While full screen video backgrounds on websites aren’t exactly new, this trend continues to grow, and can have a tremendous impact if done correctly. However, before you decide to hitch your product to this brandwagon, take a closer look at some of these considerations and best practices to determine if it’s a good fit for your brand.


Some Considerations to…. Consider.

One of the biggest concerns with this trend is designing a website primarily geared toward desktop in a world of mobile devices.


We all know that mobile is tremendously important. Last Fall, Google announced that as of Summer 2015, the number of mobile searches had officially overtaken the number of searches performed from a desktop. This announcement sent brands and agencies alike into a mobile-focused frenzy – investing more dollars, targeting and design toward the mobile user. Responsive, mobile-friendly websites are important – they ensure that content is delivered in the most effective way for the device on which it is being viewed.


However, just because mobile is growing, doesn’t mean that desktop is taking less of the pie, it just means the pie has gotten bigger. A 2015 comScore report showed that the most growth in the market between 2010 and 2014 was in mobile, but desktop use also grew. People are browsing more and more overall, and designing your website for desktop is still a smart move.


In fact, desktop itself is growing – literally. Desktop screens are getting larger and larger, with better resolution and faster processors, which mean faster load times, creating the perfect setting for a beautiful website video background. Most Americans aren’t sitting at work, feverishly typing and searching on their smartphone, they are sitting in front of a monster-sized computer screen, or two!


Planning a vacation? Dinner? Browsing Articles? Shopping? While we know YOU might not do these things at work, most people do (shhh, don’t tell). Brands can capture this desktop browsing market with a stunning video background that makes a modern statement.



What Brands Are a Good Fit?

The tourism market is a great fit for video backgrounds. What better way to showcase what your district, town or city has to offer than by showing prospective visitors? Port Renfew, Canada and Wyoming’s Office of Tourism are both stunning examples of video backgrounds, done right, in the tourism market. Check out these sites and try not to say “I want to go to there,” we dare you.


You don’t have to be in the tourism biz to utilize this feature – brands offering product or services can harness this design element as well. Paint Nite is a great example – doesn’t that look fun? And in a time where handcrafted, reclaimed, custom design is in fashion, what better way for Wood Shed Production to showcase their product than through a rustic reel of real live woodworking? Even organizations, like the St. Louis Browns Historical Society, can make use of this design element.


Essentially, any brand with a website where user interaction is more important than user interface may want to consider this option. This may not be the best feature for News, Blog, Magazine or Multi-Brand Shopping sites which might want to stick to a more static design.



Best Practices

If you’re going to do a video background, please, on behalf of all of your future visitors, do it right! Here are some best practices we recommend.


  1. Go for gold. Okay, while you may not have to create a video worthy of an award, your video should be very high quality. It should also be created specifically for the background of your site. That TV spot, promotional video or iPhone video you took? It likely will not be the fit you’re looking for. The video should be simple, but a visually interesting way to tell a story.


  1. It’s all in the contrast. The whole point of the background video is to, you guessed it, go behind content. The video needs to be edited in such a way that content can be seen over top. This may mean the video is edited in black and white, with a darker tone for light copy, or brighter tones for dark copy. The color, contrast and saturation need to work well with the content put on top.


  1. Copy is king. If you’re choosing to feature motion on your website, a paragraph of text over top isn’t going to be read, no matter how skillfully written. Craft a captivating one-line headline, slogan or call to action to focus the visitor on the purpose of your brand in light of the video they are viewing. Save the copy for below the video or subpages.


  1. Mum’s the word. While you should have the video background auto play as soon as the visitor lands on your page, please do not include sound without their permission. Many users are streaming music on their device, or are at work (shhh, don’t tell), and unrequested sound is a sure way to increase your bounce rate.


  1. Don’t forget about mobile. While desktop is definitely not going anywhere anytime soon, mobile is never something you want to ignore. There are specific ways to make a video responsive so that it appears on a mobile device. However, you might want to consider using a beautiful static image for your site’s background when visited by a mobile device. Speed and size are two factors that make video backgrounds less impactful on mobile.


  1. Hire an expert. Yes, this is the shameless plug where we remind you that Peebles Creative Group can help! Branding, Planning, Copywriting, Video Production, Website Development, we can help you with it all. However, whether or not you hire us, you should use an expert. Video backgrounds aren’t something you should try to create on your own in the back end of your current site. There is speed, code, responsiveness and a host of other details to consider to ensure that your video background is flawless, bug-free and impactful.



Some of Our Favorites

Here are some stunning examples of a few of our favorite websites currently utilizing video backgrounds:

Wyoming’s Office of Tourism

Paint Nite

Wood Shed Production

St. Louis Browns Historical Society

Brindisa Tapas Kitchens

Riley’s Cycle Shop

Bill Byron Wines

Port Renfew, Canada