Ever been asked if your company has a sizzle reel? 

And you thought, uh… isn’t that a type of candy? (Spoiler: nope, that’s a Twizzler.) 

A sizzle reel, on the other hand, is a short (think three minutes or less) promotional video that highlights your business, product or service. 

Known alternatively as the sizzle video, highlight video, demo reel or even pitch video, the sizzle reel is most often used to show potential clients or investors what it’s like to work with your company or use your product or service. 

Our clients at MarketCraft use their sizzle reel or “showcase” video to get audiences excited about the amazing displays they can create together.

This feat is accomplished using short video clips creatively edited with graphics, animation, and messaging and then topped with a killer soundtrack to create an overall impression that engages the audience, tells them a little something about you and, when done right, leaves them wanting more.

Sizzle reels are also used by internal communicators to promote initiatives or celebrate

successful marketing or sales campaigns. They can even be used for internal marketing or to get executives onboard for new initiatives or campaign ideas.

Sizzle reels can be used to capture the excitement of live events, too, like this wrap-up for adidas’ annual Retail Sales Meeting. Click to learn more.

These videos are not meant to be extensive in messaging. No detailed lists of product or service features please! Rather, these are meant to provide a fast, exciting look into your business and to make an impression with audiences.

You’ll find sizzle reels used in sales presentations, at trade shows, in boardroom presentations, on social media, websites and more. 

The History of the Sizzle Reel

The sizzle reel got its start in the glittering world of showbiz, where the videos are used to pitch creative ideas for new tv and movie projects. By creating a sizzle reel, producers are able to clearly show to the executives holding the checkbook that they have a clear vision and compelling concept that will appeal to audiences. 

Today, sizzle reels are also commonly used by video production agencies to showcase their best and most recent projects. For agencies, sizzle reels are used to show off their production,  editing, and creative skillset.

In this 2019 Sizzle Reel from The Influence Agency out of Toronto, it’s clear to see the position they take on influencer marketing.

Does My Business Need A Sizzle Reel? 

Now that you know what a sizzle reel is, we’re left with the million dollar question: is the sizzle reel right for your business?

The sizzle reel can be a highly versatile tool for your sales and marketing teams, and even your internal communications teams. These videos can offer a brief yet exciting glimpse into your company that potential clients might not get a chance to see prior to beginning an engagement. 

That being said, it’s important first to really understand what you hope to accomplish with a sizzle video. By having clear goals (for instance, get investors or new sales leads) you’ll be able to fine tune your video to meet them. 

You’ll need to be clear about what audience the video is for, are you enticing investors or trying to get internal buy-in on a new initiative? These answers will make a big difference to your finished product. 

And finally, how will you use the video? Is it part of a presentation, or will it need to be a standalone piece? This will affect how in-depth the content will need to be to be successful.

It’s important to be creative and it can also be important to know your limitations. A sizzle reel is by design a polished piece and good production value is key. Professional graphics, animation, messaging, and editing for these videos can make all the difference between a sizzle reel that wows and one sizzles out.

Ready to create your own sizzle video?

Talk to Outlier’s team of video experts to learn more.

About the Author

  • Kathleen drives Outlier's marketing communications strategy. She covers topics related to content strategy and content marketing and is only a little embarrassed to admit how many show tune lyrics she knows by heart.