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The newest brands to rock video content

The newest brands to rock video content Chris Marentis

It has long been established that companies such as Red Bull and Coca-Cola have produced some of the most highly successful videos. These companies, however, are no longer standalones when it comes to standing out in this highly competitive field. In this article, we are going to take a look at eight different brands that have utilized video as a primary medium for building their brands.

These eight companies span a wide range of industries. Some are large corporations and others are small businesses. Their video topics run the gamut from being deeply serious and personal to rather lighthearted. The one common thread among all of them -- and ultimately the crux of their success -- is the use of the videos as part of a larger, fully integrated marketing campaign.

A scarecrow and good food

Engagement is the name of the game when it comes to social media, and the good-for-you Mexican food chain, Chipotle, took engagement to a whole new level when it launched its Scarecrow video by also creating a free downloadable mobile game for iOS devices. This ingenious approach gave customers a reason to interact with Chipotle over and over again and, in so doing, gave Chipotle a way to reinforce its brand and image over and over again.

Water babies

Bottled water giant Evian has utilized its "Baby & Me" video campaign across multiple platforms. Certainly the television ads and video assets created were creative and received attention for the right reasons, but it was the use of a Facebook page, a mobile app for both Apple iOS and Android devices, a sweepstakes contest, and other promotions together that drove the level of sharing and social exposure that makes this a marketing effort worthy of emulation. Evian exemplified the best of true multi-platform integration here.

You can't eat just one

Lay's is not new to creating memorable advertising or branding campaigns and slogans by any means, but its use of video to promote a contest to seek out the next hot potato chip flavor deserves to be looked at in more depth. The company asked consumers to "Do Us A Flavor" by submitting their ideas for unique flavors to add to the quickly expanding flavored potato chip market.

A Facebook app and text messaging supported the video campaign, but what truly sets this effort apart is the development and importance of videos created by others in response to Lay's request promoting the contest -- and the brand -- on Lay's behalf. This is a fabulous example of engagement taken to the next level and branding that will last.

Poignant insights from a soap?

Yes, that is exactly what we are talking about here -- along with a little controversy as well. The soap and body wash brand, Dove, created what it called the "Real Beauty Sketches" video that aimed to point out to women around the globe that they are viewed as more beautiful by others than by themselves. By tapping into well-known realities about female insecurities, the video touched people at deep levels, creating emotion that stirred and begged to be shared.

Some critics of the campaign suggested that with this approach, Dove only served to reinforce women's slightly negative views of themselves. Whether this is true or not, what is a fact is the impact and reach that the video had. Dove also pushed out the "Real Beauty Sketches" concept via print ads. Multiple news segments highlighted the video and concept, giving even more brand recognition to Dove. This example proved that even if all audiences did not equally receive the message, the power of the brand reinforcement is undeniable.

Tenderness through technology

The GoPro line of video cameras is extensive and used by individuals in both personal and work-related situations. This became apparent to the world when a firefighter in California posted a video that he took with his GoPro camera while on the job. The scenes depict his efforts to save the life of a tiny kitten rescued from a house fire.

While GoPro may not have initiated this video, the company was quick and clever with its response. The company branded the video as its own and repurposed it, capitalizing on the already strong following it had developed. Without needing to beat its own chest, GoPro was able to give credence to the durability and reliability of its products, implying that if its cameras can perform under the conditions in which firefighters work, they can perform anywhere. The tender emotions that the video content tapped into only facilitated the overall positive impact. The recognition of the GoPro brand soared due to the company's ability to leverage what was already there.

Good stewardship, good branding

Even if required, corporate philanthropy can not only do true good in the world, but it can more than pay for itself when done right. Last year's "Christmas Miracle" video from Canadian airliner WestJet proved beyond a shadow of a doubt. There is also little doubt that the video went a long way toward building and developing employee morale, another element to creating a successful brand that more companies should give some attention to.

Anyone unsure of the true success of this video should know that a 2014 version has been created. This time, WestJet brought the Christmas joy to the underprivileged in the Dominican Republic. By leveraging enough of what worked for the company last year and adding new twists, it continues to draw viewers, grow its brand, and actually do something good for someone else.

Girl power does the trick

Typically, only ads from large corporations reach viewers during the Super Bowl. That makes sense with the price tag associated with those ads. However, a relatively small company known for making toys to help promote science and engineering among today's girls chose to put a lot of its eggs in one basket when it produced and ran an ad during the Super Bowl.

The use of a venue in which more people are known to be watching for the ads rather than the actual main event paid off big time for this small business, despite some legal issues which arose after the fact. GoldiBlox's unlicensed use of a Beastie Boys song led the company to make a public apology and ensure that its next video used only appropriately licensed music. That other video, by the way, was aired during Super Bowl XLVIII and paid for in entirety by Intuit. Hard to argue the fact that its first video effort and plan more than worked.

A different use of emotion

When the use of emotion is discussed in reference to any marketing or advertising campaign, humor is generally the first place people's minds go. Making someone laugh is fun as well as proven effective in making connections. Other ads and videos focus on the sentimental -- we have even touched on some of those above in this article. Very few companies even try -- let alone succeed -- in tapping into what are more commonly thought of as negative emotions as a way to pull people in.

Attorney Jamie Casino not only tried this but succeeded beyond belief. His video -- also aired during the Super Bowl -- was hard hitting, serious, and unforgiving. A former criminal defense attorney, Casino essentially switched sides after the murder of his brother and now "speaks up for those who cannot speak up for themselves". The choice to use the Super Bowl as his launching pad had already led to the reported development of a reality TV show featuring Casino himself. Yes, you could say that this gritty video and its expensive but impactful delivery is something that sets it apart from most.

No "one size fits all"

Clearly the differences in each of the above videos as well as the ways in which they were each promoted and deployed could not be more varied -- and this is only a small sampling of what is available out there.

The bottom line takeaway should be that video is another marketing tool just like a web page, email, print ad, or even flyer. Its creation should never be considered in a silo but in conjunction with other platforms and vehicles. It is only through such an approach that the full potential of any video can be realized. There is no recipe for how to do this as the variables are different for every company and video. From budget to topic, no two campaigns are the same. That gives businesses a lot of leeway and creativity that can pay off if executed well.

Chris Marentis is the founder and CEO of Surefire Social.

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"Hand in rock n roll sign" image via Shutterstock.

For nearly three decades, Chris Marentis, Founder and CEO of Surefire Social, has been responsible for driving innovation and sales growth for large media and e-commerce brands as well as start-ups. With a long-history of counseling local businesses...

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