Charity videos that only introduce their subject at the end

There have been a couple of videos by charities in the last few months that have taken a similar approach, even though they’re very different in tone and subject matter.

The thing they share – and what makes them really effective – is that they have a lighthearted feel for most of the video before completely changing tone at the end.

Waiting till the end before getting their message across might mean that people who pass by it on social media miss the point, but I think also makes them more powerful. It’s an approach that could work across the charity sector and so is perhaps worth considering next time you’re thinking about video.

The first is from Parkinson’s UK about freezing (a symptom where people may suddenly not be able to move forward for several seconds or minutes). It starts off as a gently amusing film before introducing the subject of freezing at the end.

The second is this disturbing video from UNICEF. It uses the stylistic conventions of people making their own videos, and the fact that the man in the video is inviting us to share a special moment with him, to create sympathy.

This makes it even more shocking when the subject of the film becomes clear at the end.

These are two examples that I’ve thought worked well. Has anyone else seen charities use this style of film making?

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