The one question you need to answer before making a marketing video.

If you don’t know the answer to this one important question before you start your next video project – then you’re likely to be disappointed with the results.



We like to think of ourselves as practical, logical beings because we believe that our behaviour is determined largely by our ability to make reasoned, rational decisions.

Uh huh.

Economics teaches us that supply and demand is driven by the natural outcome of rational market forces.


In marketing, access to the best data will always win out because consumers will always take the most logical course of action.

Not even close…

When you’re starting a new video marketing project there is one question you need to ask yourself above all others:

How do you want the viewer to feel after they’ve watched your video?


Sounds sort of touchy – feely, doesn’t it?

Informing is important. Before you start your video you have to know exactly what specific knowledge that you need to impart to your viewers.

Entertaining is important too. If your video isn’t engaging it’s going to be tough to get the viewer to watch it all the way through.

Differentiating is also critical. You have to separate your product or service from the pack in order to get your audience to care.

But the purpose of your video – the net result of your video should be to get your audience to feel something in relation to your product or service. If you don’t know EXACTLY how you want the viewer to feel after watching the video, then how do you write a script, develop a storyboard, film and edit your video?

We modern-day Homo Sapiens are basically lazy creatures. We’re risk averse, we’re open to suggestion and we don’t like to think too much if we don’t have to. We’d like to believe our rational minds are guiding our behaviours but it’s really our subconscious that’s in charge. Your conscious mind is just the interface to your exterior world – it exists to rationalize the ‘gut feeling’ decision that you’re already going to make.

The best way to make someone take action is to get them to feel something in relation to your product or service. Surprise, happiness, fear, concern, awe – all of these emotional triggers help the viewer relate to and remember the information they just watched in your video.

Emotional links are the binding agents that lock the information you just viewed into your memory. 

You might be intrigued by the ‘Buy 1 get 1 for free’ sale but you’re going to be motivated to act by the limited time of that offer. FOMO (fear of missing out) combined with some form of economic discount is the principle method of selling commodity products.

It’s very difficult to selling luxury goods simply on the merits of that product or service. You need to promise something grander and aspirational with those goods. You don’t sell perfume by differentiating the fragrance – you sell the adventure or ‘promise’ associated with your perfume.

Celebrity endorsements work because we associate positive feelings – joy, excitement, ‘coolness’, something… with our celebrity elite. George Clooney could make baked beans cool.

You likely can’t explain exactly why you feel a certain way about a product – but you ‘know in your heart’ that it’s something that you are interested in.

The goal for any marketing video should be to align your brand with a feeling.

Align the messaging, style and information in the video with something that will resonate viscerally with your audience.

Apple is a  master of this strategy. So is Coke, Nike… and any number of leading businesses who have purposefully chosen to elevate their brands to something more than simply features and benefits.



eBay created this web promo around a very simple idea – they wanted to associate their brand with happiness. The sound of the doorbell means ‘something from Ebay just arrived – yippee!!!”

Good marketing doesn’t need to be any more complicated than this.

So the next time you start a video project, before you start brainstorming concepts and building a laundry list of features and benefits to include in your video, ask yourself this simple questions first:

How do I want the viewer to feel after they watch my video?

Jimm Fox


Jimm has been working in video and marketing for the last 25 years agency side, client side and in video production.


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