How to Choose the Right Options for Visual Storytelling in Hotel Photography and Video Production

There are more ways than ever for marketers to tell a story, probably too many to count. Even if we narrow the category to visual storytelling for hotels, the range of options is incredible. There are myriad types of hotel photography and video production. There are new tools available like virtual reality and augmented reality, as well as hollywood-style visual effects. And, there are a huge range of channels available for delivery, from Facebook and Youtube to mobile apps, blogs, and branded magazines.

The sheer volume and variety of choices available to marketers can be overwhelming. But, in our opinion, it also makes this an incredibly exciting time to work in visual marketing. More than ever before, we can be driven solely by the story we want to tell. There are so many choices that we get to find, create, or adapt the storytelling options that suit and enhance our narrative, rather than fit our story into a 30 second ad slot or a quarter of a magazine page.

Visual Storytelling for 19 Crimes

19 Crimes Visual Storytelling with AR

A recent example of choosing a medium – in this case, augmented reality – to tell an authentic, compelling story comes from Australian wine brand 19 Crimes. The brand is named after the British list of felonies that were punishable by banishment to Australia in the 18th and 19th centuries, and toasts the 160,000 exiled men and women who formed part of the country’s history. The brand’s labels feature the mugshots of notable convicts, like John O’Reilly, who became a celebrated poet; Jane Castings, who lead a gang of thieves; and Michael Harrington, who orchestrated one of the most daring and celebrated escapes from Australia. In July last year, 19 Crimes released an augmented reality mobile app called Living Wine Labels. By downloading their app and holding it over the mugshots on their labels, the convicts become animated and tell their story.

A company spokesperson for 19 Crimes told Inc.com, “Our stories are 100 percent authentic and true. We have the most unique story(ies) in the alcoholic beverage industry and should be telling them every chance we get which, in this case, is every bottle.” The Living Wine Labels augmented reality app is a strong example of prioritizing storytelling in visual marketing: the story is the focus, and the methods and tools used to tell the story are chosen because they suit and enhance the narrative.In our opinion, it is when brands strive to prioritize their story, and choose mediums that preserve and enhance that story, that we see truly great examples of marketing. This is a philosophy that we follow for all of the visual marketing we produce, for ourselves as well as for our clients. For example, the video that features prominently on our website’s homepage uses an editing style called parallax to bring our images to life. We didn’t choose this style because it looks cool, we chose it because the story we want to tell is about the excitement and adrenaline of travel, and this style helps to convey our story. In the video below, we talk more about how we made the video, and the choices we made while creating it.

Silicon Valley VR “The Hacker Hostel”

Visual Storytelling with Silicone Valley VR Hacker Hostel

Another strong, recent example of choosing a medium that enhances a message is the release of a virtual reality game to promote the tech-focused show Silicon Valley. The game, Silicon Valley: Inside the Hacker Hostel, is intentionally niche. It requires a VR headset and an account with HTC’s Viveport service to even play, something that the audience for a tech-focused show is more likely to have than the general population. Virtual reality is not simply a tool or medium for their story, it’s part of their message: if you’re interested in tech, this is the show for you.

Visual Storytelling with Our Website Header Cinematic Sequence

In our opinion, it is when brands strive to prioritize their story, and choose mediums that preserve and enhance that story, that we see truly great examples of marketing. This is a philosophy that we follow for all of the visual marketing we produce, for ourselves as well as for our clients. For example, the video that features prominently on our website’s homepage uses an editing style called parallax to bring our images to life. We didn’t choose this style because it looks cool, we chose it because the story we want to tell is about the excitement and adrenaline of travel, and this style helps to convey our story. In the video below, we talk more about how we made the video, and the choices we made while creating it.

The number of choices available for visual marketers working in the hotel industry is incredibly vast. Our advice to hotel marketers is this: wherever possible, let your choices be guided by the authentic story you want to tell. Of course, there are other, practical factors that will affect decision making, such as budgets and briefs and the needs of your various departments. But, we believe that if you prioritize the fundamental story that you want to share wherever possible, it will lead to more creative, more engaging content and better results.

Visual Storytelling with Parallax and a Helicopter Image for a Luxury Hotel