Video marketing campaigns are most successful when they don’t feel like marketing campaigns.

That means, people are most likely to remember them and more inclined to support what the ad is selling (i.e. spend their money and tell all their friends) when it feels like humans are at the heart of the message, not a dollar sign.

Remember Apple’s 2016 “Frankenstein: Home for the Holidays” campaign? Apple may have been selling a phone, but viewers bought hope, belonging. We were pulled in by the shared feeling of nostalgia and loneliness, shame and ridicule, and moved toward feelings of belonging and acceptance in the end. The pendulum in that video campaign swung from one emotion to another until finally, it landed us all on hope.


Brand awareness comes more quickly when your video marketing campaigns showcase human awareness. That does not mean every video needs to make people cry.

But it does need to dig into the everyday experiences, wishes, or struggles of your audience. Make them laugh, make them cry, make them wonder, make them scream— whatever it is— just make them feel like they belong with you, that you get them. Video is made for that.

Where should you start? Great question.

Our human-centered answer: Know what the audience needs, what they struggle with, what they daydream about. The first thing we do at Hackstone after we get to know our client, is get to know their customer—current, and potential.

For example, we ask questions through surveys and focus groups, and conduct a lot of research. We understand their challenges, their aspirations, what makes them scream, or laugh, and yes, even cry.

We learn what feels impossible to them, what would feel like a miracle to them.

Our marketing-centered answer: We apply our tried, tested, and retested framework to consistently produce high-performing, high return-on-investment (ROI) video marketing campaigns by creating ideal customer profiles (ICP) for people who are most likely to want what you offer.

What comes next?

We wow them. Armed with our research, our bold and incredibly talented Creative Team gets to work building a “you-get-me” video campaign that your audience won’t just remember, but will feel part of— like it was custom made for them. They’ll want to spend their money on what you’re selling. Because that’s what friends do, they support each other.

But how do you know it will work?

We test, and we test, and we test. Beginning at the concept phase and continuing through campaign release, we test ideas, we test nuances, we test memorability, we test emotion, we test logic, we test placement, we test impact. We test it all.

What’s the purpose of testing, exactly?

We test to make sure we’re hitting all the right notes with your audience, with the metrics to back it. By continually looking at the data as it comes in, we identify potential weaknesses early on and fix them right away.

For example, in one recent national campaign, we discovered that while customers were gripped emotionally, there was a small segment that wanted to see how the product worked earlier in the video campaign. So, we spent time in the studio with our editors to do just that. This campaign was already performing really well, but this adjustment resulted in a greater decrease in customer acquisition costs (CAC) and a greater increase in return on advertising spend (ROAS).

Next time you need a video production team to create a marketing campaign that grows your bottom line, make sure human connection is at the heart of their approach. Ask them:

  • How will you figure out who my audience is and what they want?

  • How will you make that central to this campaign?

  • What will you do behind the scenes to make sure this campaign is as successful as possible, meaning: ensure our audience is engaged, remembers us, and supports us?

If your video campaign doesn’t lead with heart, your customers will keep looking until they find one that does. Be easy to find—and prove you’ve been looking for them, too.

Photo by Tengyart on Unsplash