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In October, I introduced a three-part series of posts about brands’ growing use of user-generated video content and talked in-depth about a specific type of UGC—video ratings and reviews. In part two, I touched on another category of UGC video that brands are using with success: crowdsourced video production. In this post, I’ll wrap up this series with a third and final type of UGC video content that I will call lifestyle endorsement videos.
Lifestyle endorsement videos depict a person or group of people using a brand’s products in ways that are likely to build affinity amongst consumers for that brand or product. These videos often appeal to a very specific niche of consumers. Red Bull is particularly good at producing this type of content, as evidenced by their nearly half-a-billion views on YouTube and 34 million Facebook Likes. A given brand’s presence in these videos can vary from overt to subtle—sometimes simply taking the form of a “sponsored by” slate, a blatant close-up on the product or brand logo, or barely any mention at all. As with other forms of UGC, the production value of lifestyle endorsement clips can vary greatly. The videos that seem to have the most impact are those that balance at least decent production value with the authentic expression of people interacting with a brand or their products—and with a LIMITED brand message. By simply aligning with the individual, the brand is allowing the individual (or their actions) to speak on its behalf and endorse its products. Consumers want to be sold, not sold to, and passionate brand advocates creating content on behalf of brands is one of the most authentic ways to get a message sold.
In conclusion, all forms of UGC video content have the potential to add a new dimension to most any brand’s original content. The authenticity and spontaneity of real people sharing their affinity for a brand though video can influence other consumers in a way unlike any other form of marketing communication. Moreover, this impact can be maximized when UGC is used strategically as a powerful supplement, rather than a long-term replacement, to a strategic content creation plan that also includes professionally produced video content.
Have you ever watched a lifestyle endorsement video? If so, did it feature a celebrity or unknown person? Is there a brand you think leverages these types of UGC videos particularly well?