simpleshow coaches Hong Kong youth for IP contest

The modern economy depends on patent and copyright law to incentivise innovation. Why should a company invest in product development if competitors can just mimic their perfected design? Piracy is equally short-sighted: talented filmmakers and musicians need fair payment for their hard work so they can afford to make more.

To raise these issues for the next generation, the US Consulate in Hong Kong and Macau organised a day-long workshop on intellectual property, held on 3rd May at Hong Kong University of Sciences and Technology. 100 students aged 15–17 spent the morning delving into the subject, then planned and filmed their own related 45-second videos for a friendly contest.

That’s where simpleshow came in. Before lunch, our own Luc Moulin, Managing Director of simpleshow Asia Limited, gave a crash course on explainer videos, opening with our own clip on “Why You Should Trust the Original Product”:

Then he walked them through five key factors for a successful video explanation:
(1) choosing the right perspective
(2) simplifying your message
(3) telling a story
(4) visualizing it
(5) being confident

Number four is crucial. In a video, words just aren’t enough. Luc gave the example of his three-year-old, who can’t read yet but can already operate an iPad using the icons. Or the humble floppy disk, immortalised for all time as the “Save” button. Clearly, images go far deeper than words.

The winning entry, submitted by a group from Sacred Heart Canossian College, took all five factors to heart. It opens with a diehard sci-fi fan drumming her fists against the wall (confidence), shrieking “I want to watch Star Wars!” in Cantonese. She then tries to “copy” a DVD using a copy machine (visualisation, simplification) and runs jubilantly down the hallway before realising how much work must have gone into making her favourite film (perspective). In the end, she goes to the cinema instead.

Pretty good storytelling for less than one minute. And thanks to visual language, the video works worldwide. There’s no reason to steal the students’ idea.