Your Cause or Mine is an innovative cause-related dating site and social space developed by Dr. Teisha Roby, a professor at California Polytechnic State University in Pomona. The site matches people based on their locations, their preferences and their common interests in any of a number of causes. Your Cause or Mine not only matches the couple but also suggests a cause-related volunteer event they might attend together on their first date, such as an opportunity to read to children as part of a literacy program.
The Challenge: Telling a Succinct Story
Roby was faced with the task of describing the site’s concept to potential members in a way that explained who was behind the site and how it works, all in a very short period of time. “I wanted people to understand quickly,” Roby says, “to tell the story succinctly and be interesting. I needed a product to share over multiple social media platforms, so I decided to create a video.”
The Solution: Vyond to Dig Out Creativity
Roby had frequently used iMovie and other somewhat complex editing applications to help her students assemble still images into video presentations, replacing conventional PowerPoint with more interactive and visually engaging types of messaging. She was still in the process of conceptualizing some type of movie to describe Your Cause or Mine when she visited the website of an organization that provides seed funding for companies. There she saw a Vyond animated video representing the organization’s founders.
“I loved that concept and said, ‘I’m going to do that,’” she recalls. “I knew instantly it was not which service to use but how I was going to use Vyond.”
Roby initially set up a free account to explore the resources available on Vyond. “I knew I had to create a script and would need a learning curve, so I decided to see what tools were there, how many images, backgrounds and other resources. I realized I could come up with something here, stage a few backgrounds and scenes. I was confident Vyond had what I needed to dig inside my creativity and come up with something great for our business.”
The video production product was substantially different from what she was used to in creating digital stories with her students. She normally spent a lot of time developing the script and then gathered and arranged multimedia elements. With Vyond she created a loose storyboard for a two-minute video and then changed the script multiple times based on the assets she discovered on the Vyond site.
“I had to adjust my message to fit the short time frame, using the available resources. That required me to think very deeply about the wording of the script and to focus my message. Ultimately, I liked the wording in the final script so much that I changed my promotional copy in other places, for instance applying the script wording to the About Us section on Twitter and Facebook.”
Among the features that Roby liked best when using Vyond was the ability to bring her script to life with synchronized dialogue voiced by real people. “There was one place in the video where our CEO makes a point, then pauses and smile, drawing laughs from viewers. It would not have been effective if his mouth didn’t stop on cue.”
She was surprised that a sophisticated video production tool like Vyond did not require software installation. A simple internet connection enabled Roby the access, flexibility and ease to create and showcase her finished video project in virtually any location she needed to work. “I’m used to the more high-powered, intricate movie production applications,” she explains, “but those use such big files that they’re not portable or usable over the Internet. GoAnimate videos work very well on the Web.”
The Results: increased Traffic and Interest
Roby reports her company has seen an increase in traffic since its soft launch and release of the Vyond video. “We’ve received so much favorable feedback on how light and upbeat the Vyond approach is, and it makes our business concept more interesting,” she reports. “We’ve shared that video on YouTube, Twitter and Facebook and have posted it on Fundable.com (a crowd-sourced funding site) to help us with the seed money. It’s placed right up front and center where people can take two minutes to see it. They’d rather click on a video than read all our messaging. It really helps us extend our reach.”
When launching Your Cause or Mine, the organization’s public relations firm had planned to use real images, real actors, video recordings and stock photos. When they saw Roby’s Vyond video, she notes, “They said that video changes things. The video was lighter and made it easier for people to see themselves in the scene.”
Your Cause or Mine now uses images of two characters from the Vyond video as ambassadors on the company’s social network sites.
Since her first efforts with Vyond, Roby has created a Vyond video for Fundable.com in which the animated representation of the founder thanks individual donors for their pledge of $200 or more. To date on Fundable.com, Your Cause or Mine has surpassed their fundraising goal of $7,250 by more than $400.
Roby plans to create more Vyond videos in the future…