October 14, 2020

4 Surprising Examples of Video Storytelling That Just Work

man with camera backlit showing how video storytelling can create an emotional response, such as fear.
Photo by Kal Visuals


Video storytelling is beyond a buzz word in marketing (are you tired of hearing it yet?) and is now a given in any marketers’ arsenal. We already know that video storytelling has value, but knowing that on a logical level doesn’t keep us from pulling our hair out while running out of ideas on how to apply storytelling to our videos. It’s the creative’s curse.


Storytelling video is soft-sell advertising meant to hook the viewer emotionally. Let’s step back and consider that there are many types of emotion. It’s not all about making someone cry. Brands can use everything from joy to nostalgia to outrage in order to get their message across. Many brands are trying it, but not everyone is successful.


Here are a few brands who are using different, sometimes surprising approaches, and telling great stories along the way.


Video Storytelling Examples


  1. Product Videos

Product videos don’t usually strike you as a prime opportunity for telling a touchy-feely story. That’s why you should try it! Whether your “product” is a hammer or a hamburger, you can use empathy to make your audience relate to your brand and drive resonance.


McDonald’s is known for selling the happiness that defines its brand, and this one goes about that in a different, yet very touching way.





  1. CEO Messaging videos


Repeat after me: just because it’s a CEO message video, does NOT mean it has to be boring. CEOs are often recorded and portrayed as if they’re giving a speech in front of the United Nations in war time. More and more brands are becoming more transparent and showing their CEOs in more informal and approachable settings.

In this video we created for a facial recognition software, the CEO’s interview drives the video in a way that feels like a story in the conventional problem/solution format. We asked questions to get to the answers that we wove together in the piece, but it sounds like a script. He is able to sound this authentic because it was not a script. Then, by choosing to not show the CEO on camera at the beginning of the video, and driving toward the conclusion with graphics and emotional music, we are that much more impacted by seeing the face of the video in the end.




  1. Brand Essence Videos


This type of brand entertainment is the ultimate in soft-sell advertising. Brand essence videos share the stories of people who live the essence of the brand. Products can be incorporated in an organic way, but are not the focus of the story. These are truly the most selfless type of video storytelling. These documentary-style stories could live on Netflix, and they deliver the same kind of experience… only for your brand.



These can be topical stories or character studies. The point is that you ask what kind of story your audience would relate to, or aspire to, and tell it visually and emotionally.


  1. Marketing Shows

These mini-shows are designed around a brand, with content core audiences really want to watch. They’re TV shows made by your brand. In this case, viewers know they’re being sold to, and as a result, don’t care in the slightest. In the case of the Spirits Network, it’s part of the design. You can select the whisky (or whatever happy spirit) that’s being showcased and buy it in the moment. Shoppable streaming content?  GENIUS.



No video storytelling list would be complete without mentioning video testimonials, which are our bread and butter, and you can read more about video testimonials here. .


In all of these examples , it’s not about the impressions or the likes, it’s about relevance. It’s about TIME. The amount of time spent with your brand drives affinity, and there’s nothing that kills time and takes you on an escape than a good story. If you’d like help figuring out the stories you can tell, contact us. We truly can’t wait to see how we can help.