Viral Spiral: Marshall Pierce & Co.

In a world of brightly colored, high-definition video, many have
forgotten the power and mood of black-and-white film and still images. But not
David Anthony, the producer behind this week’s Viral Spiral video from Chicago-based
Marshall Pierce & Co. 

The clip purposely has a Breakfast at Tiffany’s feel to
it. Though the Audrey Hepburn–starring movie was released in color in
1961, Marshall Pierce & Co.’s video borrows elements from the classic film.
It portrays, in nostalgic black and white, a stroll down North Michigan
Avenue, and ends at Marshall Pierce & Co.’s exterior window,
where a finely dressed woman in a wide-brimmed hat takes in the beauty of
the store’s display.

Of the retailer’s two Second City stores, the video was shot at the Michigan Avenue location because it better represents
the importance of a brick-and-mortar jewelry store’s relationship with members
of a community. That was the central message of the near three-minute video,
according to Marshall Pierce & Co. president Jerry Bern, Jr.

“A jewelry store is a place people like to go into,” Bern
says. “Even if they’re coming in to purchase a pen, they can
still try on jewelry they couldn’t normally afford. But the experience allows
them to fantasize about what could be, and that’s the power of a
brick-and-mortar store in the age of the Internet.”

Bern realizes that the Internet is here to stay and that
online sales encroach on the Main Street jewelry store experience each year.
But that doesn’t mean he can’t remind people of the importance an
established neighborhood jeweler has in any given community—particularly using a visual aid
that harkens back to memories of simpler times. 

Andy Williams’ song “Kisses Sweeter than Wine” was used as a
musical backdrop. It adds to the reflective quality of the video, which has
received more than 2,600 unique views on YouTube since April 2008. See what
industry video marketing guru Nick Failla says about Marshall Pierce &
Co.’s black-and-white video:

“When you create a video spot you are hoping that it will
stand out in a vast ocean of advertising. While YouTube offers additional
exposure for your videos without additional expense you still have to find a
way for your spot to stand out or it will never be viewed. Consider the fact
that some reports estimate the number of videos currently on YouTube exceeds
140,000,000! 

“There are several different elements that make up a
video. Below is a listing of some of these and how you might emphasize
them in an effort to grab your audience’s attention:

  1. Style of videography: Use unusual camera
    angles or lighting.
  2. Music bed: Use popular or nostalgic music.
  3. Setting/Location: Choose a dramatic or
    spectacular location.
  4. Actors: Employ a celebrity spokesperson.
  5. Special effects: Shoot the video in black
    and white and then add color to only key items.
  6. Script: Write a script that is especially
    humorous or heartwarming.

“The Marshall Pierce & Co. video is very cosmopolitan and does a very nice job of using black-and-white
filming that is supported by a nostalgic music bed to provide an air of elegant
style. Another unusual aspect of this video is that it is presented as a
‘film,’ which gives it a special artsy touch.

“Overall this viral video is very elegant and supports the
Marshall Pierce brand message quite well. I would like to think if James
Bond—the James Bond played by Sean Connery—were to need a fashionable item of
jewelry, one might find him visiting Marshall Pierce & Co.”

Nick Failla