November 30th, 2017
In every household, every day, commercials receive two honors held above all others. No matter your chosen screen—laptop, desktop, or technicolor television—you (yes, you) have bestowed the following honors, assuming you know how to work the DVR:
- Honorable Rewind: Awarded to a commercial that you electively watch twice.
- Principled Pre-Roll: Awarded to a YouTube pre-roll ad that you electively watch past the five-second skip option.
(Yes, I made up these honors for the purpose of this blog.)
Once upon a Wednesday evening, my family and I awarded a Bose commercial the Honorable Rewind. We were watching an SNL holiday special, laughing at some segments, flinching at most. During commercial breaks, we snapped to our iPhones, as modern folks are wont to do. Except this time, I didn’t. To the benefit of all, my phone remained between the couch cushions.
Upon the screen flashed the most heartwarming TV moment I’d ever seen—at least, since This Is Us the night before.
Bose’s Masterful, Emotional Video Marketing
This instant of commercial bliss is so preternatural that I fell over myself to notify the house.
“Leah!” I shouted urgently to the almighty remote bearer. “Leah, Leah, Leah! Turn it back! Everyone needs to see this Bose commercial. Please!”
The commercial, simple and sweet, delighted all present.
The next night, in an effort to show another video enthusiast Bose’s brilliant commercial, I pulled up Bose’s channel on Youtube. I learned that Bose has been a busy producing video content for years.
The sheer volume of professionally produced videos on Bose’s channel is impressive. Videos feature celebrities, athletes, and actors while targeting multiple audiences across different countries, languages, and interests. Of all the videos, my favorites are the QuietComfort headphone 30-second segments.
The genius of Bose’s fleet of QuietComfort headphone commercials is the elegance of the production and the emotional power of the content. Marketers have long discussed the influence emotions have on a customer’s purchase decisions. Again and again, marketers hear and see that emotion converts.
The emotional power of their Bose’s videos not only converts but captures. I highly recommend bookmarking these videos to use as examples when convincing clients or partners the importance of simplicity in conveying and inspiring emotion.
The Risks and Rewards of Emotional Video Content
In the example above, a man gently cries as he watches fireworks over water. Maybe the holiday season has me sentimental, or maybe the soundtrack (composed by Oscar-nominated Dustin O’Halloran) would give any scrooge the feels. Bose reminds us that life-altering events and torrid love affairs are not all that inspire emotions—small moving moments make life a little sweeter, a little more.
My only complaint with these videos is the cringe-worthy copy accompanying them. The video descriptions scream “trendy ad agency speak.” But hey, if you watch these videos in full screen, you’ll never find yourself tripping over their relentless punctuation:
“Languid. Energized. Alive. No matter how you’re feeling, sometimes you just need to feel it—with nothing in the way . . . So, however the music makes you feel, flip the switch. Get the feeling. And really feel it.”
Shiver. Cringe. Face-palm.
4 Rules for Relatable Video Content
Say you want to replicate these amazing videos but could never afford the production costs. First of all, join the club. Adopting video content without blowing marketing budgets was the conundrum of 2017 for many, many marketers.
Secondly, remember that excellence is achieved through one part content and one part strategy. In working towards highly relatable and consumed commercials, stay true to the following.
- In a world saturated with marketing content, embrace paid advertising. Whether on television, YouTube, or Facebook, put aside enough budget to promote your quality content—as much as twice the production cost. The last thing you want is an expensive video that has no place to go and no audience.
- Tailor the video for the promotion platform. A 20-second YouTube pre-roll ad will often be skipped at five seconds (unless a non-skippable in-stream ad was purchased). Aim for heavy branding, product highlights, or calls to action in those first few seconds. Remember those hilarious GEICO ads?
- You have between 15 and 30 seconds; keep the story simple and the idea conveyed succinct.
- Run everything through an extensive approval process. You want your powerful video to inspire the intended powerful emotions. In other words, don’t be Pepsi.