I find all too often that companies are using online video as a means to hammer home their services, products, values, and messaging- and just that. We all know the stats about how video is an engaging way to showcase what your business can do, but unless you’re the creator of an exciting new consumer tech product or are offering a deal that’s almost too good to be true, who is going to share your visual message with their friends? In a digital world where social media is king, you need to be continuously thinking about the connection your video is making to basic human emotions. I believe that these philanthropic initiative videos have incredible shareability.
There seems to be a trend we’ve been noticing here in the office where videos that showcase a brand’s effort to do good in its community are able to trigger that warm and fuzzy feeling to its audience. I think brands need to stop thinking of Facebook feeds as a place where it can just upload glorified TV commercials, with hopes that people will flock to its website and buy more stuff. Taking a stance on a social issue and contributing to a good cause is equally or maybe more powerful. Notice how in the Tim Horton’s video they never mention how inexpensive the coffee is, or how good the muffins taste? Sammy the Explorer never talks about how Hurley’s surfboards are going to help you ride out that wave that is 10 feet overhead. They just want you to see that they’re making an effort to brighten an unsuspecting person’s day, or make the world a better place.
I think a company should first think about who are its consumers, and what they care about. Do they care about the environment? Poverty? Then, create a video that showcases how your initiative affects people; how it makes them feel. It is crucial to focus on the emotions of the people in the video, without littering it with your company’s logo and branding. Even at the end, directing the audience to a microsite where they can learn more about your cause seems to be the way to go. Just don’t try and sell them anything just yet.
My main takeaway from these volunteering/philanthropic brand videos is that it’s equally as effective to win people through their hearts, and not necessarily the lowest price point or clever slogan. Make viewers feel good on the inside, and they’ll be forever yours.