Finance is only sexy when you’re counting your millions, amirite?
But even the most hard-going, intricate and – dare we say it – dull subjects have the potential to be jazzed up using marketing videos. The key is in the “how?”. And the “how?” can often be answered with a big injection of drama.
Failing to see how you can turn your finance product or service into a dramatic cliff-hanger? Allow us to guide you…
Create and film a worst case scenario
When you think gripping, sexy drama, you don’t tend to think ‘business insurance’. Not as a face value product anyway. But what about the truly horrific consequences of needing business insurance? Now THAT is something that grabs attention.
Hiscox have done a truly incredible job of creating and filming something that their ideal customer never wants to have happen to them. Bringing that disaster to life before the customer’s very eyes is a surefire way to get their attention, allowing them to feel the full gravitas of a cyber attack without it having happen to them.
A few things we love about this video that makes it so very impactful include:
- The levelled-up messaging. It’s not about “buy our insurance because something bad could happen”. It’s about “this is what can happen when you don’t buy insurance, and this is how it feels”. They’ve turned their sales pitch into a no-brainer ultimatum by bringing a cyber attack to life.
- Letting the viewer connect with the video characters. Of course, there’s no time for a full background story and inner monologue cut to a montage. But we get little glimpses of the Brompton employees personalities that makes us like them – including being very caring and passionate about their job – and panic all the more when the hack begins.
- They used a British business we all know and love, rather than making up a brand. Quite the shortcut to our emotions.
- That MUSIC!
When you think of the flash mob videos you’ve watched online, they tend to have two key ingredients that make them work:
- The spectacle – great dancing, exciting costumes, etc.
- The reactions of the unsuspecting bystanders.
Belgian TV channel TNT have taken the flash mob mentality and combined it with the Hiscox approach above, allowing the viewer to witness both the action and other people’s reaction to the action.
Whilst TNT might be playing in the fields of the entertainment industry, financial service businesses can take many tips from their approach:
- The joy of surprise – no one in that quiet, quaint little square was ready for what was about to happen.
- Immaculate execution – the actors and stunts involved were unbelievable, and keep the viewer (and indeed the real life audience) gripped for the whole length of the video.
- Humour – the stunts are awesome, but they’ve ticked the comedy checkbox by letting us laugh at the stunned crowd at frequent intervals.
- Timing – Hiscox had done very well by keeping their real world hack video to under three minutes. But this one delivers in 1 minute 46 seconds. Their video editor is worth their weight in gold…
We worked with DS Virgin Racing a while back on a dramatic marketing video for the FIA Formula E London Races with two key objectives:
- Boost the #FanBoost potential of racing driver Sam Bird. If enough fans voted for Sam, he’d earn an extra speed boost on his car that he could use at any point in an upcoming race.
- Showcase the new UK themed bodywork on his Virgin car.
Because timeframe and turnaround was very short on this project, a large amount of the magic had to happen in post-production. Here, we not only took Sam’s car to electrifying new levels (literally) by “building” the car out of lightning bolts.
But the real trick we had up our sleeve was in the suspense of the video.
You can hear radio broadcasts throughout the video (a trick used by many action and horror films to set a scene without filming a significant part of the story) depicting, in worrying tones, a world population fit to bust, serious effects of global warming and strains on the environment. As the magical electric volts start to build, the broadcasts give way to news on electric cars… the saviour of the world.
At the height of the video, these give way again to news of Sam’s race victory, associating his electric car not just with winning the race and the positive feelings that provokes in his fans, but with a positive effect on a world we all worry about.
It’s triumphant. It’s emotive. It creates topical, positive associations with real-world news. And it was all done entirely in post-production.
Can this method be applied to a financial services video? You bet it can.
If your little black book is more prevalent than your creative prowess, this can absolutely work in your favour.
Celebrities and influencers can bring a super simple format to life in a marketing video, and there are few simpler or more popular formats than the “XYZ reads tweets” or “XYZ answers…”.
Wired, for example, had Jude Law and Natalie Portman answering the internet’s most commonly searched questions.
I mean, that’s practically an advert for SEO search, right? Dull. Except not, because of the personalities behind the answers and the comedy setup.
Aside from knowing that the searches are particularly interesting/bizarre, what truly makes this simple video work is the personality or personalities presenting it, which you have to select carefully. Establishing that chemistry is where the work really is on this one, but if you can make it work the results can be sensational.
Set a challenge
We’re back to hackers again!
A simple but very nice format for the less sexy subjects is to challenge someone to do what your service tries to prevent.
The video above is actually more of a documentary than a marketing video, but the concept is still great, and comes back to re-focusing on the worst-case scenario if your potential customers don’t purchase your product. The added layer to this particular format, of course, is highlighting exactly how easily a hack can take place. It’s truly fascinating and really puts the fear of God into a person who’s already worried about this kind of thing taking place.
Love one of these formats, but need some help bringing them to life for your own business? You know where to find us.