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Matthew Ferrara, Philosopher
 

Are You Too Chicken to Make Great Online Video?

The secret to making great online viral video is as easy as keeping your eye on the….. chicken.


What will it take for you to make a great video? That’s the question I often ask audiences as we explore the potential of video in the social networking age. For starters, I recommend you put aside the technical stuff: cameras, lights, dollies, mics and all the rest are best outsourced to organizations with great track records, such as PlatinumHD, who was responsible for what we consider to be the greatest real estate video of all time. When you don’t have to worry about the technical stuff, your mind is free to explore the creative side of making videos, things like telling a great story, and using elements that emotionally connect with the audience.

That’s the kind of work smart marketers focus on: What will it take to make my message resonate with consumers?

Unleashing this creativity can be hard, though, for marketers who have grown up competing on specifications and features and laundry-lists. That’s not marketing at all: anybody who puts their product or service at the mercy of “we have it, too” comparisons by competitors is in big trouble. What makes something sell – anything – isn’t its user manual. It’s the emotions consumers feel when they imagine themselves with the product. Emotions aren’t items on a Powerpoint slide or web page.

When you aim to connect with consumers emotionally, you’ll understand what you have to do when creating video.

Of course, the trouble is, emotions can be hard. You have to pick one that’s relevant to both your product and the customer. Then you have to come up with a clever way – yes, it has to be clever, not a hammer-on-the-head narration – to film that message. You’ll have to take a risk; try something different; move beyond the cream-of-wheat marketing that everyone else does. Can you do it?

Or are you too chicken?

Actually, we bet you’re not chicken enough. Not anywhere near as chicken as a company with a hundred year old legacy, a $42B market value, and generations of loyal, luxury-lifestyle consumers was when it decided how to create an emotional connection for its latest video. Yet that’s exactly what Mercedes-Benz did when it featured chickens as the focal point of its latest marketing video.

Before you watch it, consider:

  • Mercedes wanted to promote a key technical feature of their product using an unforgettable scene, not jargon that would cause viewers’ eyes to glaze over;
  • There isn’t a single word of narration in the video; Mercedes believes (rightfully) that its audiences are smart enough to get the point;
  • The video has already broke 3.7 million views.
  • The top comments on the video are: “This is the best commercial ever!” and “I would say this needs a 10 hour version but I do no think that is long enough for me.”

So watch the video below. Then ask yourself: What will it take for you to be brave enough to move away from facts, figures, narration and normal – and send in the chickens in your next video?

Good cluck!

Have you made a video you think is just as good? Let us know by linking to it in the comments below!

  • Guest

    Great article and a great commercial from Mercedes.

  • Duncan Schieb

    Thanks for the shout out. A great article and a great commercial from Mercedes.

  • Thanks – it was clever, simple and really nicely executed – three hallmarks of successful video.