During my research of websites of European institutions and their use of visual communications, I was on a mission: looking for a homepage with a good video that explains in a simple and interesting way what the institution does and how.
The European Council homepage has a video (but you need to install a particular Microsoft programme to watch it! Ok...so now what?) and a Newsroom mainly aimed at journalists, as are aimed at journalists (desperate times call for desperate measures ops, sorry, just came out!) the rather dusty audiovisual services of the Commission (EbS). And of course, there is the European Parliament's EuroparlTV (a rather unappealing name but hey..). Plenty to see though, if you want to: news, interviews, plenary sessions etc...
But what I was looking for is not a TV channel nor an archive of video clips, so I kept on searching. And I finally found one.
You might be surprised but the one is......the European Investment Bank! Not to be confused with the European Central Bank. Little digression: I am fully aware that Mario Draghi and his team are pretty busy these days, but at some point in the future the ECB website will need to be redesigned because as it stands now it is ...unwatchable. But ok, not now....prioritise, I say. End of digression.
So, as I was saying, the European Investment Bank. Check out their homepage. A five minute video, called "EIB: who benefits?', on who they are, how they invest their money and who benefits, as the title says, with real examples, interviews and a nice music. Well, I was impressed. I actually understood what the EIB does. In five minutes. But then here is the problem: I wanted to share the video and post it here.
But how? I saw that on the top-left side of the screen there was a small writing: 'The DVD can be obtained free of charge by filling out the following order form'. So in practice, I would need to fill out a form, send it, wait to receive a DVD, download it on my computer and then share it. It's a joke, right? I know that there might be all sorts of copyright and other types of issues, but still. What is the point of spending a substantial amount of time and money to produce a video that no one can share? I truly believe that in today's world, visual communication can be an extremely effective tool. But the whole point is to 'communicate', i.e. sharing with others. If you have produced something that is worth watching, then you need to make sure that as many people as possible actually watch it!!
And there is another interesting side to my 'case study': since I did not want to give up on the idea of finding a way of posting the video, I made a search on YouTube to see if, by any chance, the video appeared there - and prove me wrong: and it did! But it is not the same video! Oh no! The five minute one has been 'transformed' into two separate videos of ten minutes each: the extra length is due to a long interview with the Director General that appears throughout the videos... And guess what? The views for part 1 are 327 and the views for part 2 are...81. What happened to the nice 5 minute one? Well, that is sad.
Here it is by the way, but I would rather go and check out the shorter version on their website (now I get it! That is the strategy! Yeah, right!)