want to be watching videos to learn about products or services ... It's not just because we're spending a lot of time watching puppies on YouTube, we're actually also watching a lot of videos about products or services that we're interested in." - Hope Morley
"Because of all these data streams that are hitting people from your visuals, sounds, color, all this stuff, it really makes video the most effective media to draw an emotional reaction out of the viewer because you can hit them in multiple places at once." - Guy Bauer

Resources, videos, and other stuff we talked about

Wyzowl Survey - Video Marketing Survey, 2019

Clip from The Matrix - Morpheus explains the Matrix to Neo

The puppy commercial that made Hope cry every darn time she saw it this holiday season:

You can listen to the episode using the player embedded above, or you can read a full transcript below.

Episode transcript

Hope Morley: Hello and welcome to So you need a video. It's the only podcast-

Guy Bauer: That we're aware of.

Hope Morley: About simplifying your brand's sales message with video. I'm Hope Morley.

Guy Bauer: And I'm Guy Bauer.

Hope Morley: And welcome to the first episode of our podcast.

Guy Bauer: Woo.

Hope Morley: We decided to start this podcast because we've been in this business for a while, we run a video agency, and we see a lot of the same questions, a lot of the same pitfalls coming through from our clients. And really we wanted to share the experience that we've gained over the years and help people make better videos. Because my goal in life is to stop having so much bad content be out there, really.

Guy Bauer: Yeah. And no one gets out of bed and says, "Boy, today I'm going to make a mediocre video and I'm really proud of it." Nobody.

Hope Morley: I really want my YouTube page to be filled with things that have seven views.

Guy Bauer: Said no one. So that's our mission. So why should people listen to us? Hope, tell us about yourself.

Hope Morley: Well, Guy and I run a creative agency called Umault. We're a video agency based in Chicago that focuses on making videos for brands, mostly with complex sales messages. So we take those products that you need a whole pitch meeting to explain and we can distill that down into 90 seconds. And Guy, what about you? How long you been doing this?

Guy Bauer: I've been making videos since the seventh grade. I started this agency in 2010. And all of the stuff that we will talk about in the next few hundred episodes-

Hope Morley: Fingers crossed.

Guy Bauer: We're going to do this for 50, 60 years until we drop dead. Is all stuff that we made those same mistakes, all of this comes from real life learning. It's all tacit knowledge. We've felt the successes, failures. We've seen everything under the sun. So really what we're doing with this podcast is boiling it all down. It has nothing to do with content marketing or thought leadership at all.

Hope Morley: Well, I recently learned that every day people watch over a billion hours of video on YouTube.

Guy Bauer: That's crazy.

Hope Morley: That is a mind-boggling number. And I also learned that in the US, YouTube reaches more 18 to 34-year-olds than any TV network that's out there. So you think about the influence of mass media in this country, and really it's concentrated in online video. So what I want to talk about today is why are people watching so much video? What is it about video that is attracting so much attention?

Guy Bauer: It's like the psychology behind okay, we get it, everyone's watching videos, probably not all intelligent videos. I watch a lot of really dumb videos.

Hope Morley: Puppies are great. I'm not going to hate on the puppy videos. But-

Guy Bauer: What's the reason? Let's try to "unpack"... unpack is on every podcast that I listen to, but we'll use that. So let's unpack that, Hope. The idea is let's unpack why videos work so well. What is the psychology around that?

Hope Morley: And to ground ourselves a little bit in the marketing and video space, I found this Wyzowl survey that was done at the end of December in 2018 that said that... it found that 87% of businesses are now using video as a marketing tool. So there's no question that businesses are using this and they want to be using this. So, our clients and businesses in general are trying to hit on this trend. They're trying to get some of those YouTube views to be for their products or services. And in turn, 68% of customers say that they want to be watching videos to learn about products or services over reading. Who wants to do that? So this is important for brands to know. It's not just because we're spending a lot of time watching puppies on YouTube. We're actually also watching a lot of videos about products or services that we're interested in.

Hope Morley: So, as a business, what does this mean for you? Why-

Guy Bauer: So what is the psychology behind why everyone loves video?

Hope Morley: Yeah. With these 68% of customers that say that they want to watch a video to learn more about a product or service, why is a video the most effective way to talk to them? What is appealing to them about it?

Guy Bauer: Yeah. I'll start with something... I think this episode's going to get real theoretical, so hang on, put an extra pot of coffee on and tuck your kids in, because we're going deep. I think when I take a look at video and why it works and all that stuff, I think there's a few things. And I think my main theory is that when you think about video... Well, let's talk about when you read a book. When you read a book, the way data gets into your brain is through the words on the page.

Hope Morley: It's very simple.

Guy Bauer: It's literally one data stream. The bandwidth is just as many... If you think about the bandwidth of that data stream from the page to your brain, it's words put in a particular order that make an idea that goes into your brain. It's total visual, and you're looking at printed symbols. We're going to get real basic, okay? So that's the data stream. It is pretty low-bandwidth because it's really just limited to how fast you can read. And then all the processing is done in your brain, but the way it works is that it's pretty raw data coming into your brain, and it makes your brain do a lot of work. And that's why people like reading because you have to process those words into, "Well, what does Mordor look like?" Or whatever.

Hope Morley: It's engaging and it works your brain in a way that you don't get to work it that often.

Guy Bauer: Correct. So that's books. Now let's think about when you listen to a podcast, like this.

Hope Morley: Oh hey.

Guy Bauer: The way the data comes through is maybe... Well, of course it's the voices, the words you're hearing from me and Hope right now, but it's also maybe we play a song. Maybe there's a little sound design, like when you listen to an NPR podcast, if they're talking about a bad time in the person's life they're going to use down tempo music. So if you think about the data stream, there's the words you hear and then the sound design or the music that you hear underneath. So now the bandwidth is getting wider.

Hope Morley: You're starting to get a more immersive experience.

Guy Bauer: Correct.

Hope Morley: You're starting to feel like you're in the Amazon rain forest with the person that they're talking to in that NPR interview.

Guy Bauer: Correct, yeah. You can have the words of the person, you can have the music that's down tempo, and then they can put sound effects of the Amazonian rain forest. So you're exactly right. The bandwidth is all auditory though, so when you listen to a podcast there's nothing visual to see. And people like podcasts so that they can drive, so that the bandwidth of their visual senses is dedicated toward driving and you can be alert, but you're using all your bandwidth, your audio bandwidth, to listen and be involved in the Amazonian rain forest. You can't read while you drive so you listen to podcasts.

Hope Morley: Not recommended.

Guy Bauer: Right. Again, I said we're going to break this down. It's getting real theoretical. So now video comes along. So video, if you think about, video has all the same audio components that a podcast or an audiobook or whatever, all the same components of that. So you've got music, you've got words, you've got sound effects, and all the full immersive sound design. But now you also have visual. And inside the visual component, there's costumes, there's set design, there's color correction. There's all these little other variables. So if I want to make a sad scene, I can color correct and tint everything blue so that it looks sad. If I want to make something happy I tint it warm.

Hope Morley: And you'll use the music to kind of bring the mood down and to get that emotional hit on your viewer that this is a sad moment.

Guy Bauer: Correct. So really video, out of all the mediums that are out there, correct me if I'm wrong, I'm trying to think of every other medium, but it's really the ultimate medium in that it covers so many of your senses. It's sound, it's sight, it's not smell. What are the other senses?

Hope Morley: Touch, taste.

Guy Bauer: Touch. Doesn't have touch, taste.

Hope Morley: Don't lick the videos please.

Guy Bauer: So until they really do invent smell-o-vision, it has the most amount of your senses covered. So you are literally getting a ton of bandwidth into your brain. Now here's the other interesting thing is that I can do different things with the data stream. So I can, almost like a drummer, a good drummer is able to disassociate their right foot from their left arm-

Hope Morley: I wish everyone could see Guy trying to show what a drummer looks like right now.

Guy Bauer: Right, so a drummer can disassociate and move their limbs not inter... is it interdependently?

Hope Morley: Independently.

Guy Bauer: Independently, right. They can move them independently. Same thing with video. I can manipulate all those data streams to just be funneling so much data into your target audience's minds. And sometimes it gets really complex, sometimes it gets very simple. I'll use the example from The Matrix. The Matrix is a very complex movie, they're manipulating all the data streams. They've got music, sound effects, locations, actors.

Hope Morley: Color's a huge one in that movie.

Guy Bauer: The whole thing, right? And there's a distinct point in The Matrix where they recognize that your data streams have been just totally overloaded and you may be confused. So what they do is, there's the scene where Morpheus explains to Neo what the Matrix is. And the filmmakers, in order to minimize the bandwidth latency on your brain, to make your brain very clear because they need your attention here, because if you don't understand what the Matrix is from this point on in the film you're going to be so lost, what they do is they put Morpheus an Neo in a white room with no props, no sound design, no other visuals, and he just clearly, with one dimension, with his words explain to Neo what the Matrix is. And then after that point, then they fill up and they buffer up all the other data streams and they move on.

Guy Bauer: But this is a sort of philosophy that I think I've just seen, this is the reason why videos are so effective and why people crave them is because all of their senses get tickled. It's almost like when... My friend had a fat cat, and the cat was so fat that there was a strip on the cat's back that was not cleaned regularly because the cat was too fat. And so it was all matted, and so when you scratched that part, the cat would just like... just love you. I feel like that's what people... This is a terrible metaphor.

Hope Morley: Where is this going?

Guy Bauer: But that's what people feel like when you properly entertain and use up all their bandwidth and they're getting all that data in at the same time. People love that. And I think that's why, from a very philosophical, kind of fundamental level of why it works. And I think on a higher level, it works because people are lazy and you don't have to read or do anything, just hit play and it works.

Hope Morley: But because of all these data streams that are hitting people from your visuals, sounds, color, all this stuff, it really makes video the most effective media to draw an emotional reaction out of the viewer because you can hit them in multiple places at once. I am the type of person that I cry a lot at movies, TV shows, books, anything.

Guy Bauer: Cell phone commercials.

Hope Morley: Cell phone commercials. The commercial around the holiday time that had a three-legged puppy got me every time. But, I am much more likely to cry at the end of a movie than I am at the end of a good book. Even if the book is really hitting me right in the heart and it's getting you, it doesn't have that whole immersive experience that you're getting from a movie. It's that play of the characters and the music and everything. It just gets you there. And you're going to get that emotional reaction out of your viewer.

Guy Bauer: Yeah. If wielded correctly, the kind of brain-hacking ability of video's data streams can be so powerful. I don't know if this is TMI, but I see a therapist, and I was talking about how I love magic tricks. I love magic probably because it's deception, it's deception right in the open. And she was like, "Well, do you use this deception in other areas of your life other than making videos?"

Hope Morley: Was she concerned?

Guy Bauer: Yeah. And I was like, "No, no, no, I'm good. When I go home I'm very one-dimensional person. I'm either hungry or tired." But if you think about it, like I said, you have to wield video, the medium of video, correctly in that respect those data streams. But then exploit the heck out of them, because you can really hack somebody's brain and make them feel something that they didn't feel before, hopefully about your brand, and they don't even know you're doing it to them because you're exploiting all the data streams that are available. So practically, what does this mean for clients, I guess.

Hope Morley: What it means for clients, like you were saying, is that this is a super powerful tool. And like I said at the top of the episode, 87% of businesses are using this tool. Great, people are putting out videos. But out of that percentage, I've seen a lot of businesses' videos, they are not effectively using this knowledge to make good videos. And what I mean by a good video is one that actually impacts the viewer, so they get some sort of emotional reaction. And I don't just mean that it's the puppy video making you cry. This episode sponsored by puppies. That you can just get someone to laugh to think more about your brand. You can get... even if they just feel a little bit better about themselves, you can inspire someone, that's an emotional reaction that you're getting out of someone. And the types of videos that are going to draw those emotional reactions are ones that are going to be most effective for your business because people will actually watch them.

Guy Bauer: Yeah. The way I think about it is this, depending on if you think of this as one of the best movies are not, there's no doubt that Forrest Gump... Hell, that came out in '95 I think, I've seen it at least a dozen times. And I cry at the ending when he's talking to Jenny, oh my gosh-

Hope Morley: Every time.

Guy Bauer: I'm starting to tear up now. And again, if we just break Forrest Gump down, it's a series of moving pictures in a particular order with music in a particular order and then dialog in a particular order. And all of that, how the hell did that make me cry? Wait a second, this is-

Hope Morley: You don't know that guy.

Guy Bauer: I don't know the guy. I know the guy's fictional. I know Jenny's fictional. She didn't die. She's on... what's the Netflix show?

Hope Morley: House of Cards.

Guy Bauer: House of Cards, so she's alive and well. Yet I cry every time. It's because my emotions were manipulated by the filmmaker in those data streams. And what's interesting, as a side note, I call Forrest Gump probably the best movie of all time in that it puts you through an emotional roller coaster. Through its use of data streams, it also then puts you through every single emotion that you can have as a human. So, laughter, there's sadness, there's anger, there's disgust. Forrest Gump is just a buffet of human emotion. And so to your point earlier, you were saying all you have to do is just make people feel a little something and you've delivered value to them. And now when they see your logo at the end, you will have a... hey, it's better than nothing. So the video can't guarantee that they're going to buy or whatever, but it can guarantee that you'll stick out a little bit more. And the way you do that is by making people feel something.

Guy Bauer: So why do people love videos so much? If we can boil it down, it's that their sense are being manipulated and people like that feeling.

Hope Morley: Manipulated in a good way.

Guy Bauer: Right.

Hope Morley: In a way that people enjoy the entertainment value of it.

Guy Bauer: Correct. Yeah, I'm from New Jersey, so as you listen to this podcast, I'm a very... and all my friends practice schadenfreude. Is that the right-

Hope Morley: Yeah.

Guy Bauer: In New Jersey everything is said in a negative, hyperbolic connotation, so Hope will be my New Jersey police. But yeah, manipulated in a good way. People like being kind of just reached into and their levers pulled.

Hope Morley: Yeah. So I went to college as an English major. I have always been a huge reader. Books have been important to me my entire life. And I actually started my career for a while in publishing. But I left publishing and I came to video because I really do believe that it's a more effective way to reach people. There is something different about a well-done video or a well-done movie that hits people in a way that a book is never going to do, that print media is never going to do. And I think that's why video is just taking over the internet. It's not New York Times articles. It's never going to be print articles. Video works because it hits in all these different ways. And video is an effective media, there's no question, it's not going anywhere. As of right now with the technology that we have that's in everyone's homes, that's on your phone, nobody has a more effective way to reach people than with video. So I believe that people should be using that smartly, and it's going to be the future and we need to help people do it better.

Guy Bauer: Yeah, and video's going to evolve into VR and AR and all that stuff.

Hope Morley: That's why with the technology in people's homes right now, phones, computers, TV, it's still video. And I would consider VR and AR to be very much part of video, it's just a more immersive video experience.

Guy Bauer: Yep. And if you think about it, if you think about why is VR, why is everyone so excited about VR, now you start getting back into the data streams. Because, well now, you're covering my audio, you're covering my video, but now you're covering my spatial perception and you're impacting my peripherals and all that stuff. So again, it's you're taking, you're masking up, or you're kind of plugging, you're satisfying more of my data ports if that makes sense. Almost imagine, in The Matrix, how they have little data ports, so a book is one data port, podcast maybe is two data ports, and a video and maybe the whole goal is that eventually all the data ports are kind of... there's an input into all the data ports, and that's where we're all going to is VR, where I can say, "Well, I want to be Superman." I'm going to put on my VR glasses and feel like I'm Superman. So really it's the whole idea of hooking into your audience, manipulating their emotional levers in a way that makes them feel something, they feel something, and then because of that feeling, now they belong to a tribe, and that tribe has your logo associated with it. So if you think about, the three things kind of all cascade from one to another.

Hope Morley: Yeah.

Guy Bauer: Look at that, we didn't even mean to have that happen. It just worked out. Cool. Well this has been an awesome conversation, Hope.

Hope Morley: Yeah, and thanks to everyone for listening to this episode of So you need a video. For more information and for links to some of the videos that we talked about in this episode, please visit our website at umault.com, that's U-M-A-U-L-T.com. Thanks.

Guy Bauer: See ya.





Picture of Guy bauer, founder of umault

Guy has been making commercial videos for over 20 years and is the author of “Death to the Corporate Video: A Modern Approach that Works.” He started the agency in 2010 after a decade of working in TV, film and radio. He’s been losing hair and gaining weight ever since.

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