2 min read

5 Branded Videos That Put Storytelling First

With the number of people watching video online constantly increasing, brands have had to find new and inventive ways to keep their…
5 Branded Videos That Put Storytelling First
Still from “The Shark Dancer”

With the number of people watching video online constantly increasing, brands have had to find new and inventive ways to keep their viewers’ attention. And branded content is the result. We’ve all seen these videos and while there are thousands out there, most of them still feel like commercials. However, some brands are pulling it off and creating videos that have the production quality and storytelling of a Netflix documentary:

1. Huawei: The Shark Dancer

Huawei’s video tells the story of a woman who has dedicated her life to understanding sharks. Within a span of only three minutes, we get multiple set changes, a variety of different shots, and several scenes of incredible underwater cinematography. By the end of the video you feel as if you truly understand the character and her journey. It isn’t until the last moment that you realize this is a branded video for Huawei, promoting the power of touch. This branded short doc went on to win a Bronze Award at Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity in Film Craft for Best Cinematography in 2016.

“The Shark Dancer” was filmed by Storyhunter filmmaker Eddy Raphael (Storyhunter login required to view).

2. Coors Light: My Climb. My Story. — Josue “JD” Rivera, Professional Boxer

Coors Light launched the ad campaign My Climb. My Story to tell stories of various people overcoming difficult obstacles. This video tells the story of a man who overcomes his tumultuous background to become a professional boxer. Within the span of just a few minutes, we’re able to get to know the character and his motivations. Coors seamlessly integrates their product into the video without it taking away from the story.

“My Climb. My Story. — Josue “JD” Rivera, Professional Boxer” by Coors Light

3. British Airways India: A Ticket to Visit Mum

This video by British Airways works well because of its simplicity. The story takes us into the life of an Indian mother and son who are separated when the son goes to New York for work. We get beautiful shots of everyday life in India as well as family photos that help you relate to the characters. Surprisingly emotional, the five minute video does not have an intricate plot, but leaves you feeling like you understand the life of this family.

“A Ticket to Visit Mum” by British Airways India

4. Stella Artois: Up There

The branded video “Up There” tells the story of the dying art of hand-painted advertisements. Throughout the twelve minute video, we follow painters who discuss how their art form has begun to vanish. The video, which was commissioned by Stella Artois, follows the craftsmen as they work on creating a hand-painted advertisement on the side of a large building in Soho. Although the Stella brand is shown consistently throughout the video, you never feel as though it is the main focus. Your attention is directed towards the painters who effortlessly showcase their passion and commitment to the art.

“Up There” by Stella Artois

5. Patagonia: The Refuge

This branded video, sponsored by patagonia, tells the story of the Gwich’in people of Alaska and Northern Canada as they battle to save the Caribou population threatened by oil extraction. The fifteen minute short documentary encompasses multiple locations and interviews, is full of beautiful shots,and has a score that emphasizes the emotions of the characters. The sportswear brand is able to show their commitment to conservation without making the viewer feel as if they are watching an advertisement.

“The Refuge” by Patagonia

Is there a video we missed? Comment with your favorite branded docs!

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By Josh Futtersak, Storyhunter Writer