Book Masterclass

Mistakes you don't want to make when you create Branded Videos

Jun 5, 2017

By Tod Plotkin

Executive Producer, Green Buzz Agency

Branded videos are a useful tool when you want to connect to your users. They give you the opportunity to build your brand personality. But, branded videos are a delicate art. There are several ways in which your branded video could flop with your audience.

Here are three mistakes you don’t want to make when you create branded videos.

1. Focusing On Your Products, Not Your Personality

If you want your brand to access your consumers at every point in their buying and consideration process, you have to do more than just push your product. Instead, hone your brand experience by building a strong personality that reflects your consumer’s ideal lifestyle.

Here’s where branded video comes in- a branded documentary or other native ad is a perfect opportunity to craft your brand experience.

For example, if you sell outdoor-oriented products, you may want to reflect an adventurous consumer lifestyle. You could very simply create videos featuring current consumers engaging in outdoor activities, like camping. Or, you can get a little more creative. What else does your target customer care about? Maybe the environment, or craft beer? Find the intersection of your brand and theirs.

Patagonia does great work in creating branded video content. This is due to how clearly its brand is defined. The Patagonia brand stands for environmentalism and sustainability. Patagonia has run video campaigns, such as Worn Wear and Vote Our Planet, that highlight its stance on environmental issues. 

Since its beginnings, Patagonia has branded itself as a philanthropic company. It sells an experience, a lifestyle through its branded video content. While the Patagonia product is activewear, the Patagonia brand is activism. And, this is made clear through its videos.

The Patagonia brand is successful in creating a brand personality for a very specific reason. It doesn’t integrate these beliefs because it’s what the consumers are looking for. No, it integrates these beliefs because that’s what Patagonia is. That’s what consumers relate to, a brand with a defined personality.

2. Ignoring the Voice of your Distributor

There is a stark difference between commercials and native advertisements. Commercials focus more on selling a product. Native advertisements need to fit a content style — the style of your video distributor.

One of the biggest mistakes you can make when creating branded videos is not matching your distributor’s style. Distributors have their own brand, just like you. And, they like to stick to their own brand experience. The reason their followers follow that distributor on Social media is for that voice. You don’t want to strong-arm your distributor to fit you — you need to pick the right distributor that matches your content.

If you create a serious, fact-heavy video for a video distributor known for its easy-to-watch, lighthearted content, your video will not be successful. Video distributors have very specific audiences. Viewers know what content they’re looking for, and what content their distributor is going to provide. It’s not just about understanding the distributor followers, though.

For instance, Cricket Wireless worked with Upworthy to create a video about kindness. Kindness is one of Cricket’s brand values, and this fits in perfectly with Upworthy’s mission to spread uplifting and motivating video content to their Facebook audience. Spotlighting the Fill My Basket nonprofit in a documentary style as they surprised people with random acts of kindness in a grocery store elicited an emotional response from the audience. 

This video would not have succeeded if it had used a different tone. The heartwarming style and message matched the Upworthy brand perfectly. The results were that this video got over 17 million organic views and had over 287,000 shares. This made it the most viewed video on Facebook for November 2016, according to Brandtale, beating out industry favorites such as Buzzfeed Tasty.

3. Not Communicating With Your Community

Another mistake you can make is not connecting with your brand community. If you’re branding your company right, you have consumers who care about you. Brand communities can be strong and fierce if they truly care about your company. Creating, fostering, or maintaining a brand community can make your users more passionate about your company, and not just your product.

If consumers care deeply about your brand, they may take it on as a part of their own identity. Brands have a power over audiences and consumers. How many people do you know that define their personalities by where they shop or the technology they use? Walmart versus Target, Mac versus PC, iPhone versus Android, and countless others.

A brand represents a piece of your consumers. This strong connection brings with it a power that you can capitalize on. Audiences crave that personal connection, and they want to know that their being heard. Fostering a two-way communication allows you to strengthen the intimate bond between brand and consumer. Video is an excellent two-way communication tool.

You need to capitalize on your brand community.

In 2015, before the release of Star Wars: Episode VII: The Force Awakens, Target launched a campaign called Share The Force. All over the world, Star Wars fans sent in home videos and posted online, celebrating their favorite memories of the Star Wars franchise. 

This campaign was so successful because it started a conversation with Target consumers that feel passionately about Star Wars. Audience members were actively engaged in the conversation with the Target brand, and felt personally connected to the brand because of this.

Including hashtags in your video can be incredibly beneficial as well. This year, 74 percent of all online usage will be video. Additionally, 75 percent of viewers interact with an online video each month. Videos are also inherently shareable. In fact, 92 percent of mobile video watchers share videos online.

Hashtags will help your audience further interact with your brand online and helps form your brand community. Connecting audience members through a common hashtag they can share and track strengthens the bond between consumers and brand.


Your audience is part of the foundation of your brand’s success. Branded videos can be a fantastic way to reach them, but only if the video is done correctly. In summation: Focus on your brand personality and brand experience, match your video distributor’s style, and stay in communication with your brand community.

Remember, your community is as much a part of your brand personality, experience, and success as you are. Remind them of that with quality branded video content that they can connect with. Follow all of these rules, and you’re well on your way to creating a successful and shareable branded video.

Get updated by the experts -- download: ’23 Predictions for Native Advertising in 2017′


Story by Tod Plotkin

Executive Producer, Green Buzz Agency Washington D.C., USA

New call-to-action

Be a Native Advertising Hero - Sign Up for Our Newsletter

Join +10,000 peers and become part of the growing native advertising community.

No Comments Yet

Let us know what you think