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Vox pop interviews: dead or alive?

Anyone stopped you in the street recently asking for your opinion? No?

The humble vox pop may have been criticised of late and accused of only featuring polarised views in order to create catchy headlines - but this isn’t a view we share at SGA Video & Events!

This recent backlash is primarily centred on the use of vox pops in political reporting, yet we felt it our duty to demonstrate how they not only still have a place in video marketing, but can be a great addition to many campaigns...

User-generated content

The rise of the vlogger and user-generated content that means people are now very familiar with the concept of giving their opinion on camera and sharing it for all to see. And as a selfie-generation, we are no longer filled with dread or concern at the sight of a camera coming towards us.

This is something that businesses can use to their advantage...

Take a look at the recent vox pop footage we shot for one of our clients to support their #TransparencyCharter campaign - a great example that is currently being shared far and wide on social media:

So, what exactly is a vox pop?

"Vox pop" is an abbreviation of vox populi which is Latin for "the voice of the people"

Essentially, Vox pops are short interview segments filmed with random, targeted members of the public.

Journalists have used them for decades as they are a great way to add new perspectives and different viewpoints to a report. Businesses who ask us to conduct vox pops on their behalf recognise this also - and understand the various ways in which they can be used to promote their business both internally and externally.

Why are they useful?

There's a reason why vox pops have been favoured for many years by the media, and they can be used to various ends, including:

·         Influencing decision-makers

·         Getting commentary on events

·         Stimulating debate

·         Promoting a new service or product

Businesses can use vox pops for all of the above, as well as:

·         Gathering testimonials from the general public or from employees at events

·         Gathering good quotes / soundbites (street polls)

·         Quickly gather footage for social media campaigns

·         Reviewing products and services

Benefits of Vox Pops

People are switched on to blatant marketing manipulation these days and can be cynical. A vox pop provides the real voice of the people.

Creative & Entertaining
With the right techniques, the Great British Public can be a ready store very watchable and unexpected content that helps break up footage and brings new 'life' to marketing videos. They’re often lively as contributors are caught 'on the hop'.

Genuine feedback
A vox pox is unscripted and contributors are unprompted and will provide viewers with a genuine opinion.

Minimal equipment required
With no studio set up involved, a discreet camera and good mic is all that is needed.

Because of reasons above. No overheads in hiring a studio, actors etc. No need for participants to travel.

Less bias
Vox Pops can actually reduce selection bias when used in surveys and polls since participants are chosen more at random and are generally more diverse.

Tips for creating a vox pop

Location, location, location.

A busy weekend street = good, as you'll find lots of people. You’ll want a selection of willing passers-by to get the right representation dependent on your goal.

Watch out for extraneous noises however and keep a small footprint – you can’t obstruct the pavement or public highway.

Be prepared.

Ensure your camera and sound kit are ready to go - people are generally pushed for time and won't wait!

Be open and transparent.

Make it clear what you're collecting footage/quotes/photos for and why. Be transparent re. your intentions in terms of where you will be using the footage. Open ended, short questions are best

Keep your questions open ended, short and simple. Also, be sure to be consistent in your questioning so that the responses make sense when you come to edit the footage together

Get consent.

This is a biggie, especially in this day and age - but a simple verbal recorded ‘opt-in’ is normally sufficient an answer to clarify their willingness to be featured in whatever outcome you have in mind. For more complex situations a simple release form and signature can be used.

Vary your angles.

Keep the vox pox visually appealing with altering camera angles, shot sizes and background scenes.

Record more than you think you may need.

Few people speak succinctly, and in their eagerness to help may give you waffle as well as magic moments.

Speak to us today about your video needs - it could be that a vox pop is just what is required to help your campaign stand out from the crowd!

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