2014 Top 25 Brand Stories Suggest 4 Archetypes

The top 25 brand story videos released in 2014 averaged nearly 2M views per month on YouTube. As more brands witness the power of stories to create an emotional connection, 3 to 5 minute videos are touching hearts with themes of love, encouragement, patriotism and giving.

Brand stories in social content marketing

Archetypes of Brand Story Themes Characterizing Top 25 Stories Released in 2014

A study of the following top 25 videos depicting a brand’s story showed that these heartfelt emotions span from the heartwarming to the heart-lifting. Most start with a sad commentary on loneliness, hopelessness or poor self-esteem. As the story unravels, the obstacles are revealed and made to relate to the target audiences. A hero then emerges who mentors the discouraged or surprises them with unexpected rewards.

  1. Always – Like a Girl: A story about young girls keeping their confidence throughout adolescents
  2. Budweiser  – Puppy Love: A story about an unlikely friendship where a puppy earns a spot on the Clydesdale team
  3. Beats by Dre – The Game Before The Game: A story about a father’s Godly and family advice for game preparation
  4. Sainsbury – Royal British Legion: A story about how enemies became momentary friends during Christmas and sharing
  5. John Lewis – Monty The Penguin: A story about a lonely struggle to brighten the Christmas of just one or two other people
  6. TD – Automated Thanking Machine: A story about the spirit of giving
  7. Duracell – Trust Your Power: A story about  a deaf NFL superstar overcoming all odds
  8. Dove – Patches: A story about women respecting their natural beauty
  9. P&G – Pick Them Back Up: A story about how falling makes us stronger
  10. Under Armour – I Will What I Want: A story about a ballerina overcoming rejection
  11. Thai Insurance – Street Concert: A story about the power of music in bringing unlikely friends together
  12. Linaloved – Thai Good Stories: A story about the emotional gratitude from community giving
  13. Pantene – Not Sorry: A story about how women need not say sorry so often
  14. Verizon – Inspire Her Mind: A story about encouraging young girls to consider science and technology
  15. Microsoft  – Empowering: A story about a heartwarming celebration of human empowerment through technology
  16. Intel – Look Inside: A story about how technology gave arms to a wounded man from Sudan
  17. Juhayna – Cheering Egyptian Mothers: A story about a mother’s rewards after the struggles of raising children
  18. Chevy – Maddie: A story about a dog as a best friend for life’s journey
  19. Airbnb – Wall and Chain: A story about breaking down walls towards friendship
  20. WestJet – Christmas Miracle: A story about a community spirit of giving
  21. Chrysler – America’s Import: A story about American heritage in car making
  22. Guinness – Empty Chair: A story about saluting the character of a community as they honor one of their own
  23. Duracell – Moments of Warmth: A story about shivering Canadians were greeted with a warm bus shelter
  24. Boots – Special Because: A story about family love shown when a mother’s children travel far to surprise her
  25. Jose Cuervo – History in a Bottle: A story about Mexican pride in staying with traditions

A further dimension that distinguishes high performing videos includes the scope of narrative contribution. Over 70% of the views include stories aimed at the inner self. In particular, the top videos show that themes of self-worth, hope and appreciation especially resonate with audiences. The remaining 30% involve stories aimed at communities blessed by the spirit of giving or celebrating their heritage. 

Perhaps surprising to some are the video attraction and engagement statistics showing performance results of brand stories rivaling the best of funny and heart stopping videos. Comic devices and scenes of astonishment traditionally dominated the domain of entertaining content. But this recent foray of heartfelt stories suggests that a “slow stir of the heart” now approaches “jolts to the heart” in content engagement.

Top Brand Stories in Social Content Marketing

Rank of 2014 Top 25 Brand Stories by Video Performance

What storyline themes or stories released in 2014 do you feel should qualify as among the top ways to boost brand content?



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