Five Lessons From Five Brands Who Wisely Invested In Video


Videos are weapons of persuasion.

They’re made to engage a specific audience and persuade that audience to respond in a very specific way. But persuade them in what way? That’s the $100,000 question. Without the answer to that question, we simply don’t know where to aim this “weapon.” And if we don’t know what we’re aiming at, how can we tell if we hit it?

There are three mains ways to persuade a human being. We can persuade them to think, feel, or do. So that’s how we should “aim” videos. We ask, “Will this video get our target audience to think, feel, or do something?” It’s that simple. Not necessarily easy, but simple.

Below are five examples of five brands who have proven that they know their audience. They were also very disciplined, showing restraint to only aim at one Key Persuasion™ per video. That’s why the videos below have seen such great results. One target audience. One Key Persuasion™.

I’m going to walk through five successful projects and “mine out” five takeaways that will help you and your team make your next video project a profitable investment!

Captivate a Captive Audience

Intuit - Money 2020

We all dream about having a room filled with our target audience, ready to hang on our every word and engage with our product perfectly. Most of us would pay a pretty penny to gain access to that very scenario. Some of us have. But that’s only half the battle. What do you say or do once you have thousands of the perfect people sitting in front of you, captive for several minutes?

Too often, brands invest A LOT to have access to a room full of their perfect prospects but never invest enough to captivate that audience while holding them captive. But that’s not the case with Intuit. They get it.

At the Money 2020 conference in 2018, TurboTax’s GM, Dan Wernikoff, and VP of Product Management, Varun Krishna, presented their new app, Turbo. They presented to a live audience in Las Vegas and on Facebook Live during the session. If they could capture the attention of this perfectly curated audience, Turbo would leap into the foreground of the global Fintech discussion. The stakes were too high to punt on this presentation.

They invested in a 10-minute presentation containing interactive animation, choreographed with Dan and Varun’s spoken content.

The results were instant. An engaged room. An engaged Facebook Live audience. And in the months that followed, Intuit’s stock rose, giving the Turbo team the confidence to proceed as planned. The investment paid off. Why? Because they went all-in on the right content. Intuit knew their audience. They knew this sophisticated group of Fintech professionals wouldn’t settle for anything less than the best. They also knew that the quality of the presentation would directly equate to the trust built during that one 20 minute session. Trust can be won or lost in minutes and Intuit used their interactive video content to win trust and catapult a new brand. Return on investment.

Embrace Clichés

Life Happens - Live On

Life Happens is a wonderful brand who knows their audience and knows the life insurance industry like nobody else. Recently they made the decision to invest in a video that pursued one Key Persuasion™: Make people FEEL the effect of life insurance on their family. Mission accomplished. But don’t take our word for it. Read a few of the comments:

In just two weeks, this video gained over 550k views with over 1500 shares on Facebook alone. So why did their investment pay off so well? There are two main reasons. One is that they exhibited self-control, committing to a single mission, to persuade one target audience to feel one thing. They focused all aspects of the video into this one key persuasion. That kind of self-control is the breeding ground for potent video content. Second, they “embraced the cliché.” They could have easily assumed that everyone already has negative feelings toward death. They could also have assumed that the majority of their target audience has positive feelings about taking care of their family. By “embracing the cliché”, they were able to tell an in-depth emotional story fast. No need for backstory. No need for lots of color commentary. Just a jab at the nerves they already knew were exposed based on common human emotions. The one-two punch of self-control and “embracing the cliché” resulted in an incredible return on investment. And Life Happens is just getting started. In 2019, this commercial aired nationally as a PSA.

Magnify Your Unique Value Proposition

simplehuman - A Peek Under the Lid

You may have heard of simplehuman. Perhaps you even have one of their products in your home. simplehuman designs everyday tools to help people be more efficient at home. But as you know simple doesn’t mean easy. In fact, it may be the hardest thing to accomplish. Why? Because to make something appear simple, when it’s actually solving a complicated problem, you must work extremely hard to marry design and functionality in a way that “hides” the brilliance. simplehuman is really good at this.

simplehuman makes the best, most robust, products on the market, but most consumers will never know HOW that came to be even though they’re fans of the functionality. So how do you magnify your Unique Value Proposition (UVP) with video?

First, you identify and understand your target audience. simplehuman knows their audience extremely well. They know their audience likes nice things and appreciates good design. So when simplehuman decided to invest in a video that shared the magic behind their products, they knew the video itself had to be as good as their products.

Second, you commit to persuading the audience to think about ONE thing. In this case, the Key Persuasion™ was to persuade their audience to THINK that the simplehuman engineers personally served their family. This video successfully magnified the UVP: everyday tools to help people be more efficient at home, because it taught their audience that even the “stuffy” engineers are sold-out to help them be more efficient. If you own a simplehuman trash can, you watch this video and think “Everyone at simplehuman cares about my home!” And they do! That’s why a video investment like this one pays off. It’s magnifying what’s already true.

Make Your Audience the Hero

Thermo Fisher - Amplifly Awareness

Many people make videos that don’t perform because they talk about themselves too much.

The Thermo Fisher team understands that their customer is the hero and Thermo Fisher is the guide. “But…” they thought “...what’s a way that we can drive this point home with video?” Since the campaign for Amplifly was already in play, the concept of a flight attendant guiding their “hero” through first class was birthed.

The marketing team at Thermo Fisher Scientific knows their audience really well. Most of us, when we think of scientists in lab coats, think of words like “predictable,” “boring,” “stuffy,” But Thermo Fisher knows that’s not the case! They might use words like “ambitious,” “hungry,” “fun,” and “competitive.” So they knew this concept would engage them. When so many people misunderstand you, it’s easy to get excited when someone gets it right!

So, why did this video perform so well? Because the Thermo Fisher team decided to persuade their audience emotionally. The Key Persuasion™ focused solely on making them FEEL that Thermo Fisher products were built to deliver a first class experience. Most “science” companies will attempt to get technical no matter what, thus watering down the emotional impact of a video like this. Not Thermo Fisher. They get it. They leaned into this fun, “first class” journey, indirectly branding the Amplifly program as THE first class experience for PCR products in their industry.

Most brands with a niche target audience aren’t willing to invest in videos that specifically focus on one key persuasion. But the ones who do, see a massive return, creating potent video content that hits the bullseye every time.

Provide Painkillers Before Vitamins

AGC - Mountaingate

Mountain Gate Country Club is nestled in the hills of Los Angeles. It’s a beautiful oasis amidst concrete and noise. The golfers in the area typically have to drive to other clubs farther away to experience the tranquility a golf course normally provides. That’s the pain.

When American Golf Corporation (AGC), the owner of Mountain Gate, decided to invest in video, it was clear that the average golf course advertisement wouldn’t do. They needed a “painkiller.”

The choice was made to focus specifically on the pain of the target audience. This audience has money. They like golf. They like luxury and convenience. But the problem is that they don’t have any of those things close by if they live in the immediate area surrounding Mountain Gate...or so they think. So, instead of telling them about another golf course, AGC commissioned us to write a poetic script, strategically solving each pain point with each verse. Most golfers are used to seeing ads that feel something more like vitamins, “this is nice and will help you.” Instead, we touched on open nerves that would get a reaction and fast.

The specific goal of this video series was to get prospective members to come in for a tour. The project included a direct response TV Ad and a longer video walkthrough on a custom landing page. The Key Persuasion™ was to persuade the audience to DO something after watching the video. And boy did they ever! Within three months of deploying the ad, Mountain Gate Country Club saw a 500% increase in membership sales. Not only did the videos perform, but the results were profound.

If you have an audience with a specific pain point, you can invest in a video to clearly articulate how you solve it. There’s no faster way to see a return on your video investment. Pain gets people to act quick. They want something to stop the pain!

So in conclusion, what can we learn from all five of these brands? I think a few things:

  1. Videos are weapons of persuasion.

  2. To invest in video confidently, you must commit to no more than one key persuasion.

  3. Knowing your audience is the cost of entry.

I hope you can put some of these tools into practice in your business. As always, feel free to reach out to me or VeracityColab with any questions.

Charlie Matz

P.S. If you’re tired of throwing money at video and “hoping” it works, you should click here and connect with us. We can help you speak to one audience, get laser-focused on your Key Persuasion™, and give you the confidence to invest in a video that will perform.

Charlie Matz