Utilising emotion for an effective online video strategy - Factory Media

Media company pushing boundaries to deliver inspiring branded campaigns and content. Find out how.



Utilising emotion for an effective online video strategy

Why content campaigns are more effective when they make an emotional connection with the viewer.

(Photo above by Dan Medhurst)

Create something beautiful, inspiring and authentic that taps into an emotion, without being overtly commercial and you create something that viewers – and influencers – are far more likely to engage with. Easier said than done, right?

Last year, we commissioned a piece of analysis from The Insights Distillery, exploring the engagement and sentiment consumers have with different types of video advertising. It’s no secret that both RedBull and GoPro are killing it on YouTube with their action sports content, but we wanted to know whether any type of brand – from makeup to cars – could benefit from injecting action sports into their creative.

This analysis uncovered a statistically significant uplift in positive sentiment among comments on YouTube, for ads containing action sports, outdoor and adventure, when compared to other campaigns. These types of sports and endeavours have long been used by brands to illustrate emotion – whether that be expression, belonging, confidence, determination, freedom, individuality, achievement or just plain fun – but we wanted to understand why consumers particularly love that type of content and advertising.

Further qualitative analysis of video comments suggested the following five reasons:

  1. The content is inspirational and features skill levels & activities that are generically “impressive”(you don’t have to be into our sports to be impressed by them)
  2. Stunning imagery and executional merit (location and action shots allow filmmakers the chance to innovate and work with a greater variety of styles and techniques.)
  3. The celebrities or participants tend to elicit respect and empathy(Action sports icons are seen as inspirational, driven to the top of their sport by a combination of courage, drive and talent; these are highly prized values, which celebrities from the world of entertainment rarely embody)
  4. They inspire viewers to action(we saw some examples of consumers saying they wanted to own the advertised product, but a more visible theme was that action sports inspire people to want to do more, to be active and try new things.)
  5. Done well, they don’t feel like advertisements(the skills and locations on show make for dramatic filmmaking, creating branded content that moves beyond the more traditional (and less appreciated) push model of “traditional” advertising.)

Our research also suggests that branded content campaigns are more effective when emotion features within the content. Much of Factory Media’s success, and our ability to amass huge reach figures, can be attributed to the way in which we look to produce content that triggers an emotional response.

Whether you’re a high tech brand, a luxury product, or a service – you need engagement, something to make you stand out in a competitive media environment; a reason to be talked about.

The following case study demonstrates how we apply the five principles outlined from our research, into all of the video content we produce, and how with the correct amount of dial-tweaking, we produce hugely successful campaigns for brands.

“The Indestructibles”: the right audience, the right time, and with the right emotion


In 2015, Factory Media embarked on the largest, most complex media deal in its history. The Indestructibles model was unique, using Factory’s strengths in a wealth of key areas and producing content for all digital and TV platforms. And crucially, it raised an important question: how do you get TV, social and digital working in tandem, each part adding something to the mix, with minimal wastage and maximum reach and engagement?

We teamed up with UKTV and Casio G-Shock to create 12 epic TV moments, featuring world-class athletes, targeted to a mass but engaged audience and shared across multiple platforms. Dubbed the ‘new Top Gear’ by The Times and named as Huffington Post’s ‘1 of 12 things to watch this winter’, “The Indestructibles” featured well-known action-sports-athletes-turned-media-personalities Tim and Gendle (Tim Warwood and Adam Gendle). Each week they were dropped into different locations around Britain, where they had to take inspiration from their surroundings and dream up epic stunts that seemed nigh-on impossible.

By wrapping a £1m production budget, and £1m of digital and social marketing around a great TV format, featuring some of the best Action Sports athletes in the game, and introducing a brand in the form of Casio G-Shock into the fold, with hundreds of native brand opportunities, an ‘everyone wins’ model was created.

Emotions, and in particular emotions associated with happiness, excitement, fun and freedom are the largest drivers of social media sharing.

With this in mind, we ensured that the initial digital and social “engage” phase (August/September) featured fun, shareable videos, with the express intention of building reach and awareness – both of the brand, and the forthcoming TV series.


  • 7.3 million digital content views
  • 34 million combined digital and social reach
  • 48% YOY increase in sales of hero product
  • 250k onsite Factory Media views on 24 pieces of related premium content

October and early November was defined as the key consideration phase for Casio, and it was for this reason that this period received the biggest push of bitesize, engaging video content, and subsequently delivered the highest overall video views, engagement and social reach.

By this point, it was all about building towards transmission, so social videos and editorial activity began to focus more around introducing the talent and trailering clips from the show.

Throughout November and December, as the show began broadcasting weekly on Sunday evenings on Dave, the focus was on more direct response metrics (i.e. visiting the site, watching the show), and so the content pushed hour-delay repeats on Dave Ja Vu, and emphasised the ability to catch up on anything the viewer may have missed on UKTV’s VOD service.

With an outstanding 12 ‘Pick of the Day’ editorial features from leading newsbrands, and a staggering 7.3m views and 34m reach, the content created and the brand partnership with Casio G-Shock not only worked for action sports fans but also resonated with a much wider audience.

To summarise, preparing an effective online video strategy requires a deep understanding of the target audience; who they are, what they do, how they consume media and which emotions resonate best with them. Once you have good steer on those elements, it’s possible to produce relevant, engaging and shareable content.




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