April 9, 2020

How to Use Anthems in an Age of Solidarity

many hands coming together in the center

 

Anthems are taking over the airwaves. Every time you turn on the TV, anthem videos are on repeat. You might not have had a name for them up until this point, but now you know. Anthem videos are cinematic, highly emotional spots that use poetic language and empathy to explain or evoke a brand’s purpose.

 

Why Are We Seeing So Many Anthem Videos?

When seemingly everything in the world is uncertain, how do you as a brand tell your story? You don’t, at least not directly in a traditional “look at us” format. This is not the time to hock a product. It’s a time to show solidarity with wide audiences. You tell the story from the perspective of your customers and recognize their very current needs (dare I say wounds). These pieces seek to unite us.

 

Here’s a list of six of the top anthem videos we’ve seen recently (in random order):

6. Walmart’s Neighbors Anthem

Walmart is leading the way lately. They’ve proven to be nimble marketers, changing messaging very quickly from the quirky, fun campaigns they’ve run recently to this relatable and emotional approach. Watch Neighbors, featuring Bill Withers’ Lean on Me.

5. State Farm’s “New Normal” Anthem

 

State Farm was quick to recognize that we’re facing a “new normal” and ran with the very right-for-the-moment theme.

4. Slack’s TV Commercial

Slack, the work messaging app, has a great anthem with Let’s Come Together.

 3. Youtube’s Educational Anthem

Youtube put their talent first with this #StayHome and #WithMe video.

2. Walmart’s Employee Anthem

I’m back again to Walmart. They’re so worthy right now of having the title of Chief Storytellers. Heroes gives honor and praise to the frontline workers.

1. Facebook’s Anthem

“Never Lost” is a true film about where we are right now and it’s epic.

What do anthems often have in common?

 

Each of these anthems share some commonalities. First, they recognize the importance of music and the integral role it plays to set the emotional tone of a piece. Whether it’s an instantly recognizable hit like Lean on Me, or a lesser known but still catchy song, the melody is going to stick in your head, and so will the brand.
It’s also so smart to utilize so much user generated content. In an age of people being way-past-tired of being sold to, this approach shows audiences that brands get them and the reality of their daily lives. They use empathy in their imagery and their words to show they care. Right now, the world needs more of that. And while the Grade A Cynic inside this crusty Gen-Xer might say brands are all doing this to better their bottom line, my better angels tell me that just isn’t so.  We really are all in this together, and it makes me proud to share the stories of the brands who recognize that.
Do you want to create an anthem video? It’s our life’s passion. Reach out today.