How do you make a video campaign that works?
How do you make a video campaign that works? A much asked question with no simple recipe perhaps. In this piece, Stuart takes a look at a variety of different types of company who have used video marketing in relatively successful ways, drawing big viewing figures for their creations. From big budget to small they all reveal a little about the factors that matter – what will be your takeaway?
Volvo Trucks – The Epic Split Feat. Van Damme. Over 85 Million Video Views
When I first saw this video I pretty much fell off my chair. As did 85million others by the look of it. Volvo did something astonishing with this and turned a video about steering accuracy into an internet sensation, as JCVD does the splits whilst travelling backwards along an old runway.
If the concept was not bold enough, the execution is awe inspiring. Everything from the music, the lighting, and audacity of shooting it exactly at sunrise (which means they had at most one, maybe two takes) combines into a piece of viral perfection.
The video barely even mentions the vehicle nor the benefit they are trying to push, and of the 85million viewers how many would be in a position to buy a £100K+ truck anyway – perhaps 2000 globally?
What the video has done is to associate the brand with a creative, daring, artistic voice that has great ideas and a remarkable attention to detail. The video moves us (I have watched it a dozen times and still choke up on a good/bad day) and – hell’s teeth – if I was going to spend big money on a big truck I know which brand I’d turn to first. Job done!
Volvo – Life Paint – 7 Million Video Views
Here is a second Volvo video, this time more UK specific, that has received an equally impressive 7 million views.
Bikes are not a Volvo product area, but safety and innovation are definitely among their key brand values. This innovative product filmed in a attention grabbing way reminds us to be on the lookout for cyclists, inspires us with the clever product idea and once again says ‘Volvo- we care. (Even if you are not driving one of our vehicles)’
It’s very clever stuff and to be applauded. Direct ROI would be hard to measure, who knows how many more people will spend money with Volvo as a result of seeing the video. But in terms of brand positioning, it’s a first rate result.
Dove Real Beauty Sketches | ‘You’re more beautiful than you think’. 64 Million Video Views
Personally, I find this video a bit disappointing.
Digging out people with self-image issues and getting them to slag themselves off is, to my mind, a bit cheap despite the very clever conceit of the film. (‘Conceit’ is a posh filmmaker’s way to say ‘concept’, apparently.)
64 millions views means that the theme – “stop beating yourself up” – has impacted a huge number of people. But there are some issues with this. It touches on a common problem, caused at least partly by the industry Dove is itself part of.
Pretty much from pre-school until their teens, young people – especially but not exclusively girl’s – are bombarded with images of beauty that cannot be obtained. We all know this. Dove are also in the business of selling product that leverages the human drive to be beautiful and it could be argued that this video, an attempt to put a more human and caring face on that methodology, only continues the trend by featuring people who clearly are attractive with good skin and may even be models.
Dove are trying to say ‘we are nice, we don’t want you normal people to beat yourself up about not being beautiful enough’, but they are using aspirational faces to make that point and therefore reinforcing the very stereotype they claim to be against. Great vid, but it makes me grumpy and one could even accuse Dove of the C word – cynicism.
Introducing PlayStation Flow | April Fools Video. 2 Million Video Views
There are 110 million PlayStation users globally. Less than 2% of them have watched this video.
The product being advertised looks great but the execution is dull, corporate and self-serving. We are not entertained, we are informed but not inspired. Contrast that with the Volvo truck ad. The global market for heavy trucks is about half a million a year and yet 120 times that number watched the video, meaning it was effectively 6000 times more successful in terms of market penetration than this PlayStation one.
Ok, I am simplifying and maybe the budgets were different and the channels different, but underwater VR glasses sure seems like a sexier more exciting product that being able to make trucks do backwards well.
Who wins here?
In spite of those 2 million eyes, this feels like a missed opportunity by Playstation.
Ebac – Smart Control Humidifiers. 245k Video Views
Humidifiers are even less exciting than PlayStations, but look at the numbers here. A tiny market for a niche product, but still 245K views. This is an impressive, low budget informative video that gets it’s message across in just 30 seconds. Such brevity may be a strong reason for the good number of views as it nails home the benefits of the product in a calm, professional and authoritative manner. If you had wet windows in the morning, why would you not investigate this product?
Ebac do not have the money for massive Volvo style brand-building adventures but they have used an informative video to target the specific problem their product solves. There is almost no meta tagging nor an informative title here so they would have driven the viewing numbers from Google advertising, no doubt focused on keywords linked to those tricky damp issues.
Their website is chock full of informative videos – it’s a very impressive show from this small British company.
Pen Fishing Rod Extreme. 200k Video Views
Love fishing ? Hate carrying rods? 200K Americans clearly do because they have stopped by to watch this frankly terrible video about a pen that can catch fish. As our friends in the USA don’t do irony, we can only assume that they actually just love it.
What can we learn? If you have a niche with a hot product, you might be able to get away with murder.
These guys https://www.youtube.com/user/DollarShaveClub service a similar kind of audience, but with a bit of effort have created a ‘comedy violence’ video style that generated them a ton of love and millions of views. They are now doing $90million of sales a year, have spawned a raft of imitators and fan sites, and might even be looking at an IPO – all because their video rocks.
People loved the humour, the cool dead-pan shabby-chic style of the presenter and they evidently love the product. After all, if the company’s videos show that much intelligence, their product has to be great – right? And apparently it is.
So there you have it – 7 great examples of how companies are embracing video marketing to promote their brands and their products. Through tapping in to their target audiences’ thoughts, emotions and needs, from solving problems to entertaining, they’ve all managed to generate interest, awareness and new business.
How are you going to use video in your marketing campaigns?