“Spirit Matters”: The Importance of Outreach Videos

By: Lavanya-keli Dasi ISKCON News on Oct. 7, 2015

Lavanya-keli (with headphones) and her team filming one of the "Spirit Matters" videos. We live in an age of mass consumption. A time where every second place you look is an advertisement. A time where it’s very hard to get your message heard, regardless of how profound and uplifting it may be. So what can be done? ISKCON has an extremely important message, but is it being heard amongst the masses? Understanding how companies make there presence known is a good start.

Those that are the leading force behind this consumption drive, namely designers and advertisers, adhere to the philosophy that ‘the medium is the message’. In other words, how the message is conveyed is just as important as the message itself.

Animoto, an online video company, explain how customers often feel more comfortable making purchases after watching a video because it helps give a more positive impression of the company, leading to an increase in trust. There surveys indicate that 1 in 4 customers actually lose interest in a company if it doesn’t have video, customers are nearly 50% more likely to read email newsletters that include links to video and 4 times as many consumers would rather watch a video about a product than read about it.

In our consumer driven society individuals are asking more from companies. In a culture of choice, they are determined to forge their personalities through their consumption choices. For example, consumers have begun demanding videos that tell the story behind the company as well as behind the products they are buying. This is no surprise because people have always been drawn to stories on screen. While escapism is a key aspect of storytelling, stories have also been a useful tool to inspire people to look at themselves in a new light, as well as give insights on issues and other cultures around the world. It’s also been found that video and storytelling are very useful in education. Many have come to the conclusion that videos are especially good for introductory learning and introducing complex topics because videos engage both hemispheres of the brain.

The media has taken advantage of the power of videos. Young adults are the dominant consumers of media, with three quarters of people aged 18-29 reporting that they download or stream video. In 2008 Youtube ranked as one of the top four visited sites on the web, with over 100 hours of video shared per minute, and a total number of shared videos surpassing 4 billion in early 2012.

Sharing online content is an integral part of modern life and what people share reflects them as individuals. Not only is it important for the videos to be trustworthy, it’s also important for them to be inspiring and positive. This is because peoples natural ‘enjoyment’ propensity is the main motivation for media consumption.

Understanding this, if short positive videos were used in a social media context to present aspects of bhakti-yoga, an increased awareness of the knowledge could be shared amongst more people in general. This conclusion has lead to the development of Spirit Matters.

Spirit Matters a new YouTube channel developed by ISKCON devotees in New Zealand aims to give people insights into a more conscious way of living. The idea is to make it easy for people to learn about aspects of bhakti-yoga, mantra meditation and Krishna conscious living in a way that encourages people to share the videos amongst there friends and become inspired to enquire further about the knowledge they contain.

Author: ISKCON Outreach Committee

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