Video advertisements have always been a popular method of communication.
There are many benefits of using videos in Digital Marketing, including lifestyle advertising, instant communication, and control over visual brand identity. We can see all of these visual elements controlled meticulously in the production of the final product.
Video advertisements have sold products to customers through television since the early 1950s. With the rising popularity of television in the 80s, advertisers flocked to this medium, selling their products to consumers through a new technique, lifestyle advertising. This form of advertising showed individuals that using these products made their lives better. Watch any Coca Cola or McDonalds ad from 1980 onwards and they’re all about having fun with friends. See any fragrance commercial from the same period onwards and it will guarantee that you’ll attract a partner by using their product. Companies like Lynx have got into lots of trouble for making these kinds of claims through their sexist connotations, resulting in numerous complaints and parody videos from companies like Specsavers (pictured).
Specsavers Parody of Lynx Commercial
Similarly, these video advertisements are better than traditionally static billboards as they quickly communicate large amounts of information to the viewer. Using visual cues including stereotypes and genre conventions, videos quickly communicate information to viewers with shrinking attention spans. Through the process of semiotics, these visual ‘signs’ signify connotations that the audience brings through their own personal experiences. These cues instantly hook the audience and bring them up to speed on the backstory of a character, plot, or historical context.
Another key element in the success and viral nature of a video are its aesthetics and content. Through the influence of directors, cinematographers, and producers, films are strongly developed and shaped from storyboard to big screen. Certainly one of the main benefits of the medium is that video can be styled in magnitudes of ways. Videos are often styled to reflect the conventions and atmosphere of a certain genre, however there is also styling in an auteur manner. Consider the works of Auteurs such as Quentin Tarantino, Tim Burton, and Wes Anderson. While each project that they have produced differs in theme and plot, there are many conventions of their films that are their ‘signature’ style. Consider Tarantino’s films, they range from noir, to war epics, to westerns. But they all share the common style of nonlinear plots, extended scenes of violence, and numerous pop culture references. The conformity of style that each of their films displays the versatility of videos. This versatility allows producers strong control over the visual brand identity.
In the methods and way that a video piece is produced and portrayed will have a huge impact on the way that the brand is perceived. Businesses that have adapted to this new method of communication have thrived in the new digital world, leaving others behind in the dust. A great example is Heineken’s 2017 ‘Worlds Apart’ Video Campaign (Pictured). Testing the theory that the best way to discuss things is over a beer, Heineken bring two strangers with contrasting social views together. Unaware of their differing opinions, the two work together to build a bar, finding common ground as they work together.
When they are played back a video of the other insulting their values and beliefs, they are allowed to leave, or discuss their differences over a beer. Each pair decides to stay and discuss, proving the point of the video campaign. Heineken’s Head of Marketing commented on the campaign, stating “We know we’re never going to agree on everything but there will also be common ground. Whether it’s 1950, 2017, or 2027, being open lets us get more out of life. It makes the world a more interesting place. And it makes every story worth listening to”. Other notable video campaigns play with the main themes of their products. Consider Purina’s ‘puppy chow’ campaign or Always’ #LikeAGirl campaign that each highlighted aspects of their respective brand identities.
An interesting take on the video campaigns was done when we decided to pursue two differing avenues for one of our clients, Dentiste’. We decided that we wanted to pursue two different avenues to highlight the two sides of their Nighttime Toothpaste. In the first video, we chose to highlight the natural ingredients that are used in their products. To do this we played on the natural New Zealand landscape and how this freshness was reflected in the fresh feeling after using the toothpaste.
To contrast, in the second video, we went for a more playful option to highlight one of the benefits of using the toothpaste – having fresh morning breath. We juxtaposed the difference between a couple that hadn’t used the product and one that had for comedic effect. Because we’re always paranoid about how bad our breath is in the morning.
The two videos effectively display the differing ways in which the medium of video can communicate varying angles of the brand identity. They also demonstrate that while the two videos contrast in styles, they both promote the brand themes of freshness and natural ingredients that the toothpastes contain. This is one of the many benefits of using video as an advertising medium.