One of the smartest things I have ever read about product marketing came from the author of a children’s book.
“If you want to build a ship, do not drum up people to collect wood or assign them tasks and jobs. Teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea,” said Antoine de Saint- Exupéry, creator of The Little Prince.
The goal of creating a perfect product video is not far away. If you want your video to get resonance, it should be more than just the product. It should be about the problem, the solution, the experience and the bigger vision of what you are trying to build.
Given that the right video can put a product on the map for the first time or revive a company that has long been out of date, it’s important for marketers to understand this thoroughly. To inspire your own efforts, we’ve compiled a list of impressive product videos for marketing a product or a new version.
What is a product video?
Product videos defined
A product video explains and visually shows the specific advantages of a product. Many product videos tend to emphasize a product’s unique characteristics, but one important thing that really sets a good product video apart is its ability to show how it solves problems.
What makes a good product video?
Notable product videos usually include the following:
- Engaged dialogue and narration
- Long enough to fully explain the product and its benefits, but short enough to get the viewer’s attention
- Professionalism without being “stuffy”
- Empathy and relativity
Would you like to see how these elements are put into practice? Take a look at the examples below.
7 promotional product videos that will make you want to buy
1) Blendtec: will it mix?
I browse the archives for this one, but in the world of videos that bring a product to life, few have done it better than Blendtec. The company’s CEO Tom Dickson was born in 2006 with the launch of its Will it Blend? Series.
Since then, Blendtec has expanded the tremendous success of these videos to other channels and enabled viewers to suggest a mix on Facebook. The company even has its own Wikipedia page devoted to the series.
The success of this video relies on two things: a clear, unwavering message and a company with a personality. In seven years the series has never changed. The point of every video and underpinning product positioning is essentially, “Why yes, it will mix.”
For years we’ve watched this product mix everything from glow sticks to an iPhone. The videos are minimally expensive, product-oriented and generate millions of views. In a recent interview, Dickson explained the history and success of the video series:
“‘Will it mix?’ was accidentally developed by a new marketing director hired in 2006. I always tried to break my blenders to find their fault points and how to improve them. George, the new marketing director, discovered some of the crazy things that are I did something to my mixers … on a budget of $ 50, George bought a happy meal, a fried chicken, coke cans, golf balls and a few other things and they made five videos. Six days later we had six Millions of Views Six years, more than 120 videos, nearly 200 million views later, “Will it Blend?” Has been dubbed the number one viral marketing campaign of all time [by Ad Age]. “
Here Tom mixes a Facebook request: Justin Bieber. The video has been viewed (and counted) 2.8 million times on YouTube.
2) Dollar Shave Club: Our blades are great
Dollar Shave Club also made waves with its first product video. I’m warning you now: you’re not shy about the F-bombs or referring to “your handsome grandfather” so you may want to toss in the headphones before hitting play. However, what’s special about this product launch video is how well the company knows their audience and what problem they are trying to solve.
The Dollar Shave Club attempted to penetrate a demographic of young, professional men who commonly buy big brand razors in local stores. The problem they want to highlight is the absurdly high cost of store-bought razor cartridges. So the company needed an absurd, targeted product launch video.
CEO Michael Dubin, who studied improvisation with the Upright Citizens Brigade, wrote the spot himself and hired a comedian friend, Lucia Aniello, to produce the video. Quora reports that the video cost approximately $ 4,500 – yet it has been viewed and reported in countless media outlets over 11 million times.
3) Purple Feather: The Power of Words
In tight marketing budgets, professional text services are often the first to be cut. Instead of hiring professional copywriters, companies choose to do the writing themselves, as it isn’t all that different from other copywriters they write. They assume that the words they choose don’t make much of a difference in one way or another. Purple Feather, based in Glasgow, is a copywriting agency dedicated to proving this assumption false.
Words are important. In fact, they can change anything. Purple Feather made this point particularly clear in this powerful video:
4) Google Chrome: Jess Time
The best product videos don’t focus on the product itself, but rather on the stories of the people who use it.
Technology writer and NYU professor Clay Shirky has a great chapter in his first book about the proliferation of communication tools in our lives. In it, he explains that technology only becomes really interesting when it is so ingrained in our lives that it becomes invisible.
No product video shows this “invisibility” of really good products better than Google’s “Loretta” Super Bowl commercial, which tells the story of a man who, with the help of Google, remembers the love of his life.
The following video shows how seamlessly Google and all of its products have flown into our lives and become part of our interaction. It’s a video about an experience, not software, and that’s what the company really does.
5) Apple: the only thing that has changed
Starting videos like the Dollar Shave Club video mentioned above has some advantage when it comes to targeting an audience. They represent a brand new company, product, or idea. But what if your company has been around for a long time? What if the announcement you’re making is a series of improvements to an existing product rather than a brand new introduction?
This year, Apple tackled this challenge head on with the video below. This video shows a collection of seemingly minor improvements and summarizes them in such a way that it shows just how advanced all of the new functionality is. Look here:
6) Google: Google, further developed
This year, Google introduced a new logo for the company and a new parent company, Alphabet. It was the perfect moment to look back. So the company recorded a video to show not only how much Google’s products have performed, but how much progress these products have made possible in the world around them.
The brilliance of this video is that it used others to tell the story. While some companies may have aimed the camera at their own designers and developers (you, Apple), Google put the focus on the users, media and culture leaders who adopted and promoted the products along the way. The resulting video looks more like a historical chapter than a commercial.
7) InVision: Design Disruptors
I’d like to end this list on an anomaly because it pushes the limits of a product video and, as such, opens up all sorts of possibilities.
InVision, a prototyping, collaboration and workflow platform, aims to empower designers – their primary users. Much of their content strategy is geared towards this mission. This year InVision will release a documentary on the role of design in the modern economy.
Design Disruptors examines how top 15 companies are prioritizing design in their products and the overall user experience. Unlike traditional product videos, design disruptors are performed in theaters and on Netflix. And unlike traditional product videos, Design Disruptors never actually promotes the product. The goal is bigger than the product.
“We try to draw attention to the increasing importance of design to the success of a company,” said David Malpass, vice president of marketing at InVision. “A lot of our work is based on doing things that have a positive impact on the design community and strengthen the role of the designer in their organization.”
Would you like more tips on creating visual content? Check out this list of the best sites to find GIFs.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in October 2017 and has been updated for completeness.