Being bold with video content is a really hard step for a lot of marketers because it requires going against the grain and blazing your own path to an extent. I’ve been on both sides of the fence as part of a marketing team at a big organization and as a creative lead, so I understand how difficult it can be. I’ve also personally seen the success and brand recognition you can achieve when you do something really bold.
The problem is if you stick to the company line and use a lot of marketing gobbledygook you lose your audience very quickly. No viewer or potential customer wants to hear that you are “revolutionary” because if you look in the mirror unless you are Alexander Graham Bell, Johannes Gutenberg, Steve Jobs or at the very least Al Gore; chances are you are not doing anything that would be defined as revolutionary. That’s not to say you aren’t doing great things but “revolutionary” is a word for how history and others should define you.
You should, however, strive to be memorable. You want people to remember you. That is the point of any branding effort you do and if your videos are vanilla, you’re not thinking outside the box. You should be creating video content that taps into your viewers emotions so you can hold their attention long enough to deliver your message to them.
One of my favorite examples of all time is a PSA created by Melbourne Metro. Melbourne Metro is a suburban railway network of Melbourne, Australia. Their goal for the PSA was to engage at-risk young people who were most likely to become injured in or near a Metro Train station in what they defined as “near-miss” accidents. They could have gone vanilla. They could have stuck with whatever the Melbourne Metro line was and just produced the PSA. But they didn’t. They were bold and created this:
Not what you may have been expecting, right? I’ve used this example for almost 3 years now when I speak about video marketing. It hasn’t lost any of it’s edginess and I still hum the tune. Since the video’s initial launch in November of 2012, it has received nearly one billion views. That was billion with a “B”. It was so successful it spawned the “Dumb Ways to Die” game which has garnered millions of downloads on Android and iOS. And that song! Catchy right? Every time I hear it, do a speaking gig where I show it or write a blog post like this one; I’ll have it stuck in my head for a week afterward. Shortly after the campaign’s launch in 2012, it was the 6th most popular song in the world on iTunes. So these are all nice but did it serve it’s purpose with any measurable results? Since the launch of the “Dumb Ways to Die” PSA, there as been a 30% reduction in “near-miss” accidents. So I would call that a win.
Melbourne Metro could have gone a number of different ways with their PSA. They could have made a bland statement, they could have used shock with some graphic depiction. But they didn’t. They boldly stepped out with something different and exciting and by doing so, redefined their brand and hopefully brought attention to these “near-miss” accidents on a global scale.
So the next time you’re in a brainstorm session or are discussing your video marketing content, think about what you could do that would completely be thinking outside the box. What would really make you stand out? What would make you memorable? Be the craziest ice cream flavor you can think of. You may need to dial it back a bit, but it will still be better than plain old vanilla corporate marketing speak. Think about what Melbourne Metro did with the Dumb Ways to Die PSA. Just try not to hum the tune out loud during your meeting.