Video Content: How Save the Children and Irn-Bru Got it Right

Yesterday, Marketing Week revealed the ten most popular adverts viewed on YouTube in March. These included everything from Fiat’s rapping Dad, lamenting the loss of his freedom to Pepsi’s hilarious test drive punk-out. Two of the videos in particular sparked my interest, so I thought it would be interesting to examine why they proved so popular.

Here’s how the charity Save the Children and soft drink brand Irn-Bru got video content right…

Irn-Bru gets you through

Making the most of its famous tagline and playing up to several Scottish stereotypes, this video works so well because it depicts a situation that many Scottish people have gone through. It’s something we can relate to. If you have headphones handy, I strongly urge you to plug in and watch this…

The advert sets the scene with a stereotypical middle-aged Scottish man, just relaxing with his Irn-Bru and reading ‘Scottish Stuff’ magazine. His daughter enters with her new boyfriend, who happens to be English, wearing an England football shirt and accompanied by his English Bulldog, called Wembley. Needless to say the father is horrified by this revelation, but a few swigs of his orange nectar get him through.

It resonates…

To some people, this may not mean a lot – but it had me in stiches and, as a Scottish lady with an English fiancé, is something I can really relate to. It took me straight back to 2005, when I first introduced my other half to my steadfastly Scottish granddad and I’d imagine it did the same for a lot of other Scottish-English couples. It also tugged at my patriotic heartstrings and made me want to drink Irn-Bru. How powerful is that?

Unlike that famed Scottish drink, there’s no secret recipe here. The video was simply relevant to its target audience and created engagement via laughter… All in a concise, 43-second time period. Simple!

Charity matters

In a completely different realm to the Irn-Bru video but no less effective, the Save the Children advert does one thing exceptionally well – it educates. I think most of us would admit that at one time or another, we’ve uttered the phrase ‘charity begins at home’, or wondered where all that money we donate every year to Children in Need or Comic Relief is actually going. In fact with the constant adverts and fundraisers asking us for money, it’s easy to become disillusioned with charity.

Save the Children recognised that and set out to answer one of Britain’s most burning questions: what is our aid actually doing?

The advert shows a bus-load of anti-aid protestors travelling to a demo. One pipes up with “What has aid ever done for anyone?” Slowly, the protestors list things like sanitation, education and vaccinations – as well as Fairtrade chocolate. They begin realising that aid is actually helping the world in different ways every single day.

Helping us help ourselves

Of course, if we all took ten minutes to think about the question ourselves, we could probably come up with the same answers – but we’re all busy. There isn’t always time to consider larger questions such as these, which is why we become disillusioned and precisely why Save the Children decided to make us make time for it. That is why this is such a great piece of content. It is educational, it answers real-life questions and makes the audience think.

Of course, we understand that producing high-quality video content doesn’t come cheap. However when you consider that video can engage, educate and endear your brand to your audience, it doesn’t seem like such a big investment. There are other benefits, too – like the fact that visitors can spend 100% more time on a webpage that hosts a video (boosting your website’s success) and that online video content is 38% more memorable than televised content.

Whether your brand chooses to educate (a la Save the Children) or simply make people laugh (like Irn-Bru) doesn’t matter. If you publish high-quality video content that provides true value in any way, you’ll be on to a winner!

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