As people, we love a good story. We love going on holidays, having new experiences and creating memories that last a lifetime. As advertisers, we see how certain products complement and accompany certain aspirations, and use that to motivate our audiences. We aim to get our brand's story across in versatile ways that allow people to feel something.
So who’s the best at it? If you’re wondering how to tell a story with your video campaign, look no further than the advertising greats! Video, if I do say so myself, is an art form with a big learning curve and a lot of rewards — so equipping yourself with the right inspiration is key.
We’ve compiled the best examples of storytelling in video marketing to inspire your next campaign!
Video marketing examples of storytelling that'll get you thinking and feeling:
Jeep - Etched in Mud
Look at those clever cookies — these guys took a famous popular song and made it their anthem. Jeep is a business that sells adventure, style, travel and the “doing” of life (oh, and some cars too I guess).
To celebrate their 75th birthday, they’ve taken a weird and wonderful approach. This brilliant video campaign highlights the Jeep using abstract art — literally etched in mud. We’ll let you see how you feel about the big reveal of the art piece, though the final shot of the Jeep range leaves you feeling like you might just want to buy a little (or big) piece of history.
University of Western Sydney - Deng Adut
Many educational campaigns whistle the same tune — you can often guess how they’re going to promote whatever institution and degree that’s on offer. It’s something along the lines of “we have millions of courses available to cater for the trillions of extremely smart people that go here”.
This approach often falls short because it tries to prove credibility by talking quantity. What about quality? UWS has flipped this model on its head (while turning our heads) and shows us what is really important. They’ve gone straight for the emotions — one student, one great story.
The emotional appeal stems from the use of a familiar song paired with a captivating story. Like any loved story, there is a happy ending (applause). From refugee to refugee lawyer, this one will pull on those heart strings. With an overwhelming response to this brand video, the university has since crafted many more compelling student stories to showcase the best of their campus.
Donate Life - The World’s Biggest Asshole
Everybody LOVES a funny video. When I see a hilarious video, I share it, I tell my friends, I talk about it. Using humour effectively can positively impact the ratings of a campaign.
When it comes to video marketing campaigns that set the bar, this one has made it. The story is a bit of crude mixed in with cheekiness and pure brilliance. It aims to resolve the current issue of decreasing organ donation, and it’s got me proud to be an organ donor!
One of the reasons this problem even exists is because it's a topic we tend to ignore. This video puts it into a language we can understand and it gets us talking. That’s all you can ask for from a good campaign, right?
Reebok - Silence
Reebok has smashed storytelling when it comes to video marketing, and they communicate perfectly how their brand is ageless.
The absence of words and the implementation of numbers creates a sense of mystery for the viewer, who is constantly wondering what's going on. Only towards the end does it all come together, and we have the “ah-ha” moment. The ad tells us what to do — be human. Simple but deep, and something relevant to every audience member. We all want to live the best life we can, with the days we have.
Nivea - How the Sun Sees You
At the end of the day, your audiences are all human. Effective advertising needs a careful balance of logic and emotion to really tap into their motivations and challenges. Here’s where Nivea have hit one out of the ballpark — and it’s got us all reaching for the sunscreen this summer!
Not only is it a serious wake up call, but the UV light demonstrably shows that their sunscreen is really protective. The use of real life reactions give the video a sense of authenticity and humbleness, which takes away that "advertising" feel.
Fitbit - Father’s Day Campaign
This campaign really puts the product in perspective and says to the viewer: not everyone getting fit is flying solo; a healthy lifestyle looks different for everyone.
It’s those time-poor people (like Dads) that need a Fitbit to track and manage their fitness. The motivational feel you get from this marketing video is a short and sweet message: this Dad is doing it, you can too!
Over to you
At the end of the day, brand video marketing campaigns that set the bar are grounded in great storytelling. For businesses wanting to leverage video for more effective marketing, the key to nailing your next campaign is all in setting the right brief — having all the relevant details and data-backed research helps you to craft more compelling and targeted stories. Start your next campaign on the right foot by asking yourself these 9 questions.