March 2, 2016

How to Make An Amazing Brand Film

Sometimes a good story, a really good story, will leave you sitting in silence at its end. This, my friends, is one of those stories in the form of a brand film.  If you’re wondering how to improve your storytelling, watch this and read on!


(Spoiler alert!) Watch the video first… or I’ll ruin the storyline for you below.

When it comes to video marketing, we at Scenic think it’s best to not overly brand whatever you’re pitching. Entertain the audience. Draw them in. This brand film does this so effectively in several ways:

A brand film should nail a universal human truth.

Universal truths often lay the foundation for great storytelling.

In this case: Grief hurts. It’s overpowering. It takes the person you were “before” and makes him or her unrecognizable “after.”

Everything in your life will be framed in terms of the moment of death of your loved one. You think of every detail of your life with that person, from the times they helped you to the times they annoyed you and all the times you took for granted in between.

You don’t frame this person as an angel. In fact, you appreciate all their flaws. This nails the experience of grief for many.

It’s written in poetic prose but with an authentic voice.

It doesn’t sound like a professional voiceover that can be over-announcery. It sounds like an actual conversation. A beautiful, lilting conversation where you hang.on.every.word.

A critical component of a brand film is cinematography.

shot from johnny walker "dear brother" advert









This is so beautifully shot I could weep. From the sweeping vistas to the fog-covered hills to the nostalgic color treatment, each shot is purposeful and beautiful.

It is a key part of engaging the audience from the beginning to the end. Cinematography is a critical component to gaining and keeping an audience in a brand film. Watch some beautiful examples and learn more about composition here:

A brand film depends on the soft-sell.

This isn’t about Johnny Walker, or so you believe. It’s about the ties that bind us.

If their business happens to sell whiskey, great. I was engaged enough to be drawn in and to care about the story, and now I care about your brand. And brand affinity is no small thing.

While it seems to be a softer measurement in terms of data analytics, brand affinity actually translates to more emotionally engaged customers, which increases your bottom line.

Ultimately, a brand film must have a focus on storytelling.

A huge part of telling an engaging story is the pacing.

Some of this is accomplished through spot-on music choices and some through the spoken word. This piece has a somewhat traditional layout, with a beginning, middle, and end, with a dose of transformation and a twist as a cherry on top.

Not every type of conventional story structure will work for every brand story or campaign, but this one is very effective.

Click here to learn more about different truths of storytelling from which your business can capitalize.

In the end, 3.8 million people (and counting) have watched this ad. Think about that. They voluntarily watched an advertisement.


It’s an exceptional piece of brand marketing wisely told as a story, and more brands should follow suit.

Have you seen (or created) a great brand film or video story lately? Whether it’s a corporate video, advertising, marketing or internal communications, please send it to me and I will share it.