One of the content lines that I am specifically tasked with at PragerU is the flagship 5-Minute Videos. Every week PragerU releases a new animated video presented by highly regarded authors, professors, journalists, writers, and personalities, among others. These videos cover a variety of important topics from life lessons to history and philosophy. My job is to prepare promotional content for each of them.
The purpose of the marketing bundle is to build anticipation for upcoming 5-Minute Videos and encourage new subscriptions.
The standard bundle of content consists of:
• A promotional video.
• A video thumbnail and promotional thumbnail.
• Reformat the video for Instagram TV and Facebook.
• Any additional social content derived from the video.
The final promotional piece needs to be formatted for multiple platforms on the PragerU social media channels:
• Instagram: A 1080x1080 pixel square.
• Instagram Story: A 1080x1920 pixel vertical.
• Facebook: A 1920x1080 pixel horizontal.
• YouTube: A 1920x 1080 pixel horizontal.
The YouTube format also includes a special endcard which features a donation pitch from the presenter.
Our production team films the presenters on a green screen and I pull the promotional section from their footage. Then I key the footage in AfterEffects, render some simple animations and compose the promotional video piece.
Every 5-Minute Video requires a themed video thumbnail that matches a long-standing graphic style established with PragerU's very earliest video releases. Thumbnails are an interesting opportunity for branding because they are only visible in select locations for our audience: on the videos page of the PragerU YouTube channel and on the 5-Minute Videos page at PragerU.com. However, the 5-Minute Video is the flagship product and so every video is given special attention even for something with limited visibility - the thumbnail!
My team took over the production of the thumbnails in late 2017 and I began producing them solo in late 2018. These thumbnails feature a flat vector style featuring only the primary Orange, Navy, Blue color palette. With few exceptions, text is not to be featured in the design. The idea is for the artwork to represent the topic of the video. In most cases this is a real challenge since the animated video is not available at the time of creation so it cannot be used for inspiration.