How Corporations are Branching Out in the Ways They Use Video
With YouTube growing constantly and video exploding across mobile, tablets, and desktops, corporations are increasingly finding new and creative uses for video. Here are just a few examples of corporations using video in clever ways.
Twitter: Using Video To Recruit
Recruiting videos are nothing new, of course, and there are plenty of superb examples out there, ranging from Starbucks’ straightforward focus on its younger workers to the often satirized “day in the life” video. But nobody does the recruitment video quite like Twitter.
Twitter’s fundamental issue was one of noise. Despite being an enormously popular site, Twitter has to compete with an enormous range of tech companies to so much as get resumes. Their solution? Go retro. Very, very retro. See for yourself here.
What’s most impressive with Twitter’s video is how committed they are to the joke. It’s not just the jokes in the video, although Dick Costolo, Twitter’s CEO at the time, has a history as a comedian. It’s that they both show off their company culture in the video itself and in the willingness to make fun of themselves, and put their employees first. You can see exactly what kind of place Twitter would be to work at, and after racking up a million views, it elevated Twitter’s recruiting efforts … and amused the rest of us.
Cardinal Health: Educating Businesses
Cardinal Health is one of those Fortune 500 companies you don’t often hear about; their entire business is distributing pharmaceuticals and medical products on an industrial scale. As a result, you’d think they wouldn’t have much use for a YouTube channel. They’re just delivering the drugs, right?
Cardinal, it turns out, sees its role much differently. It uses YouTube as a clearinghouse for its customers to explain how to get more out of Cardinal’s services, whether it’s instructions on modernizing a medical supply chain or an analysis of freight shipping to show where the money goes and how to spend less to get life-saving products more quickly. It’s not “sexy” corporate video, perhaps, but it demonstrates how useful video is as a tool when it’s given a narrow audience and the right goals.
Google: Customer Stories
Google doesn’t really need an introduction, and it knows video. As well it should, since it owns YouTube. One aspect of Google that we can take for granted, though, is just how powerful its search is. So to show us just what it’s being used for, Google has been finding stories of its users and how they’ve changed the world with Google.
Zack Matere discovered Google out of desperation; his crops were dying and he needed a solution. Google helped him save his crops, and more importantly, lit a desire in him to build an educational center for his fellow farmers. In an area lacking with The internet, he’s building a computer-powered library to help out his community and allow them to draw knowledge and be more self-sufficient.
Ford: Showing Off Its Playful Side
It’s worth taking a moment to stop and appreciate that some companies simply decide, amid enormous video campaigns aimed at a wide audience, to stop and let their employees have a little fun. Take, for example, this video, showing how Ford engineers celebrate Take Your Child to Work Day: By building the world’s largest Hot Wheels loop.
The video is great not just because of the sheer playfulness of it all, but also by subtly highlighting the engineering prowess at Ford in a more subtle way than talking about features or burying the audience under technical specifications. They simply take something we all understand and have a little fun with it.
Wal-Mart: Educating Consumers
Any company can make an advertisement, but Wal-Mart has learned quickly the problem is less about getting customers in the door and more about showing them the utility of the products they buy. To that end, Wal-Mart has built an entire video empire out, of essentially, how-to videos showing consumers what they get out of their products, ranging from instructions on how to get a good breakfast to decorating tips to even cooking videos from celebrities with products in their stores.
Apple: Celebrating Consumers
Apple, currently the world’s biggest corporation, really could be forgiven for simply uploading its popular ads and calling it a day. And, indeed, Apple does have plenty of marketing presentations and ads out there. But it also has video showing what happens when you give people who know their photography so much as an iPhone.
It’s Apple to its bones: Minimalist, built around pop music, and communicating one simple concept. And, yet, it manages to say quite a bit about its products without having to so much as mention a megapixel count.
BP: Damage Control
The reality of business is that as a company grows, eventually something is going to go wrong. Even a simple honest mistake can have enormous, long-ranging consequences. For BP, that issue was the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, an environmental disaster that the company is still repairing, and a public relations disaster that only recently saw a conclusion in court.
BP, of course, admitted fault and began attempting to fix the damage right away. The problem, it turned out, was that it was more or less impossible to get attention through conventional methods. So it turned to video.
This is one video that’s part of a longer series discussing BP’s efforts to repair the Gulf and other efforts it was making to mitigate the spill. As you’re likely aware, a video series didn’t repair BP’s reputation completely. All it takes is a visit to the comments section to see the issues the company still deals with, and it’s fair to note that any corporate video attempting to discuss scandals will be greeted with considerable skepticism. But it was important to get their efforts out there and allow consumers to inform themselves beyond just the headlines. It can’t fix everything … but at least BP got their say.
As you can see from the above examples, video is so much more than just an advertising medium. It’s a medium capable of doing anything for your business, if you’re willing to use it to its full potential.
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