If you’re lucky, the new year can bring with it new resolutions, a new slate, and new creative ideas. For the rest of us unlucky chumps, the vast opportunity of a new year can bring with it a crippling creative dry spell. A blank page is intimidating, especially when you’re coming up with ideas to promote your brand through video. Your company is relying on you, your customers are waiting on you, and your production choices depend on your idea. No pressure, right?
Well luckily we’ve got a stash of new year video ideas for your brand right here, waiting to be poached, appropriated, and otherwise taken advantage of. Have fun!
1) Make a video showing how your brand/product can help your followers achieve their new year resolutions. Whether it’s an inspiring ideal associated with your brand (ala “Just Do It”) or step-by-step instructions on a physical product, visually planting the idea of how, where, and why your product will positively affect the viewer’s life has a strong impact on their future brand recall.
2) Be vulnerable. Share your brand’s own goals and resolutions. What’s your main ideal for the coming year? Are there any planned changes to the user experience coming up? How will these exciting changes affect the viewer?
3) The turn of the new year is the time people get crazy about cleaning and organisation. Make a video providing your own tips on how to stay organised, clean up, and keep on top of the clutter throughout the year. Can’t think of a way to link your brand to the joys of cleaning? A funny tongue-in-cheek video about how your brand ‘helps’ the organisation process can go over just as well, reminding the viewer that a little mess can be a small price to pay in exchange for enjoying life.
4) Help your followers find their new year zen by offering mindfulness guides, meditation tips, and guided videos sponsored by your brand. Relaxation not your style? Try a different tack: ‘metal’ style mindfulness for the hardcore viewers, anti-meditation videos for the sceptics, and ‘What’s so great about being relaxed?’ videos for the I’m-way-too-busy-not-to-be-stressed crowd.
5) Nobody likes the phrase ‘Back to work’, but weirdly many of us love the idea of productivity. Make a video about how your product frees up time, allowing people to get on top on their workload for the new year.
6) Is your brand related to a specific hobby? Show us what you’ve got: make a video for all the people who’ve resolved to take up that hobby this year. Use an explainer video to show us the ropes, describe the basic workings of the hobby, demonstrate the end result, or show different ways of approaching the hobby.
7) Put together a behind-the-scenes video showing your company’s progress last year. This one requires some preparation throughout the year, but unsurprisingly enough in today’s age, there’s an app for that. ‘1 Second Everyday’ is one of a number of easy-to-use mobile apps that prompt you to shoot 1 second of video every day for a year (or any chosen length of time), then compile those seconds into a non-stop video when you’re done. It’s a surprisingly entertaining concept, especially if you can come up with a unique theme for the year. A montage of a large project being completed in all its different steps? Great behind-the-scenes material. A montage of pets brought into the office? Cute YouTube gold. A clip show of all the times Carol from HR brought homemade cake to share? A great way to humanise your company for recruiting purposes. Real people work for your brand and real time is spent making ideas become a reality, so don’t be afraid to show it off.
8) Make an explainer about the future of your industry. Detail your predictions for the upcoming year, or explain why current trends show where your industry is headed in 2, 5, or 10 years time.
9) Plan ahead for upcoming holidays. The start of the year can seem like a bit of a dead zone for marketable holidays, but there’s still plenty of fun to be had. Can you make a branded video themed around Valentine’s Day? Chinese New Year? National Rubber Duckie Day? (It’s January 13, by the way. Jot it in your diary for next year. You’re welcome.)
10) Create a ‘best of’ countdown video of your brand’s achievements in the last year. Think outside the box. Don’t just include sales targets that are meaningless to the consumer – include anything that’s had a positive impact on greater society, or even one person. Donations and humanitarian work are great, but think too about the small scale impact: did your product help someone get a job? Improve their health? Increase their quality of life? The most affecting stories are often personal case studies, so don’t be afraid to ask your client base for their experiences.
11) Make an explainer suggesting unique ideas for new year resolutions. It could be sincere or humorous, or a mix of both. If some of those resolutions happen to involve your industry, all the better.
12) Start your new year high on karma and create a thank you video. Thank your followers, thank your customers, thank your employees, thank your investors, thank your mailman for delivering your work documents, thank your IT department for knowing when to tell you to turn it off and on again, thank your dog for being there when you get home each day. Whoever you decide to thank, make sure it’s from the heart as most people can smell insincerity from a mile away.
13) Be a cynic. If it fits your brand image, make a cheeky scientific explainer video uncovering the importance (or lack of) of new year resolutions, the new year itself, and the human concept of what a ‘year’ is in time and why we make such a big deal out of it.
14) Think outside the box of what a branded video can be. Beyond simple ads, explainers, and tutorials, branded web series are gaining popularity as a way of providing legitimate creative entertainment to your followers. No tricks, no infomercials – light product placement and sponsor cards are the most you’ll be spruiking the brand. The name of the game is creating a community that trusts you to provide real entertainment, and therefore, a community that trusts you.
Written by Maree Railton