This post also appears on Waggener Edstrom’s Thinkers & Doers blog.

"Behind the Scenes" - Image By: Bryan Fenstermacher

How often have you seen a video that blows you away, then immediately leaves you baffled and questioning – how in the world did they pull that off?

It’s unrealistic to go into a campaign expecting to produce a “viral” hit but you do sense when you’re tapping a creative goldmine. There is nothing more exciting than being in a brainstorm when the big idea finally surfaces and the foundation is in place to build out a creative project.

But during a campaign planning phase there is also a need to maintain a proactive mindset, analyzing and assessing every possible outcome and interpretation of your campaign across various audience segments. Any good viral campaign is going to lend itself to series of spoofs and remakes that twist the messaging and shift the focus around a marketer’s own specific goals. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if ad agencies are already marketing “spoofs and remakes” as a key service area.

In most cases, this isn’t a bad thing. Remakes and spoofs will often actually help drive traffic back to your original campaign as viewers reference back to provide context around a related spot they are watching. That being said, preparing the “story behind the story” can serve as a huge asset to help extend coverage around your message or campaign.

Undoubtedly, if your campaign does go big, outlets will come knocking, wanting to know how in the world you pulled off the idea (examples:  Old Spice & Coke Happiness Machine). Why not dump a few extra resources into capturing video, photos and interviews with key people behind the campaign to build out this asset in a creative way?

I’ve posted about the Walk Across America video in the past but what I particularly love was the way the crew simultaneously developed a “behind the scenes” video detailing out how they developed the spot:

Immediately after providing viewers with a “wow” video, they quickly enable interested viewers to dig deeper on context. Would you mind taking in a extra 350k views?

This is a huge strategy for brands as it can afford a method for pulling off a great creative spot while still having a backend asset to enhance some brand messaging that would otherwise detract from the original creative. Furthermore, the additional context can drive the authenticity of the campaign and provide a viewer with a greater appreciation for the time and resources devoted to making the end product appear smooth and effortless.

Big Takeaway
Whether you’re building out a video, narrated photo slideshow, blog post, infographic or other asset, always keep the extended storyline in mind as a way to garner additional attention.

Join the conversation! 3 Comments

  1. Scott

    Great post and so true that the back story is always just as interesting as the main draw. Any DVD you purchase today will always seem to have a director’s comments or the actors narrating over the movie/TV show, or a behind the scenes look at how it was made. This is something useful I will add to my project plans.

  2. Agree 100 percent with this, Scott. Capturing the “behind the scenes” story of the creative/production process gives customers or viewers unique insight into the effort that goes into a product. Not only can it show a “wow” moment to viewers but, as you said, there are now more digital assets to leverage to extend a campaigns life. At the very lest you have the makings of a visual case study.

    One thing I would like to point out is that the price point for engaging in behind the scenes video, photography, etc. is minimal these days with the increase in quality of video phones, for example. There is always down time when shooting a video so it’s best to make the most of that and capture video/images. Love it. Well written post, Scott.

  3. […] video was created last year around the Guy Walks Across America Levis video. I mentioned this in a previous post last year but I love the video and it’s great context for what Old Spice pulled off with […]


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


Social Media, Storytelling, Thinkers & Doers, Video


, , , ,