During the 2012 London Olympics, we saw new stars emerge and a resurgence of old favorites. Gymnastics phenom Gabby Douglas took gold in the team and all-around competitions and Michael Phelps is now the most decorated Olympic athlete of all time. While cheering on team USA, I couldn’t help but watch the Proctor & Gamble (P&G) commercials that aired throughout the broadcast—if you can even call them commercials.
P&G’s Olympic ad campaign shines the spotlight on Olympians’ journeys told through the eyes of their mothers. These videos are inspiring, powerful, and do a great job of creating a “warm fuzzy” about P&G.
It got me thinking – what can we learn from P&G’s campaign that can be easily translated into other video marketing content? Below are some video best practices P&G’s commercials illustrate that you can try adapting to your own online presentations.
1. Mix media – P&G’s Raising an Olympian campaign uses a mix of photos and videos of athletes as children and throughout their career, with voice-over narration from their mothers. Text is left to a minimum with only the tagline at the end, “P&G Proud Sponsors of Moms.” Mixing different types of media in your videos can go a long way toward holding an audience’s interest, and the personalized audio helps draw them in.
2. Connect with your audience – In P&G’s case, its target audience is women who use their product categories, such as laundry detergent or diapers (Tide and Pampers are P&G products). These women are often mothers, so to connect with moms, the company made Olympians’ mothers the subject of their commercials – not the products. The lesson here is when creating content, make sure you are appealing to your target audience.
3. Tell a story – Another great thing about the P&G videos is how the narrator takes you on a journey throughout the life of her child and, consequently, you forget that you are watching a commercial. It’s a great example of how to connect with your audience without making them feel like they are being sold to.
4. Keep it simple – You don’t have to hit your audience over the head with product information. P&G has 34 products but only at the end of the “Kids” commercial do they flash the names of Tide, Pampers, Gillette, Duracell, and Crest. By keeping it simple yet interesting, viewers can do their own research to learn more. Trends show that many buyers these days make first contact with an organization further along in the sales funnel, having done a lot of the preliminary research themselves online. In these cases, a simpler message that sparks their interest can work much better than an overly-detailed sales pitch.
5. Utilize YouTube and other channels – P&G posted their ads on their own YouTube channel, which extended their messaging to an incredibly large audience (YouTube gets over 4 billion hits each day, after all). With YouTube alone, P&G can track how many people are watching their videos (the “Best Job” video has close to 6 million views), and their content can be shared easily via social media sites for maximum impact. Viewers can also give feedback and interact with the brand, and companies can then use that relationship to point viewers in the direction of other products.
As you can see, you don’t have to be a Fortune 100 company to create compelling videos that resonate with your audience. By keeping these video marketing tips in mind, any company can create content that, at the very least, keeps their audience reaching for a tissue and thinking about their moms.