What brand video content has caught our attention so far this year? And attention is the keyword here, as more and more brands turn to content marketing to help them grab and retain the eyeballs, engagement and loyalty of their target audience in a crowded environment.
Why content marketing?
As a documentary-maker in a previous role at the BBC, I often talk to clients about the need to shift from advertising to a publishing model which doesn’t seek to sell directly but inform, educate, or entertain. Interestingly, just this year, Marc Pritchard, the chief brand officer at P & G, spoke about “reinventing” advertising. In an interview in The Drum, he spoke about creative partners to create film content and find new ways to engage their consumers.
Broadly, this seems to be a wise move with one study finding that 71% of consumers prefer to find out about brands themselves rather than pushy adverts. The industry appears to be following the publishing model, with 86% of B2C brands are using content marketing and 89% of B2B brands, according to the Content Marketing Institute.
However, video brand content needs to be high quality and relevant to the consumer on its own terms to stand a chance of cutting through. Here are six of the best examples from 2019 so far to help you boost your own brand content strategy.
Second Act by Mailchimp
Email marketing platform Mailchimp understands the power of content marketing. The business has created a series of five branded content films called “Second Act” with publisher, Vice. The films follow people who have chosen to take a second chance on life, whether it’s switching a successful career for a passion project or taking the leap to work for themselves. Watch the trailer here:
This is a really nice example of branded video content. The series stands up on its own as content that would be of interest to the email platforms’ B2B audience, helping to inspire and advise entrepreneurs.
Apple Chinese New Year
This 6-minute film, The Bucket, was shot on the iPhone XS by film director and screenwriter, Jia Zhangke, and released to tie in with the Lunar New Year. It follows his journey back from a visit to his mother with a valuable package from her. When he returns homes, the contents of his mother’s parcel are revealed with the strapline that a taste of home will always be with you.
It’s a beautifully shot film which demonstrates the power of the new phone by showing how well it can capture footage. The brand video also perfectly reflects the benefit of the mobile phone’s camera for preserving our memories.
Poetry, travel and the brand values of a city
Branded content is perfect for travel brands to bring destinations to life and provide content that will inspire consumers.
Next up is a video for Tourism Toronto with The New Yorker. In this short film, a renowned poet, Cleo Wade, writes a piece about travel and the city, and then artist Bareket Kezwer creates artwork on a blank wall. The narrative stresses the fact that Toronto is a forward-thinking city pushing the cultural diversity and values of the city in times of political division. In fact, the video is all about sharing the brand values of Toronto.
Little Mix and Simple anti-bullying campaign
Beauty brand, Simple enlisted the girl band, Little Mix, for an anti-bullying campaign, Ditch the Label. The video for the campaign was only hosted on Twitter and YouTube and featured the young women sharing their thoughts on online abuse and negative feedback and how they handle it with the hashtag, #choosekindness.
The message of the campaign is that you can wipe it away and find positivity online. The video does not mention their products and there is only a logo on the top of the screen. The brand offers free advice on a bespoke website and a chatbot to listen to concerns. The campaign works because it uses influencers who will resonate with the target audience and provides a genuine, supportive channel that aims to combat a huge issue.
Pizza and bikes can fix anything
Well, we can’t argue with the title of this film from Patagonia, a brand which is a master at branded content.
In this video, a couple, Jen and Anne, tell their story of moving to Fruita, Colorado back in 2002 in search of a lower-cost way of life and the perfect place and enough time to ride their mountain bikes. The story shows how these two women have helped to shape and also been welcomed by the conservative town. It’s an emotional, uplifting film which works to reinforce the brand’s values. Watch the video now, which achieved almost 500,000 views within three weeks.
What have we learned from these brand films? Get to know your audience and put them at the heart of your content planning. The content does need to align with brand values and contain a branded element, but the focus is on the long game of loyalty. Whatever content you decide to create, ensure that it is first and foremost something that your audience would want to watch.
Let us know in the comments below if we’ve missed any top brand content from 2019. We’re consummate storytellers here at Hurricane, so do get in touch if you’d like advice on creating engaging content for your brand. Give us a bell.