10 things your marketing video requires to be ‘Awesome’

Disclaimer. I’m a big Jeff Bridges fan. He was cool with his dad in Sea Hunt (look it up) and he’ll still be cool in his nineties doing ‘The Big Lebowski, Part V.’ Anything involving Jeff Bridges is, by default, inherently awesome… just saying. }

I’d award this marketing video 5 “OMG’s” for sheer awesomeness. For those of you who may not recall, Jeff Bridges’ character, ‘The Dude’, in The Big Lebowski was rather fond of his White Russians, so it makes sense that the marketing folks at Kahlua would cajole Jeff Bridges into promoting their coffee flavored combined stimulant/depressant liqueur. (” I am sooooooo drunk right now.. but still somehow strangely alert…”)

Why is this video awesome? Let me explain why by way of a web marketing video checklist. If you want your next web promo to be awesome it has to contain at least 6 of the following 10 elements:


The 10 things your marketing video requires to be ‘awesome’

1. Jeff Bridges.

2. A  great story. This video has a beginning, a middle, an end… and it even includes a teaser ending. To recap: The video includes a great intro, a quest, a ‘discovery’, some sinister looking bad guys, a plot twist, a girl in a bar, some more sinister bad guys… It feels like a movie trailer and I’m keen to see the movie if they ever decide to tac another 90 minutes to this little promo. Most web videos are boring, or salesy, or dumb or, as is most often the case, poorly executed. This one is very entertaining. Sure, this video is just branded entertainment but that’s becoming a pretty smart strategy for consumer-focused companies looking to maintain relevance. Just ask the good folks at Go-Pro or Red Bull.

3. A purpose. Kahlua could simply have done what most other lazy brands do – shoot some beautiful people consuming their product in an exotic locale and call it a day but they took a risk and tried a little bit harder. They would be very smart to continue building their brand around these quirky little vignettes: Bring in some new A-list (or B+ list) actors, make a few oblique references to pop-culture, and entertain.

4. The “give me more” factor. This is the single most difficult thing to do in entertainment or marketing: Eliciting a feeling in the viewer that makes them want to watch more… makes them want to find out what comes next. If you can accomplish this goal, you’re golden. If you can attach your brand to this type of content – that’s a very good thing. I wanted to see the rest of this movie!

5. High production values. This video is really well done. It feels like a Cohen Brothers vignette. The cinematography is superb  The sound editing is awesome, it has great pace and great atmosphere… really top notch.

6. Jeff Bridges. 

7. Great Music. Music is sooooo important to the success of a marketing video. It sets the mood and it tells you how you should feel. The music track in the car on the radio is ‘El Secreto Callado‘ by Diego Verdague. The track at the end of the film in the bar is Fading Blues” track by Hird and the rest of the music was a custom score played and recorded live for the video. It’s all great.

8. The video doesn’t try to appeal to everyone. Sure, there are likely three or four people alive today who are not rabid Jeff Bridges fans and perhaps a few more who are not fond of off-beat, Cohenesque, hyper-quirky, almost-clever, lazy-hipster, stylish-in-a-really-convoluted-way type videos. Ignore them. Your brand will never appeal to everyone so trim your focus. Narrow cast a little and find a grove that suits those people who will care about and champion your brand. (What would you prefer, a million people saying ‘ya, that was alright… or a few hundred thousand saying ‘THAT WAS FRICK’EN AWESOME!!!”)

9. An easter egg. Did anyone catch the ‘White Russian’ in the video. (The cosmonaut in the white spacesuit).  Those little hidden nuggets make the video more memorable. So what was in the brief case? Considering that he was working on a coffee plantation, my guess would be a couple bottles of Kahlua.  Or maybe the Holy Grail.

10. Borrow a meme / reference pop culture / be cool. People like what they like, so give them more of it. There’s more than enough pop-culture references in this video to go around: A Cormac McCarthy plot, a  Tarantino editing style and, of course, The Dude from the Big Lebowski. What’s not to like.

This is a great little promo video that serves to animate the Kahlua brand and that subtlety but surely implants the idea of Kahlua in the back of your brain. That’s how advertising works.

The dude abides.




22 Responses

  1. I like number 8. A marketing video typically has a clear and precise audience in mind. It has to hit that audience well through imagery and messaging.

  2. What would you prefer, a million people saying ‘ya, that was alright’ … or a few hundred thousand saying ‘THAT WAS JEFF BRIDGES!!!’

  3. Yes, I think so that these are the things those are really need to add for any marketing video to be awesome. Specially number 3 and 4 are the necessary things for making an awesome marketing video and left of them are also important as well. So very handy article and I think every video marketing producer should follow this for getting success. Great:)

  4. I found this blog very useful and quite impressive . This helps a lot to know about the basics of marketing and make best use of it by implementing what have told in this blog. highly appreciable effort toward marketing video.

  5. Though most of us are not given the chance everyday to work with celebs like Bridges, the value of your blog for me lies in how your fun and informative style uncovers story-telling techniques that really work- that’s something we can all learn from. Thanks, and keep posting.

  6. I LOVE that you stressed the importance of storytelling! I think in the grand scheme of things, it is easy to put together a video, but it is hard to tell a compelling story. And if I could get Jeff Bridges in his Tron outfit (maybe marketing laser digitizing systems?), I’d be my children’s superhero FOREVER. 🙂

  7. Hello,

    Nice article. I agree with you that a video should have a purpose and a great story. This article has emphasized the importance of story in a video. A great story helps to maintain the connectivity with the audience. A story should be able to evoke an emotional response from target audiences.

    A plot describes the events that make up a story. A plot is a road map for a story from the beginning to the end. As it has been discussed in this article, music is an important factor for the success of a video marketing. Music sets the mood of the audiences.

  8. So, here we are in Sept 2016. The dude is still as rockin’ as ever. Jimm Fox is still producing informative and fun video articles for marketers and I think I’ll curate this one for my dig-emag for Monday, 9/5/16. Because… well, because I can. May it bring you more views and more questions and ideas. Thanks for a great article.

    1. Connie – thanks for the shout out – it’s much appreciated.

      BTW… Check back here in about a month – we’re working on a cool new project I’m pretty sure you’ll like.

  9. I reckon video should have an agenda and than everything should be structured accordingly, It should have graphics, animation, great music and of course a lovely voice over. Cheers

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