I’ll get to the “best ever” video in a minute but it’s half-way down the page if you can’t wait. 

When I talk to certain organizations about “marketing,” they cringe. This is particularly true of organizations that don’t believe in tooting their own horn – ones that are founded on humility and service to the world. 

For them, (and maybe you also) the word “marketing” can conjure images of loud-mouthed sleazy salespeople, misleading information and manipulative tactics. But that’s “bad’ marketing. That’s what we see from the bottom-feeder marketers whose TV commercials, magazine ads and so-called “news” stories are based on a con. It’s 2018 and we’re happy to have choices and ways to avoid much of it.

Then there is “Customer-focused Marketing” which is pretty much the opposite and is based on connecting with specific types of potential “customers” (which also means clients, members, participants, donors, fans, etc.)

With the launch of Social Media Marketing over 10 years ago, early adopters were adamant about providing “value” to Followers. And Engagement Marketing was born – a new approach using social interaction. The “social” in social media is a two-way conversation. To do that you needed to offer something of value and to keep them interested. We could only hold their attention if we were giving them something they wanted…helpful information, useful tips, “how to” articles and videos, problem-solving approaches, product demos or pure entertainment.

This became known as Inbound Marketing – the kind that attracted people, as opposed to the traditional Outbound Marketing or Interruption Marketing that got in their face and tried to convince them.

In the mind of a potential “customer,” is always the question “What’s in it for me?” or as we say in the industry – WIIFM. Best Practice marketing lets them know instantly, what’s in it for them.

I recently saw a video that inspired the title of this article. It’s for an Air Force veteran who’s running for Congress. I think it may be the best campaign ad I’ve ever seen. It not only tells the candidate’s compelling story but it does so in a brilliant way. See for yourself:

The creative minds that developed the concept knocked it out of the park. That concept was then scripted to perfection and produced by a top-notch production team that used live footage, still photographs and just enough special effects to make it stunning without them being noticeable or distracting.

This high-level production uses a wide range of techniques to tell the story, but the candidate herself is the icing on the cake. She narrates her story and at several key moments speaks directly to the camera in a confident, no-nonsense manner, that not only gets the point across but effectively convinces me as the viewer that she’s fully capable, committed, and full of energy…and someone who’s fearless integrity means she will keep her promises and won’t back down when the going gets rough. No doubt her combat training is responsible for some of that but to follow the path she did shows that she had a lot of chutzpah to begin with.

The video also shows the softer side of her family life. Of course, all campaign videos try to show “a loving family” but even though we know the scenes are staged, it’s not overdone and therefore quite convincing.

One of the most effective segments is a shot where the camera pans her numerous combat medals, with a child’s helicopter toy at the end of the row that is picked up by her son, who, as the camera shot goes wide, you see she is carrying. The camera follows her into the living room, where her husband is sitting on the couch with another child and a dog. Over that entire shot is her narration continues to tell the story of the doors that were closed to her as a woman and especially once she was injured in combat.

At the end of that shot, she hands her toddler son to her husband, then turns to looks straight into the camera and says “Wait! Barred because I was a woman?” rolls her eyes and continues, “That’s ridiculous!” On screen, there’s a blurred pan that transitions to a new scene of her knocking on office doors where she is repeatedly turned away.

This woman’s story is quite impressive – certainly a great foundation for an effective marketing video.

But if you want to learn how to take a good story, develop the perfect concept and then create an amazing piece of content, watch this video at least ten more times.

The brilliant concept was to use Doors to tell her story.

The video opens with a shot of the front door as the camera moves in to show the inside of her home. The continuous shot moves into her dining room showing the family having dinner. Against the wall behind them is the door of her helicopter that was shot down. The camera pans over for a close up of the helicopter door. That’s when the first chill runs up your spine.

The video continues with the door theme – when her father threw her mother through a glass door and how 3 years later her mom got the courage to walk out the door. The door of their new home where she started on her dream to become a pilot…then opened, push through and sometimes kicking through every door in her way and her impressive career.

The video ends with her voice-over talking about her opponent “(he)….hasn’t had a tough race his entire career…so..” Then she looks straight into the camera one final time and says “We’ll show him tough…then we’ll show him the door.”