We’ve all seen CSR videos from corporations that talk about how amazing their brand is because it sent 0.001% of its daily turnover to an orphanage in Guatemala (often whilst buying unsustainable palm oil by the tanker load, and crushing its supply chain into near bankruptcy).
But what do you do if you are a purpose driven business (or a fellow B-Corp) whose whole ethos is based on business for good, and you want to talk about what you do in video?
This quandary is what has lead us to believe passionately in the need for “good business” and entertaining and playful filmmaking to become much better buddies (and possibly even settle down and have kids).
Our experience over many years has been that messages that are fun travel further and for less money than those that are….er….less fun.
Making your message fun (or entertaining and playful may be better words) takes work and thought, and can prove scary. But once you’ve done it appropriately once, we often find a confident and characterful voice emerges which can be repeated – and it pays dividends with how people engage with you.
We also know from speaking to many purpose driven brands that it can be a struggle to work out how to talk about the good you’re doing. There’s a danger of sounding sanctimonious and preachy. We call this the “Danger of Wankiness”, or DOW. I like to think this is what they’re talking about at the end of the news, as it rises or falls for big companies. You don’t want your DOW index to get too high!
We often find a playful way to express your brand message comes from a really confident understanding of your value. No-one wants to be lectured, but good things are often self evident so need less explanation than you might immediately expect. So here are our 4 steps to fun:
…honing in on what makes your offering different to other brands (even those close to you). Be brutal but honest, and don’t shy away from the things you believe in (just express them as simply as possible). eg: We make organic herbal teas to help people’s minds without screwing up the planet.
Define why people care, and who they are (and aren’t). eg: People buy our teas to help them be healthy, feel healthy, or avoid drinking caffeine, without feeling guilty they’re screwing up the planet. They therefore care that we’re tasty, healthy and not nasty buggers.
… and keep trying to explain it to people in different ways, until you find a snappy, punchy or funny way. This is normally best done to friends (or role play how you’d do it to mates in your head if you don’t want to look too narcissistic in the pub)
… as the basis for some playful ideas. Often it’s useful to think; if that’s what you want to say, how would you SHOW that, either in a big brand way, or a small one off execution way? What would make you proud to tell your mate you were doing whilst chatting at a party? Don’t try and say everything in one video. And not everything you do needs some overarching campaign or all need to match perfectly as long as it comes from the same core thought – it will feel right.
Here are some examples, some ours and some other people’s, of brands doing good who’re making fun films to get great results. We don’t draw a distinction between films that talk about doing good, or just promote good businesses in a playful way (as if the business is improving the world in some way, both routes have the same outcome).
We created this launch video for Taylors Fruit and Herbal tea, an ethically sourced herbal tea aimed at people who care about flavour and provenance (2.2 million views, 23,000 shares. More here)
Humanauts in the US created this great film for Organic Valley which cuts through the normal organic conversation with ease (Over 1 million views. More here)
Playing on the fact the office tea round is a source of both pride and fear for thousands across the UK, we created this rap about workplace tea etiquette for Yorkshire Tea (4.9 million views. 17,000 shares. More here)
If you want to explore this too, to engage large audiences through using playfulness or a willingness to be entertaining, get in touch. We’ll bring the cake. And who doesn’t like cake? *
* Team members at Rubber are well versed on all food allergies. Cake can meet whatever dietary requirements you may have 😉