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Richard Shrapnel

Create a compelling first impression

Richard came to us in early 2016 with one of those briefs you sometimes wait a long time for:  "I want something different." 

At the time, we knew very little about personal finance, succession planning or the financial speaking circuit, but we knew we were intrigued by Richard.His rapid fire delivery and dogged personality seemed slightly infectious, and this initial spark got us involved with his project.

We love research and one of our first steps was to canvas the market and see what other finance celebrities were up to. By and large, not many spent much effort on video. Most were from a 'pre-Vimeo' time, and didn't put much emphasis on the delivery of their content. 

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From this research we were able to establish a baseline set of guidelines for Richard's project. This is something we're increasingly doing in all our projects; creating a set of guidelines or keywords that help us to prioritise decisions and keep our creative ideas on track. For Richard, we settled on four key guidelines: 

  • Be relatable - look the audience in the eye, use simple language, find common ground to relate to
  • Be accessible - cover once concept at a time, reduce technical concepts into easy to approach visual metaphors, keep the audience focused on you
  • Be credible - use confident body language, achieve a high level of production quality, speak from a personal perspective
  • Be insightful - give people exactly what you say you will, challenge existing assumptions and beliefs

These guiding principles helped us to come up to a script and visual language for Richard that would prove useful across a suite of videos available at launch. 

There were four videos initially, a keynote for Richard's core concept "Competitive Engine", a short promo demoing Richard's speaking style and delivery, a explainer for his financial guides, and a teaser to act as a quick intro to Richard's multifaceted role. Each has a different purpose across Richard's social and digital channels.

A monotone palette provided an edge of sophistication and matched Richard's straight up (black and white) way of talking, and we designed the fencing sequence to act as a visual metaphor for his Competitive Engine concept; something to excite and intrigue and an easy way for people to digest the core concepts.

The result, we think, sets Richard apart and establishes for him a bold and memorable first impression that instantly builds credibility.

  • "Working with the Commoner team was a great experience. When I saw the final product I sat in silence and just said, 'Wow this is amazing, I can't believe this is me.' - Richard Shrapnel

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