Edgy Video vs Brand Truth


7-17-2014 | By: Ben Cecil

It’s great that the new, digital world rewards the bold. Brands like RedBull, GoPro, Old Spice and Orabrush are just a few that have shown us what’s possible, especially w/ video (YouTube).
Many other brands, large and small, local and global, have taken notice and have adjusted their marketing plans, if not their whole attitude, especially (again) when it comes to video.
This is a good thing, but as many marketers loosened up their stodgy brand neckties, they forgot a fundamental component to all marketing and advertising:  BRAND TRUTH. 

So… what is a Brand’s Truth?

According to one brand consultant, “it means discovering the edges of a brand--what it is and what it can never be."
Simply put, this means that an "edgy" video showing a cat playing with a foil ball and falling off of a bed is probably not going to be effective brand building collateral for Rolex. Sure the video would get shared and improve engagement on social channels, but to what end? This cute cat video is not reinforcing or building any of the brand’s existing or desired emotions or qualities therefore… it is hurting the brand. It’s just a cheap ploy for attention.  “What you see too often – people are sacrificing brand equity or brand truth to get noticed"
This mistake is happening at a faster and faster rate when it comes to online, edgy video. Especially now that brands are turning to successful YouTubers for edgy video concepts. 

Google even has a team dedicated to matching up brands with YouTube content creators. But this new dating game doesn’t come without an honest warning.  

“What you see too often – people are sacrificing brand equity or brand truth to get noticed,”says David Benson who is one of Google’s branding solutions directors. 

So, marketers for brands of all sizes, B2C or B2B, need to keep this in mind when the CEO wants to get into the edgy video fad or God-forbid, “go viral.” After all, creating an edgy video is easy. Creating an edgy video that also builds brand takes a bit more skill and a great understanding of your brand’s truths.
 Wondering what your Brand Truths are?  Here's a handy Brand Truth Discovery Exercise.

About the Author

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Ben Cecil

Ben is UPG's Strategy Director and has been crafting video campaigns for more than 10 years. Before UPG, Ben spent 7 years in local television, helping cultivate, deploy and measure branding efforts on broadcast and new media platforms. Ben hates boring video and loves chasing around his 2 year old son.

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