We’re not going to bore you with video content statistics… But if we were, we’d tell you that 45% of people watch an hour or more of Facebook and YouTube videos a week. Or that 500 million hours of video is watched on YouTube each day. Or that 87% of online marketers use video. Or that more video is uploaded in 30 days than major US TV networks have created in 30 years.
See? We’re not going to go into that. What we’re here to talk about is how you can break through the noise — through the constant clamoring for audience’s attention — and stand apart with your video strategy.
Do What Your Competitors Aren’t
Video is what you make of it. You can find success with highly produced content that stands up next to the slickest Hollywood blockbuster. But you can also engage your audience and connect with organic, backyard-style shoots that give people a glimpse into who you are behind the camera.
This is what we do with our Mind of AGP Round Table discussions. It’s just our team, talking about marketing, video, and storytelling. Take a look:
With your video strategy, you can stand out with insights. You can stand out with humor. You can stand out with authenticity. You can stand out with emotion.
You can stand out with controversy or creativity.
Geico consistently nails it, delivering content that is at once unexpected and completely on brand. In their “Unskippable” commercials, for example, they tackle a common problem for marketers and advertisers: brands have only seconds to engage viewers as they count down to the appearance of the “Skip Ad” button. Tricky Geico says, “You can’t skip this commercial because it’s already over.”
What makes this so Geico-esque is the ridiculously awkward moments after the ad is “over.” When the subjects are frozen but life continues to unfold around them. Creative. Simple. Effective. Memorable. And you can’t argue with results: they’re the second largest insurer in the world, thanks to their ads.
How can you deliver your message, tell your story, in a way that resonates? That’s the key to standing out with your video strategy.
Go Big or Go Home? You Should’ve Gone Home
Creativity is a must if you want to differentiate yourself from your competitors and “startle” your audience into watching and engaging. But there is a line. If you’re too crazy, too controversial, too much, you’re conspicuous for the wrong reasons.
It’s like the kid in school who stands out because he’s personable, smart, funny, and charming. And then there’s the kid who stands out because he sets the desk on fire. You don’t want to be that kid.
Let’s take social issues for instance. Nike took a walk on the controversial side by partnering with Colin Kaepernick. Many were outraged (He “sacrificed “everything, really!? He disrespected the flag and veterans. He’s un-American. #JustBurnIt). The ad was almost scrapped because of the expected backlash but the iconic brand went ahead with it. And yes, there was some blowback — and a whole lot of free publicity as a result.
Nike did well to continue with the campaign: their stock prices hit an all-time high after the full Kaepernick ad aired. So, why did it work?
The video is stunning.
It’s inspirational. It’s aspirational. It’s relatable. We connect with the athletes who overcame incredible odds and the ordinary folks who work to do incredible things.
They were sending a message by choosing Kaepernick as the face of the ad, but the larger message is summed up perfectly: “So don’t ask if your dreams are crazy. Ask if they’re crazy enough.”
It was a big risk — but Nike’s that kid in school who’s personable, smart, funny, and charming. They could afford to take it.
Gillette, on the other hand, not so much. We wouldn’t go as far as saying they’re the classroom firesetter in this analogy. But they did make a misstep with their “We Believe: The Best Men Can Be” campaign, a play on their traditional tagline, “The Best a Man Can Get.”
Gillette tries to take on the issue of toxic masculinity. Certainly topical. Certainly something we should look at and talk about and address. But not something that people want to hear from this company. They want razors. On YouTube, for example, the ad has 746,000 likes and nearly twice as many dislikes. While fear of the thumbs-down or trolls shouldn’t be the deciding factor in your marketing and advertising decisions, the reaction from consumers is clear.
But even more troubling is that they may be reinforcing ideas they’d hoped to combat. As Alfred Edmond, Jr, writes in Black Enterprise, “That Gillette’s ad inadvertently gives credence to the idea that masculinity is inherently toxic is its biggest failing, ultimately doing damage (hopefully not irreparable) to its laudable campaign to inspire men to do and be better.”
There is a fine line between standing above the competition with stellar videos and standing out with content that just does not make sense for your brand. Gillette crossed this line.
But when you tell your story, differently and in line with your strategies and goals, you can stand above. You can connect. You can realize the results you need to build your business. You can change your marketing and advertising forever — and AGP will be with you every step of the way.