3 video storytelling choices that work for creative advertising

Ok, let me first start by addressing the title of the blog.

There are many creative techniques used when it comes to video storytelling and there isn’t a one shoe fits all approach. The brand, the audience, marketing channels and touchpoints all have a say on whether a creative concept will leave its mark. We need to first understand these things before we can conceptualise ideas that will resonate with a target audience. However, there are notable trends which I believe make a video advertising campaign memorable – At least to me.

Now, I’m a sucker for a good story. (Thank you, Netflix!) It’s one of the reasons I run a video storytelling agency. Great storytelling is powerful, it can have impact and it’s an incredibly rewarding process if done correctly. With so much video content out there these days, it’s really got to make me feel something if I’m going to remember it. And that’s one of the key points we need to ask ourselves when we’re creating short-form video content for advertising – Is our idea memorable? Other questions we might consider; Is the idea easy to get? Will the target audience relate?

Recently, I’ve seen a batch of new adverts on TV, the cinema and online. All of these adverts had plenty in common. The production values were high, they looked like TV or Film and they all had a length of between 30 and 60 seconds. However, the adverts that resonated with me the most all seemed to fall into three styles and genre choices. These genre choices were;

#1 – Comedy / Humour

It goes without saying – you can’t bore someone into buying something. Humour is a great way to engage an audience and make your advert stand out.

uSwitch “Coach” Broadband Comparison TV Advert

This advert from uSwitch was actually released in 2017, but I only recently discovered it. The memorable character and the silly humour had me giggling. What’s great is that this format is easily replicated with new scenarios and characters as long as the main character is present and the humour remains consistent.

#2 – The Quirky Drama

AO “Delivering Tomorrow” Advert

Anyone else think AO have lucked out with the fact that there is a mainstream song with their business name in the Lyrics? Regardless their new TV and Cinema ad is excellent. It’s got an interesting story – the sun begins to flicker and eventually goes out, plunging the world into darkness. Turns out the sun is a giant bulb and it’s up to the AO team to deliver and fit the new sun to bring light back to the world. My favourite moment is the sun being wheeled out of a giant box which reads “SUN 174 QUADRILLION WATTS” on the side.

#3 – The “Pull on the Heart Strings” Drama

Remember those beautiful John Lewis adverts? The one’s with the lovely stories, haunting acoustic music and high-end visuals to match. Yep – style three is the pull on the heart strings drama. There’s two more adverts which I love that both fall into this category. The cinematography in these both these 60 second adverts is excellent and the music choice really heightens the drama on-screen.

Lloyds Bank, The Running of the Horses:

Dogs Trust TV Ad #Specialsomeone:

There’s No Such Thing as a Boring Subject

‘Boring’ is a word that gets thrown around a lot in creative industries, and it should be banished to the fiery depths of hell, because there should be no excuse for it, and certainly no place for it, in whatever you’re doing, whether it’s film, online videos, blogging, podcasting, morris dancing, or anything else.

There have been a number of clients over the years who have mentioned their industry or business using this term, and it’s great when it happens, because we get to show them exactly why there is no such thing, and then pitch the client ideas that are fun, creative and engaging, that (with any luck) will make them excited enough to hire us, and show them that what we believe is true:

There is no such thing as a boring niche or industry.

A perfect example of this comes from the world of film, and specifically the 2010 David Fincher/Aaron Sorkin collaboration The Social Network, which grossed over $200 million worldwide because Sorkin (who adapted the screenplay from Ben Mezrich’s book The Accidental Billionaires) and Fincher (Seven, Fight Club) didn’t make a film about people Poking each other in university dorm rooms, they created a Greek tragedy that focused on issues of class, sexism and betrayal, all contributing to a masterful example of high drama.

Now imagine being a film executive being pitched a film about the invention of Facebook…

Urgh.

 

That’s a boring subject to anyone outside of Mark Zuckerberg’s lawyers and anybody outside of the Sorkin/Fincher circle, who had done their research and realised there was an incredibly powerful, dramatic and important story to tell.

“It really didn’t have much at all to do with Facebook itself. I wasn’t on Facebook. I don’t spend a lot of time on the Internet, and social networking wasn’t really part of my life. But the story itself! There are elements of it that are as old as storytelling: friendship and loyalty, class, jealousy, betrayal — all those kinds of things that were being written about 4,000 years ago. It struck me as a great big classic story. And those classic elements were being applied to something incredibly contemporary.”
– Aaron Sorkin in an interview with TIME, September 2010.

And that’s what you need to do to erase the word ‘boring’ from your content: Find the story within your business, industry or niche and tell it in the best possible medium. You don’t need Oscar winners and a Hollywood budget to achieve it either, so don’t panic.

Now let’s focus on how you can do just that, in relation to creating online video content for your business:

 

What’s Your Story?

Your business didn’t fall from the sky one day (although that would make an amazing online video), you built it, your family built it, maybe you and your best friend built it. Regardless of how it came to be, your business has a story, and that’s where your online video journey begins: Finding the story. Once you start to do that, the word boring slowly fades away.

For example, you could be running a store that makes wooden signs for home and business, and on the surface, you might be scratching your head as to how that becomes remotely exciting on screen. Here are some questions that will instantly change that perception:

 

  • How did your business start? Is it family owned? Did it start here? Have you moved to where your business hails now from somewhere else? If so, why?
  • How do you make your signs? Is everything hand-carved and painted by hand?
  • Where do you get your materials from?
  • What kinds of signs have you made?
  • Who have you made signs for?

Once you start asking these questions, all kinds of interesting stories will reveal themselves, including:

  • The story of the business
  • The hard work and craftsmanship that goes into creating your goods
  • The relationships/friendships of the people who work there
  • Showing off just how great your good are, of course

The next step is to discuss ways in which your stories can be told. These could be through interviews, short form content, an online advert, tutorial films and more. There are no end to the stories that can be told in any industry or niche, but one thing is for certain…

They should never be boring.

The Rise of Branded and Personalised Video

2015 was widely regarded as the year that video marketing really took off. As we head into 2016, marketers will be looking into how they can use technology to further build on the huge potential of video marketing.

Increased Value of Branded Video Content

The power of YouTube will come to the fore again this year resulting in more companies making an extra effort to produce branded video content. Marketers are recognising the fact that YouTube is now the third most visited website in the world with more than four billion views per day.

‘The play button has become the most compelling call to action on the Web’ (Lessard, T).

Videos are becoming more popular among online users than traditional text-based pages. More and more marketers will move towards moving images, creating branded videos such as key interviews, behind-the-scenes insights and product promos to engage their target audience.

digital-video

 

More Videos Will Appear on Websites

Jayson DeMers (Forbes) suggested that there are two areas where video content is likely to show up:

  • Home pages – As this page is likely to be the first page seen on the website, it is vital that it is attractive for the viewer. If your homepage is engaging, the visitor will be more likely to spend more time exploring the website.
  • Product pages – To make sure that your product or service is sold effectively, videos are a great method of explaining what you offer. Using just text and still images can be difficult to understand if your product or service is complex or new to the market. With the use of short videos, customers will better understand the product and the purchasing process which can boost conversions.
The Revenant: 200 Miles website includes an interactive video in the background.

The Revenant: 200 Miles website includes an interactive video in the background.

Videos Will Play a Larger Role in Driving Sales

The inclusion of videos on websites brings us onto the next prediction that videos will play a larger role throughout the customer journey. From a recent survey by research firm Demand Metric, 74% of businesses reported that video content drove conversions more than any other content type.

With increased video content, customers will be guided through the purchase process. According to a recent study, customer testimonials, demos and explainer/tutorial videos were found to be the most effective at helping convert sales.

The Potential Rise of Personalised Video Content

 

Interactive, one-to-one, video content is forecasted to emerge in 2016 which will create a more conversational experience. New technologies will allow the viewers to fully engage with the video content to form a more immersed experience to potentially gain more customers. Features to look out for will be mid-roll surveys and questionnaires inserted into the videos as well as multiple choice options that the viewer can select to direct how the video content will continue.

Video personalisation will also enter the mainstream in 2016. The concept will involve the viewer’s name, company logo, or an image posted on social media placed into the video to bring the viewer into the story. Marketers will be hungry to create a more engaging, immersive experience by creating stories that are personally directed by the viewer.

SaveSave

Super Bowl 50: A Marketer’s Paradise

Sunday 7th February will see the Denver Broncos and the Carolina Panthers compete at Super Bowl 50, one of the most watched events in the world. With 114.4 million U.S. viewers watching it alone last year, the Super Bowl is one of the biggest marketing opportunities of the calendar year. It does come at a price however, and it is a big one. Broadcaster CBS will charge a record $5 million (£3.5m) for a 30-second advertising slot this year. The huge global audience attracted to Super Bowl allows the broadcaster to demand such high costs.

hashtag-bowl-2015-generic-1920-800x450

Digital marketing expert Joanne Bradford explained that the Super Bowl could not be beaten for the “impact of that moment” and the “brand awareness that it offers”.

 

The Super Bowl television adverts are a popular talking point, extending a brand’s awareness span beyond just a day. In fact, talk of the advertising campaigns begin weeks in advance. MarketingLand.com have their own feature called the ‘Hashtag Bowl’, where they cover all of the latest news and developments on which companies are taking part and how the productions are going.

Among the many brands participating, Doritos have launched their final ‘Crash the Super Bowl’ campaign. The contest invited fans to produce their own Super Bowl adverts to be in with the chance of having their production aired live on game day. This year Doritos have received nearly 4,500 entries which they have whittled down to three finalists. The winner is determined by the public, who can vote for their favourite entry up until 31st January. The campaign by Doritos is an effective marketing tool as it builds interaction goodwill with it’s fans and runs many weeks in advance of the Super Bowl event itself.

At the time of writing, 35 brands have announced their participation in the Super Bowl ad battle. To showcase their brands, some ad campaigns feature well known stars such as Alec Baldwin (Amazon), Christopher Walken (Kia) and Liam Neeson (LG Electronics) to name but a few. This highlights just how important the Super Bowl event is for companies. It is the US version of the UK’s Christmas advert. See our earlier blog post on the battle of the Christmas ad.

amazon-super-bowl-50-ad.

 

Global Brand Exposure

Major sporting events offer a rare occasion for companies to be market their brand to vast live audiences. But it’s just the Super Bowl that attracts people from around the globe – The FIFA World Cup final in 2014 has been estimated by many broadcasters to have been watched by a global audience of at least 909 million. The peak audience in the UK reached 21 million.

As a result of the high audience figures, broadcasters were again able to put an expensive price tag on a 30-second advert slot on their channel. ITV for example were charging between £275,000 and £300,000 for adverts in matches that featured England and between £40,000 and £100,000 for other matches.

2016 promises to be, yet again, a year for major sporting events. Football’s Euro 2016 is being contested in France this June, while athletics’ main event, the Olympic Games, is coming up in Rio in August.

How can your business tap into this?

We’re realists, so we know unless you’re Coca Cola or Amazon you’re highly unlikely to fork out £3.5 million of your great British pounds for a 30 second tv ad slot. But this doesn’t stop your brand from tapping into the audience that will be taking part in such large events. A well planned and relevant marketing video, released on or around the event can do wonders for audience response and brand exposure. Why not produce a corporate drama film that intelligently and creatively advertises your brand? The best example we’ve ever seen is Reebok’s Terry Tate: Office Linebacker.

Telling stories is what we do. If you’re interested in exploring corporate drama for your brand, or just want some friendly advice, get in touch with us and we’ll have a coffee.

SaveSave

5 Ways To Boost Your Online Presence

We live in one of the most exciting times in the world’s history where you can build up a brand globally and faster then ever before. Over the last ten years there has been a major shift from traditional forms of marketing (think large scale, big budget Mad Men-esque advertising campaigns) to online marketing. Social media is a huge part of the rise in online marketing strategies and it has never been more accessible or affordable.

You now have the opportunity to build a personal brand by leveraging the amplification of social media, blogs and online video to share your messages and your business stories. If you are having trouble getting going, here are five simple ways business’s can grow their brand and online presence:

1.  Start a Blog

A good way to drive traffic to your site is to start a blog. Google loves blogs as they keep it’s search engine results recent and relevant with a constant stream of new and unique content. Blogging actively not only gives you a chance to share your knowledge and expertise with potential new customers, it also allows you to start an active dialogue with them via comment boxes on your posts.

2.  Keep Your Content Fresh and Unique

It’s a good idea to play to your strengths. If you are a great writer, then write. If you are more comfortable in front of a camera then maybe a video blog or audio podcast is the best way forward. Video bloggers such as Gary Vaynerchuk transformed their business with a video blog. Create Film will soon be launching our very own video blog sister site CreateFilm.TV were we will be utilising our knowledge of the film and video production industries to share our thoughts on current and trending topics.

3. Create a Twitter Account

Keep your Twitter account name consistent with your brand and blog. Used correctly Twitter is an excellent marketing tool in which you can communicate with your target market. The 140-character message limit forces you to be concise and relevant when posting content. Share your blog posts a couple of times a week via Twitter. Encourage people to interact with your content.

4. Create a Facebook “Page”

Facebook has a whopping 600 million users and provides a rich source of contacts to spread your content and get feedback from users interacting with your brand. Facebook also run advertising campaigns in which you can pay to promote your content further to reach new audiences or to simply get more people interacting with your page. As above, share your blog posts a couple of times a week via Facebook. Encourage people to interact with your content.

5. Utilise Video On Your Homepage

Online video is the fastest growing medium in the history of the Internet. Just like blogs, Google loves video. A great way to make your site instantly more engaging is to include an introduction video or case study film about your business on your homepage. A video offers a potential customer the chance to get to know what you do and how you can help. It also makes you more approachable by forging an instant connection between you and the customer by putting a face and a voice to the name.

Luckily for you, Orange Fox Studios specialise in helping small business’s delve into the world of online video and social media marketing. If you are having trouble or just need a little advice on how you can make your brand more engaging, please come and have a chat to us. The coffee is on us!

 

Further Reading:

10 Steps To Promote Brand “You” with Social Media

What is Social Media? The Must Know Basics Explained

Online Video: The Future of Content Marketing