Building a Brand with Video: How to Get More Views, part 1


Getting a video viewed by more than the amount of employees in your company comes down to content quality and promotion (more on that part later), so here’s some ideas about what makes a good branded video.

1. Use physical comedy. We can’t stress this enough. People love physical comedy, and they love to share it in social media. Physical comedy needs to use shock or surprise to work. If what’s about to happen is telegraphed at all, it will fall flat and you won’t have true comedy that people want to share. The pure shock of physical humor jolts something in the human mind that makes people feel alive and energized. There is an art and a learning curve to creating quality physical comedy. Many don’t do it well, but good ad agencies and production companies understand it, so trust their instincts if you decide to go down this path.

2. Celebrate Human Feats. As much as we love amazing animals, we love amazing humans. Often this is the mainstay of athletic companies, but who says your brand can’t be related to human achievement? Red Bull isn’t an athletic company, but they’ve become synonymous with extreme athletes. Extreme athletes always make for video content, but think about what other human feats you can relate your brand and video to. Apple attaches its brand to amazing humans who Think Different. What about amazing musicians, ballet dancers, street dancers in a third world country? All sorts of amazing human achievements can make for great video content and a strong brand identity.

3. Create content that will get the commercial banned somewhere. People love things that are deemed “off-limits” to a group, or part of society. If a TV station or government has stamped the proverbial censorship rating on it, all that much better for the video’s chances of going viral online. Promote the heck out of it as a banned tv commercial. Just make sure it’s good or it will get many more thumbs-down than thumbs-up. One such commercial our Creative Director wrote the script for (that was more physical humor than edgy content, but was banned in England anyhow) had over 2 million views of the official video and multiple parodies:

4. Put a celebrity in it. If you have the budget, incorporating a celebrity into your concept can almost automatically generate video views. Look for celebrities that make sense with your brand and then create a contract that states they will promote the video on their own social media channels like Twitter. Some call this borrowed interest, but it works. We recently put WWE Superstar Rey Mysterio in a client’s commercial and for the product category, it did pretty well on YouTube because he has a built in following and blogs were more willing to promote the video because anything a public figure does, qualifies as news-worthy.

5. Put a cute animal in it. People love furry little creatures like puppies and kittens when they are doing something adorable, funny or amazing. Actually setting out to produce something like this is much harder than just spontaneously capturing it in a lucky video. For brands, this means your agency needs to have a well thought out idea, but you also have to be much more flexible, willing to experiment, or change the plan if something isn’t working. What this means is the highest level decision maker at a company should be involved if it’s going to work. You also need to be open to silliness as a brand as that is often where these animal videos end up.

Next week, we’ll post part 2 which covers more content categories that work well for online video. We’ll also talk about the importance of promoting your video.