Brand activation: how to nail it with video

In this post we’ll explain the importance of videos in the brand activation process through some winning examples!

Marketing Team
Video Marketing Brand activation: how to nail it with video

Table of Contents

Brand activation is an important marketing strategy, both for online and offline promotions. These days, many communication activities have shifted to social media

But what exactly is brand activation? It’s a series of experiences, events, and interactions that are intended to inspire emotions and, above all, be a bond between the brand and the consumer. Obviously, for a brand activation strategy to be effective, the emotions it inspires must be positive.

In order to create storytelling that is based on brand activation, you need to take some basic steps. First, identify the target audience: knowing the recipients of your communication strategy will help you understand what kind of message to convey to them. Brand activation must engage the consumer’s senses and emotions, especially awe. Many digital campaigns using brand activation—as we will see below—have resulted in sensational images and stories that connected with the mood of viewers.

However, when it comes to brand activation, storytelling should also include moments when the person feels a part of and interacts with what he or she is looking at. This not only inspires strong emotions but may result in making a purchase and bonding with the brand.

There are several objectives that can be pursued: acquiring new users, increasing brand awareness and engagement. In this post, through some great examples, we will see why videos are an important tool in brand activation and why we’re hearing brands and marketers increasingly talk about video brand activation

Video activation: what is it? 

Video is one of the most effective tools in digital marketing; just think that 300 hours of video footage is uploaded to YouTube every minute (source: smallbizdaily). Video is also very important in brand activation, leading to increased consumer engagement and sales.  

For a video activation to be effective, it is necessary to fully understand the target market and the target audience the marketing strategy is aimed at. In fact, understanding these things is then crucial to implementing an activation strategy that will lead to the results you’re looking for.

Some tips for using video in brand activation are: 

  • Contextualize the content: to attract as many audiences as possible, content should be presented in a fresh and engaging way; have a strategy for embedding the video within blog posts or social media content.
  • Sharing: for the video to be useful for brand activation purposes, it must be made shareable by users so as to also increase engagement. 
  • Visibility: embedding the video in content that is well positioned in terms of SEO is an important factor for brand activation. In fact, having greater visibility helps achieve your goals faster.

Examples of video brand activation 

Some companies have already started to integrate videos within their brand activation strategies. We’ve chosen a few examples of successful integrations. 

1. Google Home’s Virtual Product Showcase 

Google Home is a tool that has completely revolutionized the consumer experience. It’s a smart speaker that enables different applications for audio and video playback. Google Home has recently begun to implement interactivity with their customers. In fact, Google posted a video within their YouTube profile where users can choose which product to view, learn more about it, and eventually proceed to purchase. Users can then participate as hosts and discuss new products in detail.  

Thanks to its products, Google is very close to achieving a good level of brand activation which will allow it to achieve very important results.

2. Tinder and Swipe Night  

In October 2019, the well-known dating app Tinder, collaborating with a film studio, launched “Swipe Night.” 

Swipe Night follows the events of a group of friends, together with Tinder users, in a story that takes place in a moment before an asteroid hits the earth. Along the way, participants will answer and face a series of questions via video chat, which will condition their path and, more importantly, it will be added to their profile and then show a possible match.

This example of live brand activation via a direct video interaction shows how Tinder has been able to leverage this marketing strategy to differentiate itself in the dating app market. It also demonstrates, once again, how people want to feel included in the interactive moments they experience.

3. Adobe’s Stock Film Festival 

During the first Covid-19 pandemic lockdown, Adobe initiated the Stock Film Festival. Filmmaking, and more generally all video content production, is an industry that has been challenged by the restrictions imposed to prevent transmission during the pandemic. To create this festival, Adobe contacted filmmakers from different parts of the world, inviting them to create a film using their products for free in less than five days.

The goal of this brand activation action was to show the effectiveness of Adobe products and their endless functionality. Through the festival and then the production of the videos, potential customers were able to observe the different uses that perhaps had not been thought of before. 

4. Zara and short films for the launch of the collation 

For the launch of its new collection, Zara, in collaboration with several famous directors, created a series of short films to attract new customers and lead them to purchase by showing the garments created.

Among the many short films that have been created in the “Zara Stories” project, one in particular, “How to get the key” is very interesting from the point of view of brand activation through video. The narrative in question shows a young model walking around Los Angeles looking for the key to access the famous secret roof of the Roosevelt Hotel.

What turns out to be decisive for the purposes of brand activation, however, is the change of the protagonist’s outfit as the scene evolves: it goes from the elegant dress to a winter coat, under which is hidden a sparkling dress.  Zara, through these short films wanted to show the new collection, but in a way that captured the attention of their audience using video. 

5. National Geographic and the campaign to promote Maine 

National Geographic, the world’s leading science magazines, initiated a brand activation campaign to promote the US state of Maine. In the promotion, the magazine showed breathtaking landscapes and all the beauty of the state. Through these overlays shown during the video, the viewer is led to interact without ever having to click on the screen or similar actions.

The content offered includes maps, bonus photographs, and personal stories by National Geographic’s Pete Muller, which constitute the video brand activation. Those who watch the documentary thus find themselves immersed in a series of enjoyable, entertaining content that also aroused curiosity about the sponsored area.

6. Lancaster University’s welcome video 

Educational institutions and universities in particular have also been implementing real marketing strategies for a number of years, both through social platforms and videos.

The University of Lancaster in England created an interactive video for prospective students. After setting out all the information and history of the institution, the brand activation part begins. Here, each student, based on his or her needs, has the opportunity to click on bubbles featuring different information in order to learn more about the prospective student, such as: I am a distance student, I will live on campus, etc. This is a very important example of brand activation, showing how universities have also evolved into real brands.

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