Motion pictures visually and literally move us. But video isn’t solely for the silver screen. Videos bring businesses to life—evoking wonder, intrigue, and, most importantly, emotions. The ability to captivate emotions is essential in any video, especially business ones. Whether happiness, sadness, joy, strength, or humility, emotions breathe vitality into the stories we tell through film.
Company videos that brag—claim that they are “the best” or “you should buy our product because”—are ineffective and overlooked. We feel nothing—aside from annoyance, apathy, and boredom—after watching them. Moreover, they are inauthentic in their storytelling efforts. They strive to stir emotions by weaving together eye-catching, yet disconnected images, and are filled with jargon that holds zero value for viewers. Here’s an example:
Sounds and looks all too familiar doesn’t it? Videos that are filled with unimpassioned key words and generic stock images with zero connection to their story (if any) leave us emotionless—and pale in comparison to videos that showcase business stories well.
Effective business videos, on the other hand, highlight people and stories, not products. Moreover, people have to feel something for a story to mean something to them. Smart companies, thus, opt to express themselves through emotionally impactful narratives that share their mission, history, employees, and personal tales.
Here are the top three effective business videos with a “je ne sais quoi” that stir our emotions…
For this first example, Intel invites us to come face to face with a boy who wants to make the world a better place using Intel technology. Take a look at their video:
Why is it so effective? Because Intel doesn’t leverage typical marketing tactics; instead, they emphasize what people can do for others—focusing on people over products—using Intel technology.
Another shining example comes from a Bell’s whisky video released in South Africa.
Why is this effective? Everyone loves a hero: someone to root for and relate to as they overcome obstacles to achieve success, and Bell’s gives us an extremely loveable one. It doesn’t focus on selling the product, but instead spotlights its values through a success story that culminates in celebration—naturally, over a glass of Bell’s… Cheers!
As Bell’s beautifully illustrates above, Google similarly gets us invested in a mission through a touching anecdote, brought to life in this great video:
Why is this effective? “Reunion” isn’t only moving; it affirms what the business can achieve through a powerful plotline that focuses less on the business and more on its mission. And we bet you will remember this one for years!
Videos that move us don’t focus on business, but spotlight the emotions and people behind it all.
Why did Google, Intel, and Bell’s choose to express themselves like this? Because emotion-fledged human stories are superior to the stoic sales videos we see everywhere. All too often, companies showcase a product and attempt to make “stories,” which you quickly forget, because you didn’t feel anything. We saw this in the Dissolve video. People have to feel something to care.
What if Google released a short clip that talked about how accurate its search results are? How Intel is the best technology company on the planet? What about if Bell’s talked about how much tastier their whisky is than its competitors? The videos would make zero impact. They all knew this, and chose to create videos that portray their companies in a different way: using emotions.
In each of these examples, the story trumps the sales pitch. Whether for entertainment or for informative purposes, videos that move us don’t focus on business, but spotlight the emotions and people behind it all. They showcase human stories.
Moreover, in watching these videos, would you really know who made them until the very end? That’s why we’re engaged: the element of surprise, the emotions. Bell’s does not introduce the product until the end, just as we don’t know it’s an ad for Google until late in the video. We weren’t immediately turned off by a product or a marketing pitch. We were captivated by emotions: how we felt when we watched these stories unfold.
To entertain or to explain, video communicates the way we emotionally connect through human stories...
In conclusion, film shows people what you can do and documents where you’ve been. When done authentically, videos create value, increase brand awareness, and present a positive image of the brand in the eyes of the viewers. And thanks to how the video made them feel, they feel more connected with the brand. To entertain or to explain, video communicates the way we emotionally connect through human stories in a distinctive way. This is precisely how we should be communicating with audiences now—and how we do it at SMG. To discover more powerful videos and gain further insight into the main elements of storytelling, dive into “What is Storytelling?” here.
Photo by Frank Okay