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Connecting With Audiences Through Personalized Videos

Matt Peters
October 30, 2018

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When an ad and a logo is done well, it speaks to the audience in a personal and captivating way. This is a hard balance to strike, and in recent years, it seems like brands today are struggling to create something that bonds with audiences on a more personal level.

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Invasive ads poorly convince people how "great" their product is because they are so aggressive. With developments in storytelling techniques, there is a shift of focus from representing the product/service to representing the audience. Companies that are consistently trying to find new ways to connect with their audiences develop loyal fans and see their image become more positive over time. If marketers wish to build a stronger relationship with their customers, it is important that they begin developing content that makes audiences feel special and cared for.

Nike and Adidas are brands that are currently at the forefront of ad development because they are actively striving to connect with their audiences through unique video content. Their focus is on keeping fans happy by launching campaigns that promote their audiences’ achievements and encourages them to go beyond with their accomplishments.

Back in 2014, Nike created personalized videos based on data from their Nike+ app which the company made to track and log your workouts in real time. After gathering huge amounts of user data over the course of a year, Nike decided to make use of it all and created something special for their members in celebration of the new year.

Partnering up with digital agency AKQA and French artist McBess, Nike created over 100,000 unique personalized ads for each of their users centered around data from their workouts. The one-minute video showcased each member’s total distance ran, minutes trained, Nike fuel points earned, best race time, and even their least active day of the week. Nike even used the user’s location as the background of the video, including the harsh weathers a member had to power through to keep on exercising.

All this information is presented through the art of McBess in a cartoonish art style that is unique and fun to watch. At the very end, Nike encourages members to outdo themselves by giving them a workout plan focused on increasing their scores for the next year.

Seeing how much work Nike has put to create something meaningful for their members shows that the brand genuinely cares about them. By actively encouraging customers to think about how the brand will help them achieve their goals, a stronger bond is forged in the long run.

In the end, the efforts of the campaign were a success as it made members feel valued while at the same time attracted customers who weren’t aware of Nike+ and felt the need to sign up.

Adidas, Nikes rival, runs a similar campaign focused on creating personalized videos. Adidas has decided to place attention on a more niche group of customers by putting their focus on this year’s Boston Marathon runners. Working alongside the digital agency Grow, Adidas did the impossible by rewarding each 30,000 marathon runners with customized videos.

Grow set up eight cameras along the 26.2-mile track to capture personalized footage and b-roll to use in the video, which by the end left the agency with over 27 hours of footage to work within just 24 hours. The final video consisted of the runner’s name, their times at each checkpoint, and a personal clip of the runner taken during their run. These personal videos were sent just in time for the runners to watch and reflect on the memories they've had during the marathon.

The amount of work it must have taken to get all of this content together in such a short amount of time shows the effort Adidas is taking to give audiences something special that is personal but when they look back on it, they will always associate their memory with Adidas.

If popular companies like Nike and Adidas are making personalized content that successfully bonds with audiences, there is no reason your brand shouldn’t try doing the same. And don’t think that you can’t do one because your company isn’t as big as these brands, because not every video needs to be done with an expensive budget and filled with artistic designs.

Your brand can take the simple route and do what the bank Barclays did to build a connection with their customers while encouraging them to get a loan. They didn’t try to do anything overly complicated because they know that to make an effective personalized video, the best thing to do is speak directly to the viewers as if they were right there with them.

Right at the start, the ad addresses the viewers directly as the narrator greets the specific customer with their own name, already establishing that Barclays cares so much about you that they would remember your name even during an ad. Customers are then guided by a narrator who throughout the video acts as your personal banking advisor.

Using personalization technology, the advisor first shows them how much money they can afford to borrow and for how long based on data from the customers banking account.

Throughout the video, they go through a list of things customers can buy after taking out that loan. Whether it’s a house or a car, the ad finds a creative way to have the customer’s name placed on it through personalization technology. This helps convince customers that taking out a loan is the fastest way to get the things they want, and that Barclays is the best bank to do it for them.

The video was sent to 180,000 of their customers through email, helping the company achieve a 1,100% uplift in click-through rates as well as a 106% increase in email open rates. I can't say for sure how many decided to go through with the loan, but it is evident that the campaign captivated their audience and made them pay more attention to the ad then if it were just another throwing information around in hopes of not getting skipped.

What better way of getting someone’s attention then addressing them directly? Making the viewer a part of the commercial through a personalized video is possibly the best way you can get someone to pay attention to your message. It is no wonder that these types of ads increase sales by 19%! Personalized videos give the impression that the company cares for each of their customers so much they feel the need to address their needs individually, and in the long term helps provide a positive view of the company as a whole.

If you are looking for more examples of different ways you can make a personalized video for your own brand, I suggest you check out this blog post by Lydia Cockerham by clicking here.

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