Video is consistently dominating data traffic amongst brands and consumers. With technology and equipment becoming more accessible to the general market, it takes some extra creativity for a good video to cut through the noise. Wondering how to stand out? Here are three of my favorite Internet videos from 2018 that stood out in their goal, style and performance.
Add the energy drink industry to the many things that millennials are ruining. Brothers Max and Graham (a.k.a. The Matcha Brothers) capitalized on the increasing trends within health and wellness to create their very own industry disruptor: Hustle, the first energy drink powered by matcha. Earlier this summer, the brothers partnered with YouTube vlogger Jack Coyne to launch a star-studded campaign promoting Hustle, and the brothers’ journey to achieving health-conscience energy greatness.
Don’t Knock the Hustle: A MatchaBar Story opens with a shirtless Ansel Ergot (do we have your attention yet?) introducing the brothers and the product they’re promoting. We are then treated to a fun synopsis of the company’s history and mission statement, as told by Max and Graham. Rounding out the video are several more celebrity endorsements from Diplo, Denver Bronco Von Miller, and several enthusiastic Coachella attendees.
It might play like an overindulgent SNL skit at times, but it works. The combined effect of star power and a vlog-style millennial aesthetic helps create a video that’s catchy, fun and informative. A week after watching the promoted video ad on Instagram, I found myself in a Whole Foods stocking up on Hustle. The social campaign itself put the video at over 865k impressions on MatchaBar’s social platforms, and led the business through an $8MM series A round of funding.
Casper is a great example of a direct-to-consumer brand leveraging facts with humor to promote their products. The mattress company’s main selling point is an experience that every human can relate to: you spend over a third of your life sleeping, so you might as well enjoy it!
The content of Casper’s social channels all play into the importance of feeling well rested, whether it’s a motion graphic of spinning pillows or a Wayne Gretzky quote. The notion of feeling acknowledged and rewarded for being a hardworking individual is a concept that Casper understands very well, and puts it on full display in their Bring on the Bedtimes 2018 ad.
The sight of people gracefully throwing themselves into the foamy arms of a Casper mattress is satisfying enough to make you linger for those brief, social media-friendly 30 seconds. Casper knows it can’t sell you on how to buy a mattress, or what to look for when shopping for an ideal mattress. Instead, it focuses on the true value of their product – a good night’s sleep. Casper produced dozens of videos this year, and this is just one example of a brand with a confident finger on the pulse of their messaging.
Ermenegildo Zegna is an Italian luxury fashion business that produces equally luxurious videos. Last year, Zegna launched their Defining Moments campaign by releasing a video depicting actors Robert DeNiro and McCaul Lombardi discussing moments that defined their careers. The intent was to highlight a broad generation of actors sharing a transcendental affinity for art and culture, while rocking some elegant Italian threads. This year, Zegna took their campaign a step further and developed it into a scripted Internet series to promote their fall and winter collections.
The series chronicles the adventures of Javier Bardem and Dev Patel playing themselves as two well-dressed men reuniting in Spain. Each episode allows the actors to showcase different Zegna attire, while engaging in special activities reserved for only the classiest of folk.
I won’t be outfitting myself with Zegna anytime soon, but their heavily promoted social ads were enough to capture my attention. After scrolling past enough autoplay frames of Dev Patel chipping at ice sculptures and Javier Bardem sipping coffee, I finally gave in and clicked on the ads.
Zegna embodies the steady-handed whimsical confidence of a company like Casper, and elevates it even further through star power and celebrity endorsement. The Zegna brand wants its products to tell a story, before inviting you to explore the product itself. This focus on scripted narrative content allowed the editors to produce long- and short-form versions of the same video that translated perfectly across the company’s social platforms. Each version has an end tag inviting you to watch the rest of the series on Zegna’s website, where a splash page provides a description of the clothing that the actors are wearing.
Videos in 2018 prove that human stories are still the most compelling form of content amongst advertisers and consumers. This bodes well for video creators like ourselves, who look forward to another year of creativity and innovation.