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February 11, 2016

Wild Animals Inventing Flying Umbrellas? Yep, Slack’s New Video is Whack

The other day, Slack’s latest and (dare I say?) most incredible video came to my attention. There are no words … just check it out:

This was actually a TV spot and it is just so … out there! I mean, really, before we dig into the meat of this video, can we just pause for a moment and consider how off-the-wall this concept is? I just … it’s just … ah, amazing! I feel like half the reason I kept watching was just because it was so unusual! Slack definitely got me for the full duration of the video! Oh, and they also produced a blooper reel – which is just hilarious, since there obviously wasn’t a blooper reel to begin with (because, you know, those animals weren’t actually filmed in real life … or real at all, for that matter). We’ll get to the bloopers in a bit.

[callout-content text=”15 Experts Spill Their Greatest B2B Video Production Advice” is_modal=”true” modal_id=”guide-15-production-tips” modal_type=”Guide” modal_form_handler=”” button=”Get the Guide”] For now, let’s take a look at what we can all learn from Slack’s stroke of brilliance.

Show the Product, Naturally

We all have a need to create a video that explains what our product is and what the main value prop is. Slack’s out-of-the-box thinking can teach us two things about doing this in our own videos:

  1. They showed us (instead of telling us) why their product was so great in the form of a story, from start to finish. Everyone was getting covered in rain on a rainy day and even those who did use umbrellas, struggled. There’s your pain point. Your conflict. Then you see the whole team work together to solve the problem – from concept to prototype to production to reality.
  2. They incorporated their product into the natural environment. In other words, there were very few shots of a mouse moving along a desktop screen. Which makes sense, because very few people want to see that – at least at the early stage of the buying process that this video is appealing to. Slack added messages into the general office scene which makes the video more interesting to watch and also alludes to the fact that Slack’s product really does fit seamlessly into your life … or an owl’s life anyway!

    Slack product shot video

Build out Strong, Supporting Assets

Slack stretched beyond their TV spot to incorporate a supporting campaign. The video was accompanied by a landing page, which was smartly referred to in the final CTA of the video: What I love about their landing page is that it is really campaign-focused, even down to the imagery throughout. You see Slack messages from Geoff the lion and Alan the prawn. Slack animal video landing page What’s also great about this landing page is that, while being customized to this specific campaign, it still stays very true to Slack’s messaging overall. Their tagline always stays close to something about amazing teams or teams doing amazing things. If you go to their home page (one of four or five versions of it!), you’ll likely read that Slack is a messaging app for teams … of some sort. Slack home page robots on Mars Slack home page through Earth Slack home page changing world

And this landing page and campaign was no different: Slack is for amazing teams. Plus, as another extension of this campaign that the audience can stay engaged with, Slack even produced that blooper reel I mentioned earlier. And man – do content-hungry internet goers LOVE blooper reels!

I don’t know what it is about blooper reels, do we just love seeing other people (or ahem, animals) screw up? Whatever the reason, this is almost always a good addition to a video campaign. It’s a real, engagement-boosting initiative in any campaign, that’s for sure.

Infuse Brand Colors into Video

Speaking of branding with consistent taglines, did you notice how frequently the scenes of this video incorporated Slack’s brand colors? Let me remind you. Here’s the Slack’s logo:

Slack Logo

And here is the animals’ office:

Slack office animal video

Or… here’s the Slack logo:

Slack Logo

And here are the flying umbrellas:

Slack flying umbrellas video

This color infusion is a super subtle branding strategy that helps Slack tell the same story and convey the same feelings across multiple assets. It helps with brand consistency. Here, it’s not overbearing and it’s certainly not in every scene, but it was definitely a conscious effort (which, by the way, is a lot easier to add in when it’s an animated film!).

Make the Point Clearer with a Metaphor

I’ve talked about the value of metaphorical concepts in video before, like when we took a deep dive into the video for KLM Royal Dutch Airlines’ lost and found puppy. And the concept has proven true in this video, too. What do I mean by metaphor in video? Well let’s just say that there aren’t actually teams of animals using Slack.

Not only does this metaphorical representation make the video more interesting to watch (than, say, a bunch of humans building an innovative product together – snore), but it also actually helps Slack prove their point and drive it further home: any kind of team can benefit from Slack’s collaboration app. Yes, even animals.

Be Aspirational

No, I’m not suggesting that we all want to be a beatboxing prawn or a world-traveling beaver (and no, I don’t think he’s Canadian), but we do aspire to be innovative. And you don’t get much more innovative than a flying umbrella. What does your audience crave? How can you help them get closer to who they aspire to be? This is what you should be representing in your videos.

And in Slack’s case, the voiceover at the end really seals the deal when he says “all kinds of people and all kinds of teams use Slack to do amazing things”. It was at this point that I caught myself mentally ‘hoorahing’: “Yeah! I want to do amazing things!”. You, too? Maybe it was just me.

A Word of Caution

Okay, I do have to come down from my high for just a second. A real shame, I know.

I want to warn you, that while this concept was just crazy (amazingly crazy, but still crazy), it works for Slack because their product is relatively simple to understand. Just make sure you don’t come up with a concept so abstract that no one has a clue what’s going on or what the heck you do.

Now, back to it … how much did you love that video?!

B2B Video Production Tips

Kimbe MacMaster

Kimbe MacMaster

Kimbe is the previous Manager of Content Marketing at Vidyard. She loves all aspects of content marketing and has a special place in her heart for using video to drive real business results. She is also moderately (okay extremely) obsessed with her fluffy chow chow, Noah.

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