3 Brands in Boring Industries That Tell Amazing StoriesBy Julia Lynn Rubin September 4th, 2014
But what am I supposed to make content about?
This is a refrain you hear often from brands in “boring” industries. After all, if you’re Nike, the world of sports is your oyster; if you’re GoPro, your fans make amazing content for you (sometimes with the help of a grizzly bear). But what if your business is selling batteries?
You have to be creative.
While it’s hard to pinpoint an exact formula for creating cool content, we can look at a few brands who managed to find that sweet spot of fun and engaging storytelling, even when they’re selling something as mundane as a blender or checking account.
In advance of last January’s much-hyped NFC Championship game between the Seattle Seahawks and the San Francisco 49ers, Duracell got in on the action with an inspiring video about the Seahawks’ Derrick Coleman, the first legally deaf player in the NFL.
The 60-second video, part of Duracell’s “Trust Your Power” campaign, was a hit. It garnered more than 7.3 million views on YouTube through its use of emotionally resonant storytelling that appealed not only to sports fans but also to anyone who’s ever faced a major life obstacle. Who knew that a brand selling batteries could create something so powerful and so popular?
Selling a blender may not sound like the most exciting task in the world, but by genuinely freaking out their audience, Blendtec harnessed the old adage of “show, don’t tell”—and caused us to cringe in the process. Instead of being corny or stereotypically “infomercial” by listing the many ways their blender is top shelf compared to competitors, they fed three popular and beloved tablets into one of their blenders with all the nonchalance of making a smoothie.
So what exactly did they “show” us? Not only did Blendtec grab our attention right away with a tech gadget competition, but they also demonstrated the crazy power of their machinery while making us eager to watch more of their “Will it Blend?” videos (including one in which they blend Justin Bieber’s products).
It also doesn’t hurt if you can extract a tear or two from your audience while making your brand look insanely awesome in the process. TD Bank recently did just that with their feel-good “Automated Thanking Machines” trick that gave back to their customers and caught the attention of new ones.
Because what’s better than going to an ATM and getting cash? Getting money and a surprise—a personalized gift from your bank. By redefining the ATM, TD Bank created a public stunt and viral video in one campaign. Plus, it paid off in spades, garnering over 11 million YouTube views and a prominent hashtag: #TDThanksYou. No, thank you.Image by Blendtec