Video Stories: Marketing's Next Big Thing

There’s a fast-emerging trend we are seeing as a producer of videos for both major brands and agencies: the emergence of “stories” as the next big vehicle for brand communication.  At least a dozen of our clients have undertaken projects to start producing human-interest stories via video to promote their brands, so it bears a closer look for anyone in the video and broader marketing industries:

In a world that proclaims “Content is king,” it is these stories that are showing up as the next big thing.  Whether it’s an auto manufacturing company asking folks to look back into their past with their very first (insert brand here) car, or a mom reflecting on the first cake she baked from a box and how it made her feel, brands are encouraging consumers to be a  part of the  story by recalling their own experiences.

The resulting human interest stories, with a specific brand as a centerpiece, are being utilized in a number of creative ways. For example, the videos are showing up on a brand’s Web site as personal brand commentary to humanize and personalize their corporate website.  Equally or even more common, the video stories are used as a part of content on Facebook and other social-sharing sites. These videos are perfect complements to commercials that are uploaded on brand pages on YouTube, too.

There are a few unique benefits from these video stories for brands:

1.  The videos come across as authentic (if shot correctly).  They are not stylized, or stuffy, or corporate.  They are real people sharing real memories that reflect positively on a brand.

2.  Then, there’s the endorsement by a satisfied customer expressed in warm, friendly, non-salesy manner.  These testimonials, even when referring to the brand in memories from 10-15 years ago, open the door for future product trial and adoption by consumers.

3.  And finally, these stories personalize the brand.  They bring the brand down to the consumer level, which is appreciated by the consumer, and proves to be very motivational. It is this personalization of the brand that results in shareability.

Practically no one is going to share a video that’s nothing more than a typical commercial featuring a new Mustang or other new car, but they might share a touching story of how someone felt about their first Mustang 10, 20 or even 30 years ago, and how they felt that first day cruising down the highway with the top down.

Stories, especially those in video form, will live on with the Internet as long as we all make an effort to ensure that they are “findable”.  As we all know, video already indexes well with search engines. Proper tagging and placing in various media will only help in sharing a brand’s stories.

This trend will be worth watching in the coming months, as video stories have the promise to personalize brands in an authentic way.

4 comments about "Video Stories: Marketing's Next Big Thing".
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  1. Pooky Amsterdam from PookyMedia, September 18, 2012 at 1:21 p.m.

    Love what you are saying Neil - Years ago I remember a commercial series for "Taster's Choice" that revolved around a woman who just moved into an apartment building and her very handsome neighbor. Needless to say, I tried Taster's Choice, I felt I had to! Story is at the heart of all sales because in emotive strength we find our simulation trigger. The more we identify the greater the chance of incorporating said product into our lives. If a picture is a thousands words, than video is a million!

  2. Norman Smit from Integrated Media Strategies, September 19, 2012 at 4:32 p.m.

    Stories may be trending now, but I've run a number of first-person, real-people-inspired campaigns over the years, all with great success. The key is finding the right people who are authentic.

  3. Patrick Fitzgerald from Straight Face Productions, September 24, 2012 at 5:21 p.m.

    That is very insightful Neil, I know a guy who was talking about this was the essential way to engage on line in keeping with the on demand ethos of the digital viewer. Not sure whatever happened to him.

  4. Phoebe Chongchua from Live Fit Films, September 27, 2012 at 6:59 p.m.

    As a former TV news reporter/anchor, a company that was able to get its messaging into our newscast via a news story received not only excellent exposure but also immediate credibility. I have been a brand journalist for more than a decade and produce Video News Stories for companies. I have seen how the impact of these VNS appeal to consumers by capturing their attention with a compelling news angle. There is no better time than now for companies to get their story told without having to hound traditional media for coverage. The opportunities are abundant for companies to create their own media channel, bypass traditional media, and directly reach and impact the consumer. However, the story must be relevant, interesting, and informative...just like a video news story you might see on the evening news.

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