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In the age of digital media, content is king. At breakneck speeds, consumers and businesses alike are bombarded with corporate video, branded content and online advertising. In order to truly engage your audience, you have to make every click of the mouse or touch of the screen count. Authentic stories are emerging champions of the digital video and viral video landscape. With a well-placed video campaign, your voice can reach a frightening number of potential brand advocates.

If you haven’t seen Unilever’s latest foray into the realm of branded content, you may have at least heard about it under the film title: Dove Real Beauty Sketches. Dove enlisted the expertise of a former FBI composite artist to sketch several women, solely by their own description, then again using an unbiased third-party perspective. Check out the narrative story in video below:

When properly placed, a polished and well-articulated video campaign can significantly jumpstart brand awareness and campaign positioning among a wealth of other benefits. Here’s is a snapshot of Dove’s digital media production of the ‘Real Beauty Sketches’ branded video campaign:

Dove Real Beauty Sketches Statistics – May 1, 2013

Production Budget:approx. $127,000 CAD
*Impressions To-date:estimated  40,259,015
**YouTube Views:over 37 million 98% Positive (102k Likes : 2.3k Dislikes)
Facebook Likes/Shares:over 2.3 million
Tweets:over 9565 direct (34k mentions)
Google +1s:15600+

Given that the campaign is barely over a week old, these numbers are preliminary and growing moment to moment. To put it in perspective, the average Super Bowl ad runs 30 seconds, racks up an average of $3.7M in production costs and reaches an estimated 111M viewers, assuming they aren’t channel surfing away from said commercial. The Dove example represents roughly 4% of the cost for 27% of the Super Bowl viewership. The ‘true beauty’ lives in the fact that users electively engage with digital content. They click because they are interested, share because it is engaging and never feel like: ‘this is something I must suffer before I am allowed to watch what I want’.

The fear of digital and online media content typically comes from hesitation around the unknown and unfamiliar territory, the rapidly, constantly changing environment and the ‘firehose’ effect. With the right strategy, focused and story-oriented video and visual content and the ability to measure and articulate the true and persistent value of online media, your business is armed with the tools to join the voice of millions and share the love too.

When managed correctly, it’s like a big, binary group hug.

Unilever Press Office – London, England Analytics
*These figures do not include third-party shares/views via sites like, Individual Digital Video Sites, other digital video embeds (private blogs, video responses re-posts etc.)
**Includes views from the 6 minute version (2.1M)
Brad Dicks

Author Brad Dicks

Brad is a business communicator with a penchant for anything digital. In his exploration of content development, social media strategy, technology and training, Brad has produced hands-on programming for national brands, such as: Loblaw Companies Limited, Apple Canada, Encore Market Engagement and the Music Industry Association.

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