The Challenge

How do you promote something that doesn’t actually exist yet?

The Client

The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust owns five historic sites in and around Stratford Upon Avon – all connected with William Shakespeare’s work, life and times.

They receive over 700,000 visitors a year from all over the world.

The trust relies on visitor revenue and charitable giving to maintain their heritage properties and an extensive programme of cultural activities for all.

The Background

New Place in Stratford Upon Avon is the site where Shakespeare’s final home once stood, where he lived for the last 19 years of his life and where he died in 1616. The house itself was demolished in the 18th century.

Given the huge cultural and historical significance of New Place, the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust are currently working on an inspirational re-interpretation of the site. The re-opened New Place will mark the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death April 2016.

The Brief

To produce a 2 – 3 minute video to promote the Shakespeare’s New Place project.


  • To generate interests amongst potential visitors to New Place – ranging from the passing ‘drop-in’ tourist to the life-long Shakespeare enthusiast.
  • To initiate dialogue with potential financial donors to the project.

The Solution

Emotional engagement is the key to inspiring, persuading and motivating your audience. Even though people are reluctant to admit it, time and time again, research shows us it is emotional impact that truly sways our decision making.

To create emotional impact, a video requires some ‘breathing room’ – a few seconds here and there for the viewer to take in the music, imagery and tone of voice. These elements are vital components in engaging the viewer’s emotional interest.

If your video is crammed from end-to-end with spoken or written messaging, your audience will be so busy trying to keep up with the information, their emotional responses won’t get a look in and they won’t care about what you are saying.

This doesn’t mean that your video can’t be fast paced, if that’s right for your audience. Fast paced music and imagery can sustain an energetic video, even when there are pauses in the explicit spoken or textual messaging. A break from the stream of language will give people time to process what is being said.

The obvious challenge with this project, was that the re-developed New Place site didn’t actually exist yet. Added to this, some of its features were yet to be fully finalised, so we also didn’t have a full set of definitive drawings or images to convey the completed project as a whole.

Making a documentary style video, following the project to completion was also not an option, as the trust needed to release a video as soon as possible, well in advance of the re-opening of New Place.

So given these constraints – here are the tactics we used to create a high impact video to share the vision for Shakespeare’s New Place.

The Tactic The Impact
Show that people are already committed Your audience will wonder if they should get involved too
Show teasing glimpses of plans and sketches Ignites curiosity about the project as a whole
Include behind-the-scenes developments People like to feel ‘in-the-know’ and will be intrigued about the final outcome
Demonstrate the expertise involved Suggests the completed project is going to be impressive
Use voices and personalities that carry authority and dignity Implies the project is an honourable endeavour to be proud of
Fire the imagination Gives your audience a glimpse of how they will feel when they experience the finished outcome
Make a connection between the past and the future People like to feel part of something that will endure

Blue Sky Film & Media – Video Production

If you would like to explore ideas and possibilities for your own video production project, please contact us via our Bristol or Cheltenham office at either –

Blue Sky Film & Media
5th Floor, 1 Temple Quay,
Temple Back East,

Phone 0117 4227360

Blue Sky Film & Media
Cheltenham Film Studios,
Hatherley Lane,
GL51 6PN

Phone 01242 506422