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Telling brand stories through video

Published on Wednesday, 20th March 2019, contributed by Remco Merbis

When I was updating my showreel, I thought back on the past year and how I’ve found that more and more brands are no longer going for the hard sell and instead opt for telling authentic brand stories that aim to connect on an emotional level. I don’t think that’s why brands have just come to me. You can see it everywhere. 

It makes so much sense. We are storytelling animals. From cave drawings to folk tales, to ghost stories around campfires. Stories are - and always have been - how we communicate. We connect through stories. They are how we make sense of the world. Stories shape us. They change us. They tell us who we were, who we are, and who we want to become.

Stories are powerful because they access the emotional part of your brain. You stop rationalising, let down your defences and allow yourself to be swept up. That’s why a good story, told right, is the most powerful tool in the world. Successful brands know this. They use stories to make customers fall in love with their brand.

You can tell your story through words, images, video. In a lot of channels though, video has become the norm for communicating brand messages. The most important thing is to make sure whatever form you use is one your target audience will engage with and enjoy. Videos can help a brand break through the noise and connect with audiences to build relationships like no other medium.

For a creative, branded content has to be a favourite. No hard sell, but storytelling focused on the values of a brand, with the aim of making it a conversation piece. Content that audiences really want to consume and something that adds value to them and creates trust.

Once you’ve decided on your story, establish the facts, bring out the emotion and, always remember: show don’t tell. Use a form your customers will engage with and put your story somewhere they will see it. Earn attention by demonstrating your passion, dedication and vision. Make your story one your customers want to share. The rewards will be beyond compare.

My personal favourites take the form of short films or beautifully shot documentaries. I love watching these and, although I shoot many different types of content, as a filmmaker I’ve also been involved in creating them - the past twelve months have been particularly rich in projects that were aimed at creating and deepening emotional connections between brands and audiences. I’ve updated my showreel to reflect this.