Video Storytelling: Five Showstopping Examples

Plus some bonus tips to bring some action into your own videos

Today’s marketing landscape can be pretty noisy, which means that your brand needs to stick out from the crowd. One modern way to make a grand statement is with video storytelling.

We’ve collected five examples of video storytelling that show how companies used video to connect with their audience and characterize their brand. And stay around until the end of this blog for some tips on how to create your own.

So roll the camera, and action!

🎬 What is Video Storytelling?

Video storytelling is a tactic that uses an engaging video format to tell a story about a brand, company, or project. It guides audiences though relatable or inspiring content that acknowledges their pain points, encourages an emotional connection, and presents a gratifying solution.

In general, communicating through video is extremely effective. In fact, humans can identify, comprehend, and remember visual elements far more easily than written language. And when these visuals are paired with a storyline, movement, and audio elements, people are much more likely to engage with the given content.

Here are some striking facts on the efficaciousness of videos from Digital.gov:

  • Videos increase engagement
    • People spend on average 2.6x more time on pages with video than without.
    • A Facebook video receives, on average, 135% more organic reach than a Facebook photo.
    • People spend, on average, more than 3x more time watching a Facebook Live video than a video that’s no longer live.
    • 52% of marketing professionals worldwide name video as the type of content with the best ROI.

  • Popularity of video format for content delivery
    • 45% of people watch more than an hour of Facebook or Youtube videos per week.
    • 59% of executives agree that if both text and video are available on the same topic, they are more likely to choses video.
    • By 2017, video content represented 74% of all internet traffic.

🎥 What Are Some Examples of Video Storytelling?

Video storytelling takes many different forms. That’s why we picked 5 of our favorite examples to show you the diverse ways you can use video storytelling.

1. Product Rebrand: Hinge

Apps like Tinder, Bumble, and Match.com have become a large part of modern dating. The awkward conversations and cringe-worthy pickup lines are all too familiar on these platforms. Hinge quickly realized that users were lacking any real conversation and connection and completely redesigned their service for relationships. And their brand-driven visual storytelling is absolutely amazing.

Hinge’s central story is The Dating Apocalypse, a dystopian world where zombie-like people ride the “Cycle of Loneliness” or visit the “Hall of  Filters.” This world represents the struggles and realities of other dating services.

When it comes to brand storytelling, Hinge nailed it. They not only showed the problem with other dating apps and how their service fixes it, but they also made the video creative, relatable, and funny.

2. Advertisement Campaign: Airbnb

It’s no longer just about having a good product, but telling a good story. Airbnb mastered this concept with a recent marketing campaign called “Made possible by hosts.” These commercials and video advertisements are aired across 5 countries (Australia, France the U.K., Canada, and the United States), as well as posted on their company YouTube channel.

Made possible by hosts” was inspired by recent events and the all-too-common feeling of isolation and loneliness. The campaign focuses on rekindling connections and meaningful experiences with those we care about. To do this, Airbnb used real pictures and videos from guests around the world, provoking the feeling of nostalgia about trips we took and the memories we made there.

One of the most endearing videos is called “Sweet Child O’ Mine,'' telling a story of a mother and daughter's short weekend trip to Peterborough. The advert shows a cozy two-story brick house with stunning views of grassy landscapes and the breathtaking Australian coast. But the most compelling part of the video is the mother-daughter experience; braiding hair, snuggling on the couch, swimming at the beach, and cooking dinner. Through this video and the many others like it, Airbnb promotes magical connections, a sense of community, and a story of memory and experience.


3. Social Media Outreach: National Geographic

Instagram is a perfect tool to capture your audience’s attention, communicate your message, and show off your brand. National Geographic is a great example of this.

National Geographic has over 160 million followers on Instagram and an average 20,374 engagements per post, and for a good reason. They use photographs and videos as the primary storytellers of the brand, launching different campaigns on issues like climate change, women in STEM, and Mount Everest expeditions.

Looking at their reels and saved stories, you can see extreme narratives of adventures through the arctic, daring treks up volcanos, and even ‘reimagining dinosaurs’ in AR. National Geographic invokes a ‘wonder of [the] world” through their photographs and videos of gorgeous landscapes, exotic animals, and people from around the globe.

4. Company Mission: Ben & Jerry's

What’s better than tasty ice cream and a social mission? Opposed to writing out their mission statement on their website, Ben & Jerry’s uses a video to help buyers understand what their company stands for and how they operate.

The video interviews employees on different aspects of their mission (social, product, and economic), narrating how the company only utilizes fairtrade and local ingredients, purchases from humane dairy farms, and uses recyclable and environmentally friendly packaging. They say this is “social change from inside the pint, out.”

This way of executing video storytelling is clever because it shows the audience exactly how their brand acts on its philosophy.

5. Product Demo: Headspace

Headspace is an app that helps you navigate everyday life through meditation exercises. They use a 1:30 minute video to explain the benefits of meditation and how Headspace can help you get started and maintain your practice.

The video has colorful and bright animation with a voiceover telling the story. One thing that’s special about this video is its inclusivity. They use little friendly characters, not quite human but not quite monsters either, to act out the scenes and demonstrate how the product works. This is a perfect example of a way to use video storytelling to execute a product tutorial in a simple and playful manner.

Headspace also has a series of videos on YouTube to help guide you through scary thoughts, overwhelming feelings, and stressful days. Check it out here!

6. Project Videos: Collato

How about a bonus example? 🥳

No matter your industry, you can use videos to showcase your work. Collato gives you the power to record asynchronous videos directly on your project that collaborators can watch at any time. This feature helps you better articulate your project vision, tell the story behind your work, and modernly communicate with both internals and externals.

Here are some more benefits of this stellar new feature:

  • Gives collaborators a complete picture of your ideas
  • Eliminates lengthy and time-consuming emails of project concepts and plans
  • Allows your team more opportunities to work remotely or in different time zones because they can watch your videos from any location and at any time.
  • Brings personality and into your project so your client can get to know you better

To find out how you can use this new concept in your projects, check out our post "Hello Video Storytelling" on our product news blog. Or visit our homepage to see what other cool features Collato has to offer.

📺 Video Storytelling Tips and Tricks

Now that you’ve seen how other companies have used visual storytelling to promote their brand and mission, why not try it out for yourself? If you do, here are five tips to take into account, with some questions for guidance!

1. Cover the storytelling basics

Just as with written content, you’ll need to make sure you have everything to make a good story. That means defining your objectives, knowing your audience, and creating a plan. Remember these questions when creating your own video story:

  • What is the overarching goal of this project?
  • What is the feeling or story we are trying to convey?
  • Who are we trying to reach with this video? What are their qualities and demographics?
  • What is the plot of your story? And who are the characters?

2. Keep characters on-brand and aligned

In order to make your videos effective, your characters need to be relatable. People want to feel like they’ve encountered the same problems, thoughts, and experiences. Your character doesn't have to be perfect, they can have weaknesses and make mistakes, but connection is key.

Remember the Hinge example? Most of us can empathize with the main character  because we’ve all felt discouraged by failed dates, especially ones found online. 🙈

  • How can your audience identify with the character?
  • How is the character likable/unlikable, and to whom?
  • What is your protagonist “must have”?
  • Is your character inclusive? Do they have to be?

3. Take advantage of audio and music

Audio can be really powerful in creating an emotional association or experience. Think about horror movies, if you mute the eerie sounds, distant screams, and freaky background music, is it even scary anymore? That same logic applies to your video too, the sounds contribute to the feeling and energy of your project.

  • Will your video have a voice over? Speaking characters? Music?
  • Where does your video take place? Are there any sounds associated with this place? Birds chirping, waves crashing, etc.
  • What is the tone of your video?
  • What are some adjectives that describe your project? Calm, relaxed, meditative? Or bright, loud, active?
  • Does a specific era or genre of music fits with the project theme?

4. Use visually appealing affects

The way your video is shot also contributes to the experience. Have you seen “The Serpent” on Netflix? Did you notice that it’s filmed with a blurry-looking hue to make the series seem dated? It makes sense since the story is based in the 1970s.

You can do the same! Experiment with angles, scenery, fonts, and colors to help make your video memorable.

  • Will your video be animated, with people, or mixed?
  • Do you know of any filters or hues that fit your project?
  • Should the video be artistically or traditionally filmed? Or a mixture of the two?

5. Find the perfect video length

When making a video, think about your audience’s attention span. If it’s too long, then people might click away, but if it’s too short, you might not get your message across. Sometimes the platform helps make this decision for you. For instance, you can post longer videos on YouTube than on Instagram or Facebook, it just depends on your overarching goal.

Socialinsider looked into over 9 million video posts on Facebook to see what video length performs best. They found that the optimal video length for the most engagement is between 2-5 minutes. In comparison, Live Videos that lasted over an hour had engagement of only 0.19-0.86%.

🍿It’s a Wrap

Video storytelling is a highly effective way to show off your business, brand, or project. It not only increases engagement and conversation, but is a creative way to tell your story. So what are you waiting for?

If you need an extra boost, Collato can help you seamlessly plan, upload, and share all your video content in one place. Click here to see our Product Blog post about video storytelling.

Until then 🍦

Made with 🍦 in Berlin.