According to Nielsen, 64% of Marketers predict video will dominate their future marketing strategies. Thanks to the ability to easily share content online, a solid video has the potential to reach millions. This article takes a look at 8 successful strategies to consider when deciding what kind of video is best for your brand.

Comparing with the Competition

When wondering what aspect of your product to market, comparing yourself to the competition can provide some answers. A method that’s proven to be successful involves identifying and poking fun at your competitor’s product or service. For example, in this video by Dollar Shave Club, the difficulty of access of expensive razors is pointed out in a humorous fashion. By making fun of their competitor’s weakness, it highlights their product’s main consumer benefit.

Juvenile Humor

As much as we like to think we’re mature adults, humor has a way of taking us back to the third grade. Kmart’s Ship My Pants video is a great example of this. It’s a simple but undeniably funny joke that plays for all audiences. Online videos that successfully pull off humor get shared through social media and have the potential to become viral hits. Ship My Pants currently has over 22 million views.

Use of Animals

The Internet is littered with cats. The word “Cats” receives 30 million searches per month on Google. It’s no surprise that a good cat video has the potential to be a huge hit. Purina teamed up with popular web content experts Buzzfeed to create a video series entitled “Dear Kitten”. The original Dear Kitten video has over 21 million views and the series as a whole has over 50 million views. Not a fan of felines? Don’t sweat it, lots of other animals can produce the “aww” factor you’re looking for. With over 58 million views, Budweiser’s “Puppy Love” video can attest to this.

“Real” People

Reality television is incredibly popular. Similarly, videos where seemingly innocent bystanders are tricked into believing something horrible or ridiculous are huge on YouTube. Naturally, marketers have taken notice and used this concept as the premise for promotional online materials.

In this video, by Pepsi, professional Nascar driver Jeff Gordon, disguises himself as a boring older gentleman who is interested in buying a new car. He proceeds to take the car salesman on an unexpectedly terrifying test drive. Gordon doesn’t reveal his identity until the end of the video. The video is funny but leaves one to wonder whether or not the car salesman was in on the prank. Similar to reality television, prank videos often control the environment and circumstances more than they would like the viewers to believe. More often than not, the subjects being pranked are actually actors. This is done for two reasons: the first being to ensure that the person being “pranked” reacts in a way that will interest viewers. Secondly, this happens to protect the legal integrity and reputation of the pranker and company they represent. If you’re considering making one of these videos, it’s probably worth your time to consult an attorney before filming.

Telling a Relatable Story

Telling a story people can relate to immerses them in the video. If done correctly, the video may elicit an emotional response out of the audience, and increase retention. In this promotional video by Jello, we see the story of a middle-aged man going through hair loss, traffic, and an unsatisfying 9 to 5 job – things many of us can relate to.

Catering to Self-Esteem

A lot of what we do is motivated by how people will think of us for doing it. This is why many products are marketed by associating their products with social status or by implying they will increase the consumer’s sex appeal. Unfortunately, these tactics are often used when marketing towards young adults, at a time when they are confused about their identities. Dove, on the other hand, tries to have a meaningfully positive impact on women’s self-esteem. The Dove Real Beauty Sketches video shows women that their self-perceptions are unnecessarily negative. The video illustrates that other people might see our beauty in ways we don’t. With 65 million views, this video shows that by helping others, brands can also help themselves.

Online Video Benefits

More than ever, marketers prefer online videos rather than traditional television commercials. Online videos don’t have to be confined to the pre-determined length times that television commercials must abide by. What’s more is, if the video is good, it has the potential to become a viral hit and reach a larger audience than it would have on television. Finally, with significant declines in video production costs and free publication on social media, online videos are now an affordable investment for most businesses.

Jason Mesec

Jason Mesec


Jason Mesec is Head of Business Development at SimpleStoryVideos