As the web morphs to a more visual medium creative storytelling is moving front and center as way for brands to build engagement and virality. GoPro is leading the way, which you would expect with a lifestyle product that records every conceivable type of physical activity anywhere and anytime.
GoPro has done a wonderful job with their “GoPro: Lions The New Endangered Species” featuring Kevin Richardson a South African Zookeeper and naturalist along the lines of Jane Goodal. Think: not just recording the story but jumping in and helping to make the story come to life!
Their cameras are the di rigeur equipment, from aging week-end warriors to awe-inspiring young athletes who are not only redefining the boundaries for athletic activities, but how they are recorded and shared! “User generated content” sounds staid in out of synch with today’s on the go, live it share it anytime/anywhere generations - content is everywhere and anything and its being blasted so fast across the social web it’s mind boggling!
This sheer volume of web content is making curation an essential skill for any brand that wants to ride this new wave of endless lifestyle loops.
GoPro Defining Modern Immersive Content Storytelling
All great content is curated for impact, brand resonance and piquing the interest of the viewer. This just under fifteen minute all GoPro filmed vignette does that: it grabs and keeps your attention not in a cheap “twerking selfie” image but showing how a human and animals have bonded in a shape-shifting way that redefines your expectations.
But, it’s not cheap theatrics, there’s an embedded story here that informs and engages the viewer in a meaningful way.
Something has resonated with the broad web community. This YouTube video has been viewed 5.7 million times, has 50K likes, generating a Huff Po article and USA Today and countless blog posts, Tweets, shares across the broad social web. It’s a meaningful story with just a touch of commercial “interruption” at the start (just a second or two) and at the end. GoPro wisely opted to minimize their brand’s embedded commercial - it’s tasteful and well done.
Not in your face, as some would expect for this younger skewing demographic brand.
Did GoPro consciously choose a video with an environmental theme to broaden their reach with a demographic that is environmentally aware? It’s difficult to know; but, if they did, it’s a masterful way to get their cameras and brand in front of an audience that up till now may only have minimal awareness of their brand.
Why this Long Form Content Rocks & What it Teaches us About Content Marketing
High quality story is the foundation of any long form content. This video grabs you within thirty seconds (“lions hugging a human”) and then keeps your attention blending jaw dropping shots of Kevin Richardson with lions and hyenas, with am embedded message about the environment.
There is minimal video production and authoring - part of the visual appeal is the natural look and feel of the video - it’s not slickly produced, with 20-something models lounging around and posing for the camera.
GoPro stayed out of the way of the content story. The “commercial” components are again subtle and minimal. No cheesy voice-over: “shot with a GoPro………”
The product (Go Pro’s Heroe2+) is part of the story. It’s used and embedded in the filming and takes product placement to a new level, while demonstrating (subtly) how sturdy the cameras are. Can your camera stand up to a lion chewing on it? Or, strapping the camera on to the back of a lion as GoPro did?
As a viewer, there’s an immediate connection with this story that draws you into the video - who doesn’t like animals, especially top of the food chain lions hugging a human and hyenas making Kevin Richardson part of the pack hierarchy.
It connects GoPro’s brand with legacy content arching back to Jacque Costeau - helping GoPro reach a demographic that doesn’t necessarily skew towards millennials, helping GoPro broaden their brand with boomers and environmentalists.
It’s curated content - the story, subject matter and filming process done via human or animal mounted cameras and one crew safe & sound in an enclosure all reflect an awareness of good content marketing precepts.
What Makes a Brand Stand Out Using the Power of Visual Storytelling
- Your building authenticity with your community: visual’s impact drives relevance.
- As technology “takes over our lives” visual strikes a chord within others. Sensory currency is “real” to the visitor.
- Visuals drive cultural relevancy that engages the visitor in ways that text cannot equate with.
- “Archetypes” have been around since the days of ancient cave man paintings and visuals are a powerful storytelling tools that feature “heroines” and “heroes” embedded in brand storytelling.
- Visuals cut through the clutter and chatter that’s “smartphone” driven for many consumers and professionals.
Takeaways for business brands. You may not have the content marketing resources of a GoPro. Regardless, tell a story with your content (text or video), be creative and takes risks and inform and engage when/where you can. Rinse and repeat: our agency mantra for content success reaching today’s always on distracted consumer.