Project Description

For many years I traveled the world speaking to business people about how to advertise their products or services. It was a tough job working in a palace at Versailles, but someone had to do it.

I was asked recently to speak to some students at The Sydney Business School about video marketing. If you’re ever asked to speak publically about what you do, do it. It gives you a rare opportunity to analyze how you do what you do and in doing so you become better at it.

Normally my speeches are riddled with jokes, informative anecdotes, but this particular one ended with a video that literally bought most of the audience to tears.

The Thomas Kelly Youth Foundation was established after the tragic killing of Thomas Kelly. The eighteen year old was walking through Sydney’s King Cross on a night out with his girlfriend on July 7 2012 when he was king hit in an unprovoked and cowardly attack. Two days later his parents Ralph and Kelly Kelly switched off his life support system and began a mission to ensure laws where changed and our streets were safer – a mission they are well on the way to achieving.

They asked me to create some videos for a fundraiser. Like most projects time was tight and resources limited.

All I had to work with was some television interviews and family photos.

I opted not to use any of the vision from the interviews, instead I just used the audio.

By not seeing their faces the audience is forced to listen to the tone of voice to pick up the emotions and really focus on what they’re saying. The images I juxtaposed with the audio added far more to the story than simply seeing a talking head.

I’ve been involved in a great deal of research into how people react to different voices. Interestingly men and women listen quite differently. If you play a voice to a woman, she can give you a great deal of detail about the person speaking: their age, hair colour, what they’re wearing etc. Play the same voice to a man and 2 minutes later he’ll be hard pressed to tell you if it was a man or a woman speaking.

Men tend to focus on the information, while women are highly attuned to nuances in the voice.

In this video for the Thomas Kelly Youth Foundation, both men and women went for the tissues, there was a gender they could easily empathise with and their heartbreak and determination is clear for all to hear.