inbound-charity-water-scott-harrisonThe final keynote of INBOUND was from Scott Harrison the founder of Charity: Water. Much as I did for Seth Godin, Arianna Huffington and Nate Silver, I’ll try to sum up what their keynote was about and how I feel their message ties into your video marketing.

In a word, Scott Harrison’s keynote was moving. Half the audience was moved to tears. I needed to decompress and absorb all of the moving images and stories he told over the weekend it was so impactful.

The mission of Charity: Water is simple. There are over 800 million people in the world who don’t have access to clean, safe drinking water. In many cases there is clean drinking water available just a few feet below the earth’s surface right in the villages, but without the right tools they cannot take advantage of it. Charity: Water would like to change that.

Scott is an excellent storyteller. He told the audience of Helen Appio who would wake up before dawn to walk miles to wait in line to get water. Rationing how to use it in her mind while she waited. Would it be for the garden to grow food? Should it be to wash the children? Washing herself was never an option. After Charity:Water dug a well in her community she thanked them and told them, “Now I am beautiful.” Because for the first time she could bath and take care of herself rather than always thinking and taking care of others. It was a powerful story of how someone’s dignity was restored; just by adding water.

Story after story he told and included videos which are an integral part of their brand storytelling. An example is this one announcing their 2013 September Campaign for India:

Their partnership with Gram Vikas will bring clean water and sanitation to help break the cycle of poverty and promote social equality in India. Clean water alone can bring about monumental changes. Nothing more; just adding water.

Another heartbreaking example Scott shared was that of Rachel who helped so many lives in Ethiopia after her tragic death. Get the tissues you’ll need them.

I cried telling my wife this story. It’s heartwarming and heartbreaking at the same time. I’m getting all teary-eyed again just writing this post. Rachel’s impact was so great and it’s people like her who make this charity so different and so powerful.

What this means for your video marketing:

They masterfully use video in their marketing to engage and to enrage. But if you haven’t figured it out by now, it’s about the story. Not Charity: Water’s story but the story of all those whose lives are changed by them by the people giving of their time to raise money and by those receiving the fresh drinking water for the first time by wells drilled in their own villages. Maybe the story of your brand is incredibly interesting? Maybe you are truly passionate about what you do or someone in your company is? Maybe one of your customers has something to share about how your business or service helped them. It doesn’t have to be as amazing as Charity: Water. Heck…few brand stories are. It just has to be personal and written in a way to generate an emotional response. Connecting with your viewer emotionally is how you build trust. Whether that emotion is happiness, anger or even sadness and tears.

One more thing…

Charity: Water is an amazing organization helping people like you and me and children all over the world get the most basic of necessities. Clean water. Their work is about dignity, health and the future. I ask you to please help them in their September Campaign bring clean water to 100 villages in Orissa, India. Leave a comment in the post to let me know when you do.