The old saying claims "All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten." As a father with a child just out of kindergarten, I can definitely say she's way sharper than me, but sharper is different than having more knowledge. And while the saying is cute, and perhaps only a reference to an uncluttered pallette of a young & eager mind, that saying is obviously silly in actual application. The same holds true for creative Videos and TV Campaigns for Universities or Higher-Education organizations. In reading Malcolm Gladwell's book "Outliers", there are astounding connections he argues in his research of what makes successful people truly outstanding. Once you reach a certain threshold of smarts, there are other factors involved which make a person outstanding regardless if their IQ is 130 or 180. Einstein's IQ? 150. Christopher Langan's IQ? 200. Which one made an outstanding difference in the world?
What makes a person successful? There are many, many factors involved, but one of the overarching common denominators Gladwell argues is experience.
Once you gain 10,000 hours doing anything, he argues, you gain mastery. 10,000 hours gives you time to practice. Time to make mistakes, refine processes, and gain insight. Experience. Knowledge and Smarts.
Many times in creating videos and TV ad campaigns for higher-education, we can fall into the trap of "genius stereotyping". We assume the identified geniuses are going to be the outstanding successes. And we assume people are born smarter, and smarter people rise to the top no matter what.
But something I've learned from producing university videos is excellent people need the kind of excellent opportunities given by an outstanding college or university. And the insightful marketing folks who hire me to direct stories for universities and colleges have taught me this: you almost never feature the geniuses.
You market using the student who is smart, but who also has the other intangibles which cause them to be memorable. If they're memorable now, chances are they'll be the ones who have the right combination of smarts, personality, and the ability to make connections between different disciplines to be memorable once they get their 10,000 hours in. And memorable people make for memorable college marketing videos. And in the marketplace, "memorable + quality" has a better chance of selling than merely "quality" everytime.
After almost 10,000 hours directing and producing university videos for higher-education, I don't know if I've gained the outstanding success of Gladwell's outliers, but I've learned a few things. Don't script non-actors. Emotional moments are more important than statistics. And don't be afraid to use real students and professors to tell real stories! Take a look at one more university video, and remember to keep working on getting your 10,000 hours into whatever genre of Video or Film production you dabble.