• Warren Leppik

Will the generic brand video never die?!?!

I was recently pleased, confused and then dismayed by the following article:

“It's Not What You Make, It's What You Stand for: Marketing in the Millennial Age Millennials are buying your brand's values.”

According to Sharma Hyder, given “61 percent of Millennials are worried about the state of the world and feel personally responsible for improving it, then you can see how important it is for brands to communicate and, what's more, authentically act out their values. Companies looking to capture and retain connected consumers must take to heart the importance of values and transparency over their product or service. It's only by finding ways to authentically live out those values, while promoting honesty and transparency, that brands will be able to compete and, as Hypergiant exemplifies, justify their reason for existence in the first place.”

Based on what I’m hearing, reading and seeing, I am in complete agreement and believe that vocalizing “what you stand for” and “authentically living out your values” are critical to a brands success today. In a world of “fake news”, authenticity is king. But having reviewed the Hypergiant web site and videos, on which I think they blew a ton of money, I’m not sure why they were selected as a company that “exemplifies” this approach. And I’m hoping my review of what Hypergiant did will prevent other company’s from wasting their money like I think Hypergiant did.

While the article makes it seem like Hygergiant’s heart is in the right place, and it very well could be, I don’t think the Utopian brand video "A Better World" narrated by Bill Nye was the most effective use of resources.

For the first 38 seconds, there’s nothing but space shots and piano music. The average attention span is less than that of a goldfish at 8 seconds. Just saying.

Next, over a ton of stock video (inauthentic), Bill starts saying things like “we’re (meaning mankind not Hypergiant) working harder than ever to eradicate disease, alleviate world poverty, restore peace and balance. In fact, we’re already on our way. Human’s are more powerfully alive than ever before.”

QUESTION 1: How is Hypergiant involved yet? Oh, wait, here is comes….

Cut to shot of two people in a futuristic office with part of a Hypergiant logo showing on the back wall while Bill says “More intelligent than ever because our machines are more intelligent than ever too. And we’re right on the doorstep of breakthroughs once thought unimaginable: smart cities, flying cars, curing cancer. This is the not too distant world to which we are travelling where all of humanity will soon arrive. And Hypergiant will be the ones to take you there, today. Because Hypergiant is not waiting for tomorrow, to get to tomorrow”.

QUESTION 2: Not to put too fine a point on it, “WHERE’S THE BEEF ??!?”

HOW is Hypergiant helping? WHAT are they actually doing in the community TODAY to address the problems facing humanity referenced in the video? Based on the case studies on their web site, they are responsible for an art exhibit for Bosch, a new type of craft cocktail for TGI Friday’s, reducing a oil industry client’s operational costs by 22%, F1 Track Analysis, Home Improvement Software, Athletes Training and much more engaging gaming experiences. How exactly are these projects improving the “state of the world”? How is Hypergiant “authentically living out it’s values” through these projects?

Better question, where are Hypergiant’s values, vision and mission? I tried hard but couldn’t find them on their web site. Do they have a Corporate Social Responsibility program? No sign of that either.

So while this article correctly states that its “only by finding ways to authentically live out those values, while promoting honesty and transparency, that brands will be able to compete and justify their reason for existence in the first place”, something that I wholeheartedly agree with, how does the Bill Nye video or their web site prove that Hypergiant “exemplifies” this philosophy and these values?

Other than a bigger than average production budget, if you replaced the Hypergiant logo at the end with someone else’s, how is this video not the same as the endless number of generic brand videos that are, for some unknown reason, still produced today? Videos that almost always look like this parody of a brand video:

The lesson in all this? Don’t be sold down the river and talked into a brand video for your company. I firmly believe that testimonials from your customers about how the customer experience you provide SCREAMS your values are the single best type of proof about what your company stands for and how your staff are “walking-the-talk” everyday. Next to that, when it comes to showing you put your money where your mouth is, I would say that Cause Marketing is your next best choice. I Googled “cause marketing” and the definition I got back from Wikipedia was perfect:

a type of corporate social responsibility, in which a company’s promotional campaign has the dual purpose of increasing profitability while bettering society.”

I believe this was Hypergiant’s intent, it just fell down in execution. I’m happy to be proven wrong, but honestly I didn’t come away with any proof of what Hypergiant stands for or its values – whatever those are.

We’ve had a charitable component to our marketing for years. Rather than paying for ads, we show off our storytelling prowess and build awareness by helping local charities boost volunteerism and donations by capturing impact stories from the people they help. Testimonials from people whose lives have been changed. Simple, emotional, authentic, real. No voiceover. No stock footage. Just feel good stories of gratitude through thoughtful conversations with people whose lives have been changed because of the charity’s existence. We win. The charity wins. And you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to get a sense of our values because our actions, demonstrated through a content marketing strategy that supports local charities, speaks volumes about them.

Would you like to harness the power of Cause Marketing? We've launched our Cause Marketing Program that enables you to leverage this technique for your own content marketing efforts – at a rate that’s too good to pass up.

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