15 Creative Brand Video Examples That Inspired Us This Year

by Katy French

Brand video is a powerful form of visual communication. From social content, to explainer videos, to ads, video helps brands tell stories across platforms in an engaging way. But while many brands create video, not every brand video is equal. We’ve seen multi-episode web series that are a snooze fest and 30-second Instagram spots that are truly art. What distinguishes the good from the bad? It’s simple: storytelling. This year proved exactly that. Across industries, we saw brand video examples that showcased even more clever, creative, and inspiring storytelling that reminded us why the medium works so well. 

76% of consumers have bought a product or service after viewing a brand video.

—Brightcove’s 2018 Video Marketing Survey 

So, because we love to celebrate good work (and we know you’re always looking for a little inspiration), we thought we’d round up some of our favorite brand video examples to inspire you.

15 Great Brand Video Examples

Whether you’re B2B, B2C, or a nonprofit, we hope these examples—pulled straight from our own inspiration archives—give you some #videogoals for next year. (And if you just can’t get your fill of videos, check out our other recommended video roundups at the end.) 

1) Netflix

Video: One Story Away

Netflix’s mission is to entertain the world. How do they do it? By delivering your next favorite story. Their TV shows and movies make you feel emotions, expand your perspective, and ultimately, bring people closer together—the crux of this great campaign. This brand video conveys the sentiment masterfully, giving you a glimpse of the many worlds you can explore through story. 

2) Ikea

Video: Make Home Count 

During the start of the global pandemic, when people felt more disconnected than ever, Ikea reminded us that we’re all in this together, with a simple emotional video spot that captures everyday moments at home. The piece was especially impressive because it was made entirely from footage shot at home by employees, proving you can produce high-caliber content even with limited resources. 

Note: If you want to experiment like this, learn about the 6 types of video you can create remotely.

3) NY Governor Andrew Cuomo

Video: Certified Young Person Paul Rudd Wants You To Wear A Mask

If a good brand video is meant to inspire action, we should all be looking to great PSAs for inspiration. As part of the #MaskUpAmerica campaign (geared toward get Millennials and Gen-Zers), the Governor of New York called on ageless actor Paul Rudd to speak to his fellow youth. The tongue-in-cheek ad features Rudd doing his best to connect to his “peers”—with nods to youth subculture, hip lingo, social media, memes, and more. It was the perfect lighthearted way to broach a serious subject.

4) NVIDIA GeForce

Video: NVIDIA Marbles at Night | RTX Demo

Sometimes you need to see something to believe it. NVIDIA, which creates interactive graphics on laptops, mobile devices, etc., proves this with an incredible demonstration of the graphics in their Marbles at Night game. You’d think you’re looking at a live-action video filmed IRL. Nope. This is pure (mind-boggling) animation that shows just how astonishing their technology is. We could rattle off the details (the demo runs on a single NVIDIA RTX 8000 GPU—whatever that means), but this is better conveyed through these incredible visuals. The lesson? Show, don’t tell. 

5) Nike

Video: Better | Mamba Forever

It was hard to lose the GOAT in 2020, but Nike’s tribute to Kobe Bryant is a beautiful and inspiring reminder to apply his #mambamentality to push yourself to be better—in whatever way that may be. What we love most is the simplicity of the execution. Using a simple montage and narration by Kendrick Lamaar, it’s an emotional piece that, yet again, proves that Nike is a master of brand storytelling that always feels personal. 

6) New York Times 

Video: The Truth Is Essential: Life Needs Truth 

To make a case for the importance of their work, the New York Times created this great spot. Using real headlines, kinetic text, photos, videos, and the incredibly catchy tune Requests by Makaya McCraven, they explain how journalism is infused into everyday life and links us together in important ways. 

7) Cash App

Video: Twitter Ads

Brand video storytelling doesn’t always have to be a long-form narrative or inspiring call to action. The fun, entertaining, and visually creative can be equally compelling. You might not think of the word “art” when you hear the brand Cash App, but that’s exactly what they’ve been creating with their 3D video ads. These visuals are colorful, creative, and eye-catching—everything you need to stand out on social.

8) Polaroid

Video: A Holiday Story, Featuring Maripol

When you showcase customers in your content, you create a brand story with them. Polaroid does this well in a mini documentary about the original “Polaroid Queen” Maripol. She recalls the story of how Polaroid came into her life and reflects on what it’s meant. It’s a perfect piece of content that celebrates the relationship between the brand and customer—in only 1 minute, 15 seconds.

9) Sydney Water PSA

Video: Love Water

How do you grab people’s attention, deliver an earnest message, and make it accessible for all? Sydney Water does this well in their video to raise awareness about water waste. Told through beautiful, seamless 3D animation, the video strikes a nice balance with colorful visuals that tell the story and reinforce the seriousness of the issue—without being overly depressing.

10) Google Pixel 4

Video: Explainer videos

You don’t always need an epic cinematic tale to create an effective brand video. Google Pixel proves this with a series of simple explainer videos that show people the phone’s features and how to use them. Using bright, bold geometric motion graphics (an homage to the Bauhaus design that inspired the phone), as well as live-action phone footage, these videos communicate the information in a colorful, creative package. 

11) Squarespace

Video: “All You Need to Launch a _____” Series

This video series is proof that you don’t have to reinvent the wheel to create great brand video. These short videos follow a simple formula: listing the “ingredients” you need to create a successful business (with Squarespace as a star ingredient, of course). Simple VO, editing, and stylized visuals, as well as a diverse cast of customers across industries, delivers a clear and simple message: Squarespace is the best partner you can have to make your dreams come true.

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A post shared by Squarespace (@squarespace)

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A post shared by Squarespace (@squarespace)

12) Klarna

Video: Swedish Puppets

We love to see brands get creative, especially when it gets weird. Swedish brand Klarna strikes a nice balance between humor, absurdity, and curiosity with low-production videos that deliver high-value entertainment. What does a cast of gossiping and singing puppets have to do with an online shopping app? You can decide. 

13) Okta

Video: Jim + Okra Talk Okta

There are plenty of straightforward ways to create an explainer, or answer questions about how your service or product works. But if every piece of content you create is a reflection of your brand identity, why not use this type of video to showcase your brand personality, too? That’s exactly what Okta does with their Jim + Okra Talk Okta series, in which I.T. Manager Jim and his side kick (yep, a piece of Okra) answer customer questions. These videos are short, snappy, and silly, making them perfect for social. 

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A post shared by Okta (@oktainc)

14) Zendesk

Video: Zendesk Relate Announcements

When Zendesk had to cancel their Zendesk Relate 2020 conference IRL due to the pandemic, they didn’t get to share the wisdom of their exciting guest speakers, announce new products, or enjoy the Miami sun.

Taking it all in stride, CEO Mikkel Svane took to Instagram to share the highlights of what would have and could have been. These simple, silly videos feature cameos from the slated guests (plus Mikkel is his Miami Chic look). This approach is the perfect example of creativity on the fly. By addressing the disappointing news with humor and humanity, the brand put their personality front and center. 

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A post shared by Zendesk (@zendesk)

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A post shared by Zendesk (@zendesk)

15) Spotify 

Video: Equalizer Series

We know Spotify is for music lovers, but it’s also a product for music makers to get their music to the world. To help musicians hone their craft, Spotify offers a series of music production tutorials featuring a range of working artists and producers. The producing duo Vaz shows us how they do their signature vocal layering, Tami T shows us how she organizes her workflow, and engineer Linn Fija shows you how to set up a mic. This series is the perfect behind-the-scenes content for music nerds (and an awesome spotlight for the hardworking music pros they feature).

How to Use Video For Your Own Content Strategy

It takes a lot to create a great brand video. From brainstorming to storyboarding, to shooting, you need the right team in place. If you’re looking to include more brand video in your content mix…

And if you need some help to bring your videos to life, find out what to look for in an agencyWe’d love to help you turn your ideas into great content. 

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