Brands are really starting to embrace interactive video content, which gives viewers options of what they would like to see while the video plays. It’s an excellent way to boost consumer engagement, while increasing the amount of time a potential customer spends with one particular brand. Video producers and marketers are not only interested in video views, but also on completed video views. Recently, Coca-Cola Germany released this interactive video for Sprite Zero. It features a skateboarder launching himself off of a ramp and doing tricks while in mid-air. However, viewers have control over which tricks they want to see. By using keyboard keys 4 through 9, viewers can skip certain tricks, replay others, and create a customized sequence. It’s interesting to note that the producers chose to minimize branding, because, “[We] wanted the focus to be on the content and interactivity.” So, how can you incorporate this kind of video content into your marketing efforts to draw your potential customers into learning more about your products and services?
James Marshall was a carpenter from New Jersey, born in 1810. In the late 1840s he was hired by John Sutter to build a sawmill near Coloma, California. The sawmill was being built to provide lumber to the Sacramento Valley.
As Marshall and his men worked to build the sawmill in the American River, they soon realized that the water in that particular section was too shallow. There wasn’t enough water coming through to turn the wheel which powered the saw. They had to shut the water off to dig a deeper trench for the water to pass through.
On Monday January 24, 1848, Marshall was inspecting a section of the river below the mill when he spotted shiny metal flakes resting on some exposed bedrock. He took the metal back to Sutter where the two tested the metal privately. It was gold.
Between 1848 and 1850, the population of San Francisco increased from 1,000 to 25,000. People poured into Northern California. Merchants popped up everywhere, supporting the miners with goods and services. And as the gold became more difficult to find, technological advancements helped the miners move and sift through an enormous amount of dirt. The gold rush truly transformed California and, over time, the entire country.
Here are a few applications from this story:
Only a small percentage of miners actually struck it rich, and yet people kept coming to California because of the allure that gold has. How can you better market and promote your goods and services in order to generate an increased level of appeal?
No one goes into the mine looking for dirt. They go in to look for gold, and yet there’s a lot of dirt that has to be moved in order to reach the gold. Ultimate success for you depends on your level of commitment, patience, and positivity. You will have to dig through some dirt, but don’t stop until you hit the gold.
That one speck of gold that Marshall discovered in 1848 was a small ripple that eventually generated a tidal wave of transformation throughout the country. You, your employees, and your company also have the potential to make a big impact on more people than you realize. The small investments you make today in your business can pay enormous dividends in the future. You never know. So, be aware of the kind of brand you are building. Be mindful of the people you surround yourself with. And be careful in how you treat others.
A lot of corporate videos look alike, so it’s important for brands to find unique ways to communicate their message through video. Exhibit A: This video for Johnnie Walker Whiskey, starring Robert Carlyle. The ad agency and filmmakers did something completely different and the result is pretty captivating. After you watch the video, scroll down and reflect on the following points:
What is your story? Notice that the Johnnie Walker video doesn’t contain a rundown of facts about the process of making the whiskey. It doesn’t rely on talking heads from the company boasting about how unique they are. It doesn’t show any customers testifying to how great the product is. This video simply tells a story. And notice how the story is founded on the people behind the company. Your business is more than brick-and-mortar. It’s more than the product. It’s more than the process. It’s about the people – both those who work for the company, and those whom the company serves. Focus your story on people and you will have the start of something pretty amazing.
What is your core message? This entire video can be summed up with the following tag, “Keep Walking.” As you think about producing a video for your company, think about the one central message you want to communicate. Everything else should be built around that.
What is your plan? The ad agency and filmmakers behind this video didn’t just run out with a camera and shoot this thing as soon as they received approval from the client. They spent an incredible amount of time in pre-production, planning every step and every beat. They knew exactly what was to happen before they even arrived on location. You may not be attempting anything as ambitious as this Johnnie Walker advert, but that doesn’t mean you should neglect this important stage of the production.
What about going to the left, rather than to the right? This video could have easily taken the path of many corporate and promotional videos – footage from the distillery, footage from pubs, on-camera interviews, historical photos, etc. However, they went against the norm and created a visual experience completely different from what you might expect. They used an old road in the Scottish highlands with a few strategically-placed props and that’s it. As you think about producing a video for your brand, what approach can you take that’s completely different and unexpected?
Okay, I had to post this commercial. One, because I’m an Alabama Alum and big Alabama football fan. Two, because I think ESPN always has awesome commercials. I think any company who is interested in using video to build their brand can learn some valuable lessons from watching these ESPN spots.
First, ESPN understands their demographic. They have narrowly focused their target audience and they know how to speak to that audience. Do you know who you target audience is? Do you understand how they think and how they make purchasing decisions?
Second, the audience can relate to ESPN commercials. If you are a sports fan, you instantly “get” each and every ESPN commercial. They don’t have to bombard you with a lot of facts and dialogue. They don’t have to explain everything to you. Knowing the behaviors and habits of your target audience will make easy for you to create video content that they can relate to. And when your audience understands your message, they feel comfortable with your brand. And when they feel comfortable with your brand, they will have no problem doing business with you.
Third, they rely on the visuals more so than words. This commercial uses very little dialogue. The visuals tell you everything you need to know. When you produce a video and/or TV commercial for your company, are you letting the visuals tell the story? Consider this commercial as another example.
Here’s the ESPN “Roll Tide” commercial. Enjoy. And Roll Tide.
I continue to be amazed at the ways in which brands can use video to get their message out to their audience. As mobile video continues to rise and the demand for video content increases, video producers are creating content at a rapid pace. And they are finding ways to exhibit it in new and creative ways. Take, for example, the iPad t-shirt. The shirt, which retails for around $50, has a clear pouch in the front which allows an individual to insert his/her iPad. This essentially turns the wearer of the shirt into a walking billboard. Artists can use it to show off their work or advertise an upcoming show. Brands can use it to display mobile advertisements. Bands can use it to advertise their latest single, or upcoming shows. Animators, graphic artists, illustrators, etc. can use it to show off a portfolio. Video producers can show off their demo reel. I don’t know how popular this shirt will become, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see brands paying individuals to walk around with these iPad t-shirts. Say good bye to the sandwich board.