When executed correctly, brand videos can be a powerful conversion tool for businesses. According to Wyzowl’s State of Video Marketing 2021 report, “84% of people say that they’ve been convinced to buy a product or service by watching a brand’s video.”
Unlike video ads — which blatantly promote a product or service — brand videos focus on delivering great content related to your core values to a niche audience. The most successful brand videos carefully balance offering product or service mentions with entertainment.
“84% of people say that they’ve been convinced to buy a product or service by watching a brand’s video.”
To help you navigate your next creative concept, we’ve sourced five brand videos that are worth emulating based on their creative approach to content. These brand videos bring a unique entertainment element to the table and put great content above blatant sales pitches. Let’s dive in!
Whether you’re a year-round movie buff or just a casual holiday viewer, chances are you’ve seen or heard of the 1990 holiday comedy classic Home Alone starring Macaulay Culkin. The movie focuses on Kevin McCallister, an eight-year-old child who ends up spending Christmas alone in his Chicago-suburb home after his family leaves for the holiday.
In 2018, Google resurfaced this classic and brought Culkin back as an older version of his character Kevin McCallister for their 2018 brand video — almost 30 years after the original film hit theaters. The video featured a techy spin on the original Home Alone storyline, with Kevin now utilizing Google Assistant while at home by himself.
For many viewers, Google’s “Home Alone Again” was a hotbed of pure nostalgia. The fact that so many people love and remember Home Alone is what makes this brand video stand out. Google also made the careful decision to reshoot scenes in the same way they appeared in the original movie. They could’ve easily shown Culkin in a brand new modern home using Google Assistant, but they chose to stay true to the film’s long-standing legacy. This showed the respect Google had for the source material and made them appear like a more relatable brand.
Whether you’re using a pop culture reference as Google did or simply including an old product your audience will recognize, nostalgia is a great way to make a connection with viewers. Think about your audience’s age range and try to work in a pop culture reference that they will instantly recognize in your brand video.
Dove tugged at heartstrings with their 2013 brand video “Real Beauty Sketches.” It features FBI-trained forensic artist Gil Zamora drawing two portraits of women — one based on the subject’s own description and the other on a stranger’s observations. The results were staggeringly different.
The portraits based on a stranger’s observations proved to be more accurate and beautiful depictions of the women. The pictures based on the women’s own perspectives were far less flattering.
There’s a vulnerability to the video that makes it feel emotionally compelling and raw. The overarching message of Dove’s brand video was to show people “that you’re more beautiful than you think.” Many people can relate to this feeling of insecurity. When creating your own brand video, try to zero in on themes that you think will emotionally resonate with your audience. The goal is to make sure the emotional element you choose to focus on feels authentic and not exploitive.
“Real Beauty Sketches” also feels more like a well-crafted short film than anything related to the Dove brand. There are no hard and fast rules around your brand video having to be packaged a certain way to resonate with your audience. Experiment with topics and highlight stories around your brand values, as Dove did with defining beauty.
Match brought dark humor to the forefront with their 2020 brand video about Satan and the year 2020 (personified as a young woman) going on a date and falling in love. They take on activities like hoarding toilet paper and sitting in an empty arena while Taylor Swift’s “Love Story” plays in the background.
What makes the video so funny is the fact most people universally regard 2020 as a terrible year. Match pushed comedic boundaries to create a brand video that humorously sums up 2020 in a nutshell.
Besides being funny, Match’s video was timely and relevant. The video came out as 2020 was coming to an end, and people reflected on how bad a year it was. Creating brand videos centered around current news can pique your viewers’ interest since those events are fresh on their minds.
Keep your hand on the pulse of current news to generate brand video ideas. Don’t go so far as to simply hop from trend to trend with your videos, but pay special attention to the collective worldwide consciousness on the news and social media.
As a customer service software company, Zendesk used their 2016 brand video to show the complicated nature of relationships through a funny dinner-based skit involving an astronaut and a deep-sea diver.
On the surface, an astronaut talking to a deep-sea diver seems oddly off-brand for Zendesk. It works, though, because it illustrates the complexity of relationships and communication issues, which are common pain points for people working in customer service.
Even though astronauts and deep-sea divers have nothing to do with Zendesk per se, the relationship aspect does. Just because your business is a SaaS product doesn’t mean the brand video needs to take place in an office or at a business meeting. You can push creative boundaries by focusing on a key aspect that your product or service solves and present it to viewers in an unexpected way.
As a brand, you don’t have to limit yourself to a single brand video. “I Made Dinner” is also part of Zendesk’s “Relationships Are Complicated” mini-series of 15-second clips with the same characters appearing in different scenarios. Create more opportunities for your viewers to see your brand through multiple videos. If viewers liked what they saw in one video, they could click on others in the series to engage with more of your content.
Stock footage and photography company Dissolve took a meta approach to their 2014 brand video by integrating stock footage into their comedic video. It shows different stock footage while a narrator tells viewers that they’re looking at generic content.
Dissolve’s video proves that they don’t take themselves too seriously as a brand. They weren’t afraid to address the fact that they create stock footage for brands, and the video manages to be pretty hilarious with no actual business context.
Another clever element Dissolve worked into their brand video was to shoot it with their own stock footage. It’s a sneaky way to show off their biggest offering without overtly stating it. Video is an ideal medium for showing the value of your product or service by letting the visuals speak for themselves.
Like Dissolve, don’t be afraid to poke fun at your own brand. Doing so shows that your brand has a human side. Not to mention, viewers are more likely to be receptive to your brand if you can make them laugh.
Embracing creativity is a critical part of making brand videos, especially if you want them to stand out from the crowd. Make sure you have a strong sense of your brand values and a deep understanding of your audience. From there, let the ideas flow using the brand videos above as inspiration!