There’s a trick to creating videos for advertising, and that’s to not create video ads…create movie shorts.
Reel SEO posted about why videos that weren’t made as advertisements can work so well as advertisements. I watched their examples and thought ‘Hey, that’s pretty good…Ima write a blog about it.’ So here ya go.
We’re a pretty cynical crowd nowadays. It doesn’t matter if you are the older generation who “used to walk 8 miles in the snow to and from school each day,” or if you are the new generation who has grown up with a cell phone in their hand, we all know when we are being “sold” to.
And we hate it.
It’s the reason we can fast forward television, the reason we don’t stress about being late to the movies–we know the first 15 minutes are going to be local advertisements–the reason we get so angry when YouTube displays an ad that we aren’t able to skip.
You know what ads I skip the least on YouTube? Movie trailers. Why is that? Because they tell stories, because it’s something new–a new movie, a new story–that I haven’t heard or seen yet. And if the trailer is cut correctly, I will sit and watch it because it doesn’t feel like an advertisement to us. It doesn’t feel like we are being sold to, rather, that we are hearing part of a story that we want to hear more of.
This is what we should keep in mind when we create video marketing content. Don’t create marketing content. Create stories. Have good audio. Play on the wide range of emotions we have as humans. Don’t over brand.
#1. Dumb Ways to Die
The most shared video in the world is a video titled Dumb Ways to Die. It’s a simple song with simple animations of some of the dumbest ways people have died. You don’t know who even created it until the very end, and it was Melbourne Metro. While I’m sure Melbourne Metro has a large number of people who know what it is, I’m sure it wasn’t relevant to the majority of the people who shared and watched the video. But that’s because it wasn’t viewed as an advertisement or a PSA message, it was just a funny video with a funny tune that caught people’s attention. And in fact, accidents and deaths were decreased the following year by 21%. The video came with a game and public ads that led to it being the most shared public service announcement in history.
#2. LG Meteor Prank
Have you seen the LG Meteor prank? If you haven’t it’s worth watching. Basically a room is set up filled with hidden cameras, and a television is hung behind a desk. However, it’s framed to look like a window and the cityscape is displayed on it. They bring in new people to interview for a “job” and as they are interviewing a meteor cuts into frame and hits the city. After the lights cut out and I can only imagine the individuals are thanking the high heavens they are still alive, the pranksters reveal themselves and the fact that the “window” was just an amazing LG television. Some handled it well, others…did not.
#3. The Red Button (TNT)
Have you seen the red button? Some nice, quiet, little town in Belgium became the scene of an action movie with the click of a little red button that said “push to add drama.” An ambulance shows up, drops the patient, then loses him out the back of the vehicle. A biker runs into the ambulance and starts a fight, there’s a shootout, and at the end an American football team shows up to carry a body back inside a building. At the very end a banner drops that promotes “your daily dose of drama” from the network TNT. Genius.
#4. Chipotle Scarecrow
Everyone has seen the Scarecrow video for Chipotle, right? It’s beautifully animated and set to Grammy Winning artist Fiona Apple’s “Pure Imagination” a cover of the famous song from Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory. It didn’t hurt that the video was created by Moonbot Studios, an Academy Award winning studio. This video does everything right. It pulls you in with amazing graphics and an actual story that we all can understand. We all know the horror of our food industry. The way this video plays to our emotions is perfect. It’s not until the very end that you even know that you watched a Chipotle ad. They did everything right.
Firemen and kittens. Is there more of a cliché? Maybe not, but GoPro did it perfect. A camera attached to a fireman inside a burned house, finds a kitten on the floor, unresponsive. He takes the kitten outside and puts an oxygen mask on it and cleans it off with a bottle of water. The whole time we are glued to our computers rooting for that little kitten. And then the cat starts moving and mewing. I’m not crying, you’re crying. It tugs on our emotions. And it shows the great thing about a GoPro, you can stick it anywhere and capture amazing moments. At the end of the video the link to two other GoPro videos along with a subscribe. This is a great call to action that the other videos were missing.
All in all, these 5 videos are amazing advertisements because they weren’t created like normal advertisements. You sit and watch them and you don’t feel like you are being sold to. Keep that in mind when you are creating your next video advertisement, don’t create it as an advertisement, create it like a short video.