In November, Facebook reported that its total video views had hit 8 billion per day, doubling figures recorded just seven months earlier. A similar upward trend has been noted across other social networks, indicating that video content is set to continue its steady march towards total domination of the internet.
A great marketing video can boost your social shares, drive traffic to your site and, most importantly, increase conversion rates. To get you inspired, here are five of our favourite video marketing campaigns of 2016 - we’re aware that it’s only March, but it seemed like a catchy title, and a lot of good stuff has happened over the past couple of months, so please go with us on this whistle-stop recap:
Mario Kart on Lombard Street, Chubbies
Rip-roaring fun, low budget and highly shareable, Mario Kart on Lombard Street is a masterclass in viral video marketing. With more than 23 million views and 340,000 shares on Facebook in little over four weeks, the numbers speak for themselves.
The ad, created for Chubbies, a US clothing company, sees four unidentified individuals dress up as Super Mario characters and race small plastic carts down San Francisco’s Lombard Street, the self-proclaimed ‘crookedest street in the world.’ In reference to the Super Mario game, the characters toss banana skins in front of themselves and eat raw mushrooms as they skid towards the finish line.
The retailer wants their brand to become associated with carefree weekend fun, and their content marketing strategy is geared towards customer interaction.
Fawlty Car, Specsavers
Basil Fawlty, played by John Cleese, returns to the digital screen 36 years after the last new episode of Fawlty Towers was broadcast, but this time it’s not his own car that he’s thrashing.
In keeping with the original character, Basil loses his temper when things don’t go his way, but this time, as a result of poor eyesight, he mistakes a police car for his own with entirely predictable yet satisfyingly humourous results.
The character is a great choice for an ad targeting the over-60s market, a group likely to recognise Basil from the original 70s TV series, and the premise ties in nicely with long-running tagline: “should’ve gone to Specsavers”.
Kudos to the opticians for bringing the ill-fated hotelier out of retirement.
Fraud Smart: The Imposter, Barclays
This is a no frills message from Barclays, warning customers of the dangers of phishing calls. It’s simple but effective and suitably sombre for the subject matter.
The ad, part of a series designed for TV broadcast, isn’t pitching a product, it’s providing useful information and practical advice on a serious issue that could affect consumers across the board, not just their own customers. Barclays show that they care, putting them in a good light without coming across as salesy.
#ShareTheLove, the NHS
“Apparently if you don’t wash for long enough, the body self-cleanses… I’m on week three.”
Eavesdropping on an awkward Valentine’s Day date or two is a great way to grab attention and bring humour to a serious message. The message from the NHS is clear: some things are better unsaid on Valentine’s Day, but not your decision to be an organ donor.
This ad is a great example of tentpole marketing: taking advantage of a calendar event - such as Christmas, Halloween or, as in this case, Valentine’s Day - to create a buzz around your campaign. Tentpole marketing takes some planning to pull off, but can be a great way to gain timely traction.
#DefyLabels, MINI USA
The Super Bowl is a huge deal for US advertisers, and with audience numbers averaging 111.5 million, it’s little wonder. Starring US tennis ace Serena Williams, MINI’s 2016 celebrity-studded Super Bowl ad is certainly big budget.
It’s difficult to disregard negative labels at the best of times, much less acknowledge them defiantly in front of millions of people, but MINI pulls it off successfully with this inspirational number that is part of a wider campaign challenging preconceptions and stereotypes.
All the stats indicate that 2016 is going to be huge for video marketing, and you could do a lot worse than following the lead of the brands noted above, all of whom have kicked the year off with a bang.
Jon Mowat is MD of Bristol-based video production company, Hurricane Media. He is a former BBC documentary filmmaker, and he now helps international clients connect with their customers. You can connect with Jon on LinkedIn and follow @HurricaneMedia on Twitter.