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5 creative marketing and PR videos

If a picture is worth a thousand words, video is worth a million.  

Somehow motion elicits emotion:  It surprises us with introspection, like what we search for in Google. It scares us with reality, like what Google knows about us.  It answers important questions, like why work doesn’t get done.

The oft-cited Old Spice videos might be the gold standard for views, but it’s important point out they worked because they were relevant, timely and personal. For the naysayers – the Old Spice campaign did drive sales.  

Here are five creative marketing and PR videos that have stood out for me lately:

1.  A city from paper clips.  What could be a harder job than making a company known for selling stationary sound exciting? Try building a city from the inventory on your shelves.  That’s what Staples did with this creative idea which O’Dwyer & Co. posted to their Facebook page and wrote this little story.   “Staples opening a store in Sydney doesn’t have the compelling storyline of, say, a keyboard-playing cat, but the office supply retailer was able to get some YouTube love (about 100K views) for the spot below, which recreates the city using common office items,” wrote writer Greg Hazley.

2.  The happy machine.  We’ve all been there once or twice.  The vending machine that takes your money.  And takes your money.  And takes your money…without giving anything in return.  Ragan.com’s Staci Tara Diamond posted this linke in a tweet the other day to a video marketing firm Definition6 created for Coca-Cola – the happiness vending machine.  They’ve turned it into a series with follow-on videos like the happy truck.

3.  Cutting through the clutter.  Another hat tip to the Ragan crew for ferreting out this outrageous, but relevant video pitch aimed at New York Times writer David Pouge.  For all the grief reporters give press releases pitching meetings at trade shows, this is a creative PR idea with a twist.  What will it cost?  Getting the founder of your company to dress up in a wig and a polka dot dress.   Oh, snap!  Scheduling conflict.  It didn’t work, but an “A” for effort from the man himself.  It’s still a nice wig, Jeremy!  And a very creative pitching effort. Blogger, photographer and PR pro Becky Johns has a great post on some similar PR pitches – that had better results!

4.  Mediocrity works.  Perfect is the enemy of good, or so the saying goes. Subaru drove all the “predictability of the other sedans out there and rolled them into one,” with this spoof of a car commercial for the 2011 Mediocrity.  “Bells and whistles?  Not on my watch,” says one plain looking character dully.  What’s the message?  Subaru is the antithesis of mediocrity.

5.  Use your customer’s words in a video. On the very last question on a survey about influence I worked on for Vocus with Brian Solis, we asked people to define influence in 140 characters. We took the open ended answers, analyzed them in a tag cloud, where the more often the word was used by the 611 respondents, the larger it was rendered.  The result could be used to form a sentence defining influence, which roughly read: the ability or power to influence people to action.  We used the respondents’ words to define influence – the same way smart phone maker HTC used a word cloud to define what its customers wanted in a new smart phone – 4G meets android in a smaller package — as depicted in this video below. Rival Verizon could take a page from this book with a tag cloud of Twitter:  here’s what 90,000 Tweets say about the Verizon iPhone.

Looking for tips? 
I’ve found ReelSEO to be a blog worth following for tips and trick for online video, with posts like this one on How To View & Analyize YouTube Statistics For Any YouTube Video.  And PR, SEO and occasional interviewer for Search Engine Strategies, Greg Jarboe, wrote a book worth reading called YouTube and Video Marketing: An Hour a Day.  The time you spend with it might be worth a million words. 

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