"The Lower Third": Importance and Relevance in Video Production

In video advertising there’s an important term called, The Lower Third.  Just as you might think, it addresses the titles that are seen in the lower third of the video screen.  Often you will see the name of your company, phone number, web site, or street address in text in this position.

We all know that viewers are definitely not sitting by their computers with pen and paper, anxiously waiting to jot down your phone number or web address!  But, (and this is an important but)…placing your contact information in the lower third of the screen helps the viewer to instantly get the information they need when they do decide they are ready to click, call, or stop by your business location.

I recommend getting your contact information up within the first three seconds of your video.  And leave it there for the entire video if possible.  If you cut away to a testimonial, it’s “OK” to leave the lower third text off and replace with identifier text of the person speaking.  However, be sure to return to it after your testimonials are finished.  You can delay the lower third text if your video starts out dramatically. For example, if your video begins by demonstrating a problem, and then your viewer quickly learns that your service is the “solution.”

The lower third also frames your video, it gives the screen weight, importance as if to say, “This is not just an amateur video, it’s a quality video put out by a business or service that I can reach by calling the number on the bottom.”

When your business and service is very well known, like Pepsi or Coca Cola, then you can afford the luxury of showing no text until the end of your spot and then just displaying your logo.  Until you’re a brand of this popularity, viewers want to see the “qualifying” text explaining whom you are and how to reach you.  Even large brands like Proctor & Gamble use the 3-second rule.  In their commercials you will see the name of the product within the first 3 seconds, so viewers aren’t left confused about what product or service is being explained on the screen.  

Here are some examples of using LOWER THIRDS in promotional videos. You can see a larger variety of examples on our YouTube channel, www.youtube.com/stationbreakpro.

Queensboro Toyota

Specialty Protable XRay

Suburban Water Garden

(Stephen Meyers is CEO and Founder of Station Break Productions, a Trans West Media, Inc. company, a recognized Video Expert. Stephen blogs and lectures about the importance of video as a tool in marketing, advertising and social media.  Check www.stationbreak.com for more information)