Why Video Marketing Is So Effective

The Grand Rapids LipDub Video (below) was filmed May 22nd, with 5,000 people and involved a major shutdown of downtown Grand Rapids, which was filled with marching bands, parades, weddings, motorcades, bridges on fire, and helicopter take offs. It is the largest and longest LipDub video, to date.

This video was created as an official response to the Newsweek article calling Grand Rapids a “dying city.” They of course disagreed strongly and wanted to create a video that encompasses the passion and energy they feel is growing exponentially, in this great city.

Rob Bliss, Director & Executive Producer explains that they chose Don McLean’s “American Pie,” a song about death but was in the end, triumphant and filled to the brim with life and hope.”

This $40,000 production was entirely financed by the generosity of local sponsors that are listed below.

This is yet another example of Exponential Mindset Thinking™ in action, leveraging the power and persuasive influence of the Internet. Enjoy this WORLD RECORD SETTING* video!

Amway Grand Plaza Hotel
EasyRotor Helicopter
Grand Vally State University
Avanti Law Group

Krispy Kreme Doughnuts

Experience Grand Rapids
Grand Rapids Downtown Alliance
Eastern Floral
United Bank of Michigan
The Dick and Betsy DeVos Foundation
The Seccia Family Foundation

Fifth Third Bank
PNC Bank
Biggby Coffee
Mindscape at Hanon-McKendry
Harold Zeigler Auto Group
Express Signs

Hanon McKendry
Cascade Engineering
Rockford Construction
Siegel Jewelers
Gentex Corporation

Rob Bliss Events and SEF video


proudly present in association with Creo Productions



Josh Rubino

Keri Larsen Kujala

Melissa Dylan

Andrew Tingley, Creo Productions

Rob Bliss

Scott Erickson

Rob Bliss
Scott Erickson


“American Pie,” written by Don McLean;
Produced by Ed Freeman for The Rainbow Collection, Ltd.


Grand Rapids Graphix:


Rob Bliss Events:


Media Inquiries: robblissgr[at]aim.com

Business Inquiries: ask[at]sefvideo.com

*Note: The “NEW WORLD RECORD” designation refers to size and scope, not duration.

Storyboards and concept art by Greg Oberle.

PREMIUM CONTENT: How to make your video go viral!

Included below is a hand-picked collection of the top 10 most popular corporate branding videos on YouTube along with a detailed review, in-depth analysis and practical marketing lesson.

Enjoyable and entertaining, the goal is to have you think about Video Marketing in a fresh new way to advance your career and/or grow your business leveraging concepts with an innovative twist.

Video marketing may not be for everyone, but in each selection, there is a practical marketing lesson that is valuable to learn regardless of your intent to use video within your marketing campaigns.

For more information on on Premium Content Offering, Click on the Hyperlink.

Top Viral Branding Video #1: Blendtec

Blendtec’s appeal isn’t that everyone wants to know what things look like if they were blended. If a blender doesn’t break grinding an iPad to pieces, it’s got to be a good blender. Simple, straight-forward, relevant to anyone who is considering buying a blender – utterly BRILLIANT. The other influential aspect is the WIDE range of things they’ve blended from Rubik’s cubes to…. golf balls.

Viral Video Marketing Lesson: The brilliance of this series is the DIRECT relationship of the fascination of the videos with the product’s performance. You can describe things such as mean time between failure, but nothing beats SHOWING IT!

Top Viral Branding Video #2: Evian Water

Okay, now this one is a much more expensive production, but yes it is just pure fun!   Evian Water is doing two things with this video. First it makes you feel really good for 30 seconds, who could watch this without a smile on their face? Through neuro- associative conditioning, a link is subconsciously created associating Evian with an entertaining, “feel good” experience.  Second, Evian is also saying their water is energising and is for those who want to ‘live’ their life AND it’s pure enough for babies.

Viral Video Marketing Lesson: Associating products with certain feelings is a classic advertising strategy, so there is nothing new about that. What’s new is that this video was conceived for YouTube, designed to go viral. The DISTRIBUTION of the ad is what made this innovative. This was one of the first (massively) successful corporate ads that was never intended to be broadcast on TV. This was a watershed moment for “old versus new” media.

Top Viral Branding Video #3:  Old Spice

Old Spice created a cult following with this concept.  They created a series using one actor in an ‘over the top’ fun, silly, yet visually intriguing montage of disconnected scenes.

Old Spice was a man’s fragrance associated with our fathers. Old Spice new they needed a fresh new, innovative approach that didn’t preach, but entertained a new, younger, hip generation. This series fit the bill perfectly with a handsome actor and scenes that depicted the type of man they think men and women think men ought to be.Without being heavy-handed, they influence and persuade with expert mastery.

Viral Video Marketing Lesson:The actor ‘hammed it up’ for what was to be a serious audition… and they loved it. He got the job. The real marketing lesson here is that as he was growing superstar stature, becoming more well known than the brand itself, Old Spice had to end the series (with this actor) because it detracts from the original intention of the commercial – to focus on the after shave – NOT the actor.

There is a balance to be established with a non-iconic spokesperson and a brand, but that is beyond today’s discussion. This series was pure marketing brilliance as was the decision to end the series.

Top Viral Branding Video #4: Odour Blocker From Old Spice

16 Hour Odour Blocker from Old Spice – We don’t really like this video, but then, we’re soooo not the target market for this.  That the target market is men, I mean, ‘macho’ men do not want to shower with sissy, sweet smelling body wash. SO this is an over-the-top approach to make that message LOUD AND CLEAR.

Viral Video Marketing Lesson:This commercial will not appeal to women, that’s one of the important lessons in marketing, speak directly to your target audience, don’t try to be all things to all people.  This in-your-face muscle man uses a body wash to smash body odour.  This product is for rugged men, not whimps.

Positioning a product is everything. That means every single communication either adds to or diffuses your message. That’s why it’s so important to CHOOSE the right message for the right audience.

Not all messages need to be this flamboyant, for a more mellow, reserved audience, a subtle approach will be much more persuasive so matching the message with the “messenger” is another element you should carefully consider.

Top Viral Branding Video #5: Microsoft XBOX 360

Is this for real or is it fake?  Is this the future of home entertainment with Xbox 360?   Microsoft got the whole world asking this question. WOW!!!   Some people loved the idea, others hated it. Boy, did Microsoft get a lot of free research and feedback from releasing this idealistic dream of family fun at home, a TV, Xbox and NO controller.

Sure, this had a relatively big budget, but it had people of all ages around the world asking “How close are they to making this a reality?”

Viral Video Marketing Lesson: We all know seeing is believing. Microsoft’s innovation here was to ask a question ahead of time to gather market intelligence prior to the product’s release, to make the necessary adjustments to the promotional launch campaign that would eventually follow.

Even small businesses can send out ‘test balloons’ like this one, to tip their toe in the water and gauge the level of acceptance or rejection a new innovation might provoke.

If you need to ask your market something, this is one way to do it, of course you’ll be revealing it to competitors at the same time…

Top Viral Branding Video #6: Dove

Dove has a reputation of creating advertising using ‘real’ people as models, so in this strangely compelling piece they are showing us how fake the cosmetic industry really is.

The message is straight and to the point: “Don’t believe everything ‘they’ are saying to you, or showing you”.  In real time we watch plain Jane being transformed by cosmetic artists into a stunning ’super model’.

Viral Video Marketing Lesson: Dove is saying implying “you can’t trust the glamour advertising to be real, so is what ‘they’ are telling you real, or fake? … You can trust our message, we use real people, you see real results, try us and see how real it can be for you”.

This is both imaginative and influential as an approach. Dealing with one of the key attributes of the industry head-on without hesitation nor direct accusation, yet focused on one of their guiding principles and philosophies.

This is easy for Dove to do BECAUSE they have this philosophy that permeates their brand and positioning, not so easy for a product that is unqualified in this regard. Simply stated, this would not be as persuasive and might even be perceived as self-serving and manipulative by a less authentic competitive brand.

It’s not enough to be provocative to be effective – it must be authentic and congruent with your positioning within the industry. Of course the argument is always what comes first? And that’s a discussion for another day!

Top Viral Branding Video #7:  Pepsi

What can you say about this outrageously expensive Pepsi commercial? Three of the hottest female singers in the world standing around in summery, skimpy gladiator gear, singing one of the world’s favourite, longest living rock songs. And the king at the coliseum is none other than the exceptionally good looking Enrique Iglasius.

Aimed at a particular youth demographic, the pure genius is the choice of a classic rock song to pull in an older audience.

We LOVE this video, because it’s a great experience! Notice the words we’ve highlighted about our feelings when watching this video.

Viral Video Marketing Lesson: In this day and age of Social Media Marketing, cross-pollinating diverse market segments is increasingly more difficult with greater fragmentation and dispersion of niche/community groups. This video transcends generational boundaries on a social media platform integrating an ‘old’ classic with ‘new’ singers. Of course we acknowledge the budgetary requirements to make this happen!

Top Viral Branding Video #8: T-mobile

Don’t you wish you could be surprised by being caught in a real true Flash Mob when it happened, rather than seeing it on the nightly news?   Telco  T-Mobile has jumped on the Flash Mob bandwagon with perhaps one of the best-staged examples ever!

Viral Video Marketing Lesson: Besides the obvious fun and good vibes of this video, what does it say?   What do you need from your Telco service?  A great service for everyone at one time, in sync, never missing a beat, reliable, modern and service with a smile.  A service that works WHEN you need it to – when something like this happens!

Often, the message in videos and advertisements like this get lost in the fun and novelty of it all. That’s the challenge, balancing something that attracts attention without detracting from the message. No one said this was easy!

Top Viral Branding Video #9: Doritos

Doritos and a funeral – seems like a strange mix, but then, this commercialwas designed to be shown at the Super Bowl. It’s quirky, funny and shows Doritos so loved by a guy he wants to be buried with them in his casket. This is a silly, fun way of associating Doritos with a good time, any time, anywhere.

It’s also an example of offline and online media convergence. Super Bowl commercials are exceptionally expensive to place (in some cases to produce). Historically, it was a one-shot deal. It either worked ON THE DAY or it didn’t. In effect it was a coin toss gamble.

Viral Video Marketing Lesson: Now with YouTube, the HUGE investment made showing it during the Super Bowl can be leveraged for days, weeks, months and years, tipping the odds of success in the advertisers’ favour with several opportunities to get the message out there.

For large advertisers, this is a safety net that is welcomed with open arms and wallets. For smaller companies convergence means previously prohibitive media such as TV and radio can now be leveraged online, sometimes justifying the upfront production costs that previously were too high and too risky to consider. Think about it!

Top Brand Video #10: DC Shoes

We know that well designed ‘gym’ shoes are great for our feet, yet teenagers today are rebelling against them.   Yes, they love the casualness of such footwear, but hey, mum, dad, even grandma and grandpa have been wearing Nike, Addidas etc for years.  ‘Cool’ kids don’t want to be wearing the same old fuddy duddy footwear!!

Along comes DC Shoes and makes (basically) the same shoe attractive to this ‘new’ generation.  It’s rebellious, crazy and fun.   Instead of associating their shoes with running, exercise and being fit, they are associated with fast, hotted-up cars and pushing the boundaries.

Viral Video Marketing Lesson: What do gym shoes and hot-rod cars have to do with each other?   Nothing!!

That’s the point of this video.   As the kids would say, if you have to ask, you just don’t get it.  J

Sometimes the message is indirect and obtuse because it needs to be. It’s been said that the better the actor, the less lines you need to write for him/her. The same can be said for advertising and video marketing, but to do that as the screenwriter needs to know the story line by heart, so too must you know your prospect’s psyche.

It’s quite a daring approach, but that’s the point of this collection of Top Brand Videos we selected for you.

Funny, creative, playful, silly, entertaining and even compelling, these are words to describe all this hand-picked collection of videos. With hundreds of millions of viewers these are exemplary videos we can all learn from.

There are many new words in marketing and advertising today to describe this phenomenon, such as social media, viral, earned media, viewable media, user initiated, and of course social networking.

In today’s world where we can’t escape being advertised and ‘sold to’ we still have a choice: to watch or not to watch. The battle of our eyeballs is as fierce as its ever been.

Advertisers need us to ‘want’ to watch their message and perhaps more importantly, they need us to want to tell our friends that they ‘must watch this’.

That’s what you want, a simple video to go viral… spreading faster than the common cold, with millions of ‘eyeballs glued to their screens’ watching your video.

Because we can choose not to watch a traditional ‘ad’, the challenge for you as an advertiser is to create a message that people will want to watch even if you have a very small budget.

The future of promotion now includes product or brand driven viral video ads that appear on online video sharing sites such as YouTube. Once the video is uploaded, it’s important to get influential option makers to view and promote them. Without the initial encouragement, there is no momentum created and the video will languish. The initial catalytic event is key.

It doesn’t have to air during the Super Bowl… The catalyst or trigger could be a mum… who knows heaps of other mothers which is ideal if your product is a baby stroller or pram. If you sell guttering, a tradie who is on the committee of the Home Renovators Association might be the best catalyst for your video.

The production quality does not have to be that of a Hollywood movie. Blendtec’s “Will it Blend?” could have been made by a teenager with a home video camera, some quirky creativity, a few crazy mates and some Apple software.

This is the new paradigm in advertising where the audience is in control not only of the ads they watch, but also of how much they extend your brand’s reach within their circle of influence.

Because of the proliferation of choices to share the ads they like with friends, they can post them on their Facebook walls, tweet about them on Twitter, embed them into their personal blogs or even post them on other centralised social networking domains, or promote them the ‘old fashioned way’, by emailing the video link to friends and family… even if it’s so 1990’s.

The result is the same… thousands to millions of views.  Marketing people call this Earned Media. No longer do we rely on celebrities to endorse a brand – we are more interested in whether our peers, our friends ‘like’ it.

What can you do? What video can you make that is not expensive, that would be entertaining and get your brand message across to a handful of influential customers who if they enjoyed it, would choose to tell their friends?

Standing around the office you have probably talked about a funny experience a client has had, or there’s been a joke or two about your business, product, service or brand…

… it could well become the next YouTube sensation!

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