To Preview or Not to Preview

From Anne Clelland, Handshake 2.0:

We are having a corporate video made by Blacksburg Media that will be released next week.  We've written about the process and are now considering the next step.  We want to host a premiere and invite all to come view the video in person before the next day's release.  I am torn.  I have not seen the video yet and to celebrate it, I want to view it for the first time with everyone at the premiere.  Yet, corporate responsibility calls and I wonder if I should view the video before it's released to make sure it matches my corporate message and vision.

What to do?

Z. Kelly Queijo made a cool survey for her own site, SmartCollegeVisit, and very kindly made one for Handshake 2.0, too!  I would love to run this question by you.

Should Anne preview her new Handshake 2.0 corporate video before the public sees it, or should she wait and view it for the first time with the public?

What do you think? Anne wants to know. How risky is it to share branded media before the CEO has seen it or approved it?

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If you cared to leave a comment, we'd love to learn more about your answer. Thank you so much for participating. We'll share the results!

Survey Says? Preview the Corporate Video
A Pretty Nice Place


  1. Great idea. Hope it works for you. What’s to lose from a first-look? Plenty to gain if it does not match well. Delays are common. See it, fix it…move on. Let all see it … maybe spend years fixing it.
    Wishing you great success.

  2. I’m still “internally processing” my first-look experience. What I lost was sharing it with others. In a cost-to-benefit analysis, I value sharing very much, yet one purpose of the video is branding and, based on that criterion, a minor change does need to be made. The benefits of the first-look did outweigh the costs. I like, “See it, fix it…move on.” Yes. Thank you!

  3. Thanks to David Perks for permission to post his email as a comment:

    Basically, I think you’re smart to preview the video before you show it. There’s a lot of stock being put in authenticity and transparency these days, as well it should be. BUT, those brand qualities shouldn’t come ahead of nurturing what you’ve worked hard to build. Throughout my time in ad agencies, I’ve been among the loudest voices shouting about how clients need to take more risks, but I would never let a client sign off on a TV spot or anything else before they had the opportunity to sit down, watch/listen to it, watch/listen to it again (which is why we always looped the sample reel for the client), walked away from it, digested it, then came back to it with an opinion.

    Gut reactions are great. But when your job is to guard your brand, there’s not a lot of room for error. Any project like this has a lot of blood and sweat behind it, hopefully not many tears. You should be an authority on the final product before anyone else ever gets a chance to see it.

    Another reason to be incredibly familiar with the video is so that when the premier does roll, you can spend those three minutes scanning the audience for their reactions. When you worked on the piece, you probably started to get a feel for its rhythm and when you watch it you can sense that rhythm. But it’s more important that the audience feel it too. So if you can get a good feel for the first impression of the video through the eyes of those around you, you’re getting some incredibly valuable feedback.

    So anyway, those are my reasons for checking it out before you show it to the public. Regardless, I hope it goes very well for you. Can’t wait to see it myself.

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