When it comes to online video, audiences have developed a highly sophisticated filter. They can easily differentiate sterile marketing products from content made with real passion.
Cutting through this filter can be a challenge. How can you ensure your well-produced, professional and inspiring stories stand out? How do you make them sincere and genuine for your audiences?
There are lessons to be learned from other sports brands. Here are some examples of videos made with true passion and dedication.
Urbex by Red Bull
Red Bull is all about giving you energy to increase performance. With its Urbex videos the brand lives its promise, showcasing urban explorers performing at the edge, sometimes literally! These explorers risk life and limb doing stunts on the most extreme of man-made structures. Strictly off-limits, these forbidden structures might be a massive skyscraper in Dubai, a cosmodrome in Kazakhstan or abandoned tunnels below a big city.
While Red Bull’s content is always avant-garde, the Urbex series is some of the most epic video content ever produced. Each 40-minute episode focuses on two or three urban explorers as they scout their structures, and plan and perform mind-blowing stunts. If you suffer from a fear of heights, you might want to stay away. If not – prepare to collect your jaw from the floor!
Lesson to take away: remember the DNA of your brand, live its promise and keep it real!
ParaTough by the Canadian Paralympic Committee
Paralympic sports have until recently existed on the periphery. That’s until organisations like the Canadian Paralympic Committee (CPC) started tearing down some barriers and redrawing the boundaries.
With its ParaTough videos, the CPC challenged people to re-evaluate how they view people with disabilities taking part in sport. The videos were even able to go further, showing that not only are paralympic sports people working harder but their struggle is actually more heroic. Videos in the campaign show examples of the exercises that helped these heroes reach the Paralympic Games. Will you dare to try at least one of them?
Lesson to take away: engage users by showing them real struggle – the pain, the sweat, the sacrifice. Dare them to take part and better themselves in some way.
This Girl Can by Sport England
Sport England is a UK public body responsible for growing the number of people taking part in sports. It identified a need to empower more women to take up sporting activity and to counteract anxieties and assumptions that might make women feel they can’t get involved.
With its This Girl Can campaign, Sport England empowered women of all ages and ethnicities to do sports and take up general physical activity. Campaign video spots showed everyday women having fun in the gym, at running tracks, on football pitches, in boxing halls, or simply in their backyard! In the videos, the women all look natural, strong and inspiring, which has given the campaign immense credibility and made it a huge success.
Lesson to take away: empower your audience by showing that they can do cool and inspirational stuff.
‘Beauty and the Bull’ by Chicago Bulls
Just like combining apples and oranges – they’re pretty cool separately, but nobody thinks about mixing them together – so it was with the Chicago Bulls and musicals. There are Bulls’ fans and musical fans, but fans of these two things? Not so likely.
But when the six-time NBA title winners prepared a musical for their fans, it was a huge gesture and extremely well received. Produced using smartphones and Snapchat, ‘Beauty and the Bull’ was a three-minute story told through short-form videos – each clip lasting only a couple of seconds. It wasn’t the best, most cutting-edge production of all time, but fans were positive in their feedback. While we don’t expect to see Real Madrid making their own Snapchat version of Don Quixote, the idea was cool and executed nicely in an authentic way. You may not like it, but you can’t deny it’s a fresh and innovative idea to use.
Lesson to take away: sometimes it’s good to create something completely new, just from the bottom of your heart. Fans will appreciate it!