top of page

Digital Video Marketing 3 - storytelling | Digital marketing for digital dinosaurs

I haven’t finished yet with storytelling :-)

Welcome back, we will continue our journey into digital video marketing and look at some effective approaches that creative teams are taking to tell their stories.

In the previous posts we discussed about how to get people's attention.

Now, once grabbed attention, we need to hold it. We need to find creative ways to create the mountain bike ride journey I mentioned before, the story should evolve with unexpected twists and turns.

Using emotions, humour, nostalgia, feel good, inspirational content, rage, controversies…you have a big set of weapons to choose from, of course choose carefully considering your objectives and the brand you’re with.

This is the role of the storytelling. We talked a lot about this, so I want to share some considerations coming from an analysis of some of the techniques used from successful cases, what can we learn from award winners digital videos?

How do best stories work? What plots? What storytelling styles?

In the spirit of following the classic clickbait online, i have selected 10 top approaches that i see coming over and over amongst the best in class (of course there might be many more but this seem to cover a lot already)

You will forgive me if some of those examples are quite old, I collected stuff that impressed me over time and I do believe that despite the age they demonstrate very well the points I want to make.


Here is my list of the top 10 approaches: 1. Dramatise the product benefit in an epic way; 2. The Prank; 3 The social experiment; 4. The Torture test; 5 The inspiring manifesto; 6 Creating an enemy; 7 Show your purpose in a social controversy; 8. Edutainment; 9. Collaborating with a musician; 10. Kitchen Science.


Here you Tell your product story in a way that you never told before. In a way that will surprise and engage. Memorable.

Sometimes you can reframe the way you describe your product

Check out this long story from YouTube

Kingston memory stick, you will see it uses a very long format and a very emotional approach to reframe its product from a simple memory card to a card for memories. Simple but powerful way to dramatise the product in an epic way.


When we surprise normal people and make a point about out product.

Those stories can be fun or extremely serious.

It doesn’t really matter as from the point of the viewer, watching normal people being fooled is not only entertaining but also extremely convincing.

Look at the reactions of adults to kids requests for smoking in this anti-smoking ad from Thailand


Similar to the prank but here we make a point about the product by using an experiment we carry on in public

In most cases those experiments are mocked up, again it doesn’t really matter because Social experiments create a sense of “universal truth” even if they are mocked up. Normal people participating, drive trust and conviction.

Watch DOVE making a point on toxic information in this video. In fact there's a plethora of DOVE videos with a similar approach.


Torture tests are an interesting shortcut to tell a product story. Make sure it’s entertaining and possibly drive through celebs.

In this example we have a 4 years old driving a real Volvo truck with a remote control. It basically destroys the truck but it definitively makes a point on its toughness.


Drive affinity with a brand through powerful manifesto advertisement that spell out the values of a brand

Usually starting from a powerful insight to inspire people, making them dream or fight for a personal cause makes the brand extremely personal and close.

Widely used by sports apparel brand like NIKE in this famous jogger ad


Nothing makes people rally behind a flag more than creating an enemy.

The enemy can be something unjust in society as well as some un-happiness with product categories.

This hilarious communication from Dollarshave is a brilliant example of exploiting dissatisfaction with a product category. Here also please note how Mike, the founder, breaks the fourth wall and talks to us directly in a long shot video full of profanities and jokes.


Brands with purpose make a strong and long-lasting impression

Sometimes they tactically exploit social issues and even better if the issues are controversial

Clearly not every brand can do this, especially if the brand is considered as part of the establishment. Moreover this is a pretty risky move but hey, high risk high return

Important: you can leverage social controversy but must make sure your product has a role. No point being controversial for the sake of it.

Se a famous case with Always and “Like a girl”



We explain what the product is and how it works for you through a series of contents and also entertain

Here we create episodes, tell stories through series. Here an interesting series from Oriental Princess, a Thai beauty brand.


Many FMCG products collaborate with musicians to build a popular song video around a specific product / brand or at least use the product as the hero in a product placement logic

Look at the Cornetto, a famous ice cream brand that wants to occupy the space of teenage love, collaborating with musicians. Cornetto sponsors music and video that features their product in a high quality production for entertainment while at the same time delivering a strong product message.

By the way, please note how they use the thumbnail to advertise the reach of a certain milestones (2M views) right in the title in order to leverage any possible opportunity to generate more interest; more on this in the next post on distribution strategy.


A simple and entertaining pseudo scientific way to bring to life a product action through an interactive and fun demo

We call it kitchen science because we use simple home analogies to break down complicated science.

I am sure you’re familiar with Mentos / Coke explosions by now!

Hope this post is useful for your, please feel free to get in touch.


Featured Posts
Check back soon
Once posts are published, you’ll see them here.
Recent Posts
Search By Tags
Follow Us
  • Facebook Basic Square
  • Twitter Basic Square
  • Google+ Basic Square
bottom of page