Human Interest stories told through Video can break down barriers between big business and ordinary people. Trust has long been an issue for Big Companies. Using real life stories in Video to prove a brand or company promise builds respect and belief amongst consumers. Let’s take a look at the companies and brands we think are doing it best… Unilever with their global sustainability campaign Project Sunlight, British Airways, Dove and Prudential.
Story Telling for Corporate Sustainability Programmes
Project Sunlight is an initiative motivating millions of people to adopt more sustainable lifestyles. It aims to make sustainable living desirable for those with too much, and possible for those with too little. A key focus is providing clean, safe drinking water for the one in nine of us globally who do not have this basic necessity.
Vox Pops International was called upon to tell the story in film of a community in rural Nigeria. Thanks to the work of Unilever and Oxfam, this community now has two new Water Centres. The Videos capture the previous hardship of walking 6km daily for water. Now, with the Water Centres established, women are empowered to build brighter futures for themselves and their families.
In this sense, Video has captured the genuine grass roots benefit of Project Sunlight and illustrates the life changing affect such basic provisions of daily clean water can bring a community.
Story Telling to Build Emotional Connection
British Airways launched a campaign in the US to promote the routes from North America to India and to encourage more ex-pat Indians to buy airfares to their homeland.
The campaign “A ticket to visit Mum” was launched to coincide with Mother’s Day in the US. It features a real-life mother in India talking about how much she misses her son Ratesh who emigrated to the US several years ago. It pulls on the viewer’s heartstrings when the mum’s reveals such raw emotion for how much she misses him. The film finishes with a surprise visit from her son. I challenge any mum watching this not to shed a tear!
The 5 minute film had 75,000 views in two days and over a million hits in one month. A brand like British Airways often seen as aloof and conservative in brand image terms will benefit greatly from using this gritty real life approach. Showing a human face and building emotional connections with people can only be a good thing for BA.
Using Video to trailblaze Brand Integrity
Writing a blog about real life genuine stories would not be complete without an example from Dove. The now iconic “Campaign for Real Beauty” is now 10 years old.
The “Dove Real Beauty Sketches”, was released as part of the ongoing campaign. In the video, several women describe how they look to a forensic sketch artist who is unable to see them. Strangers who had met these women the day before are then invited to describe the same women to the artist. The sketches are compared and the stranger’s images are invariably revealed to be more flattering and more accurate.
This is the most watched viral Video ever with 5.5 million views to date. This is a great example for how a Brand’s Positioning to stand for something Genuine and Real can be so wonderfully showcased in Video by only using real people, real stories and real outcomes. Truly Brilliant.
So next time you want to showcase a real life Consumer Story think first about Video and how we can make your story come to life for you.