It’s hard to imagine, but there was a time when marketing videos weren’t ubiquitous. Facebook didn’t introduce in-line video until 2007, and it would be another six years for videos to auto-play in user feeds.
Traditional commercials had long been on the web, but were typically the same spots agencies aired on TV. The viability of "story" videos was yet unproven, but we sensed its potential and found an ally in one of Procter & Gamble’s PR agencies. DeVries ultimately hired us to make a short documentary about Downy’s Touch of Comfort program. With a now-unthinkable run time of seven minutes, the video was a runaway hit, and Downy’s brand manager quickly commissioned a thirty-second TV edit. Delivering a broadcast spot was a big win for our PR client, but Downy’s ad agency was aghast: a simple, inexpensive repurposing of the documentary’s footage - made by a start-up working out of a garage - supplanted their scripted, actor-based commercial.
P&G's Chief Marketing Officer, Mark Pritchard, presented the case study at the 2010 Cannes Lions, affirming our fundamental value proposition: authentic, believable storytelling is the most powerful way to move audiences to action.
Best practices have evolved as platforms come and go, but as the very existence of the buzzword suggests, brand storytelling is here to stay.