“Where the Wild Things Play” is the latest video from Outdoor Research and Krystle Wright. Set to the background music of Cake’s “Short Skirt Long Jacket” the short film hits on all levels, showing that women can absolutely crush outdoor sports.
In 4 days, this video has been seen more than 1.4 MILLION times. How did your last video do?
There are a few key takeaways that make this piece so effective.
First and foremost, watch the video:
Every brand can learn a thing or two from this video. While you may not have the budget to travel the world and make a film like this, there are quite a few takeaways that you can apply to your marketing content.
IT’S ALL ABOUT THE STORY
Too many times we see brands try to force it and show you imagery that they think you want to see in order to convey their message. They lose sight of their what makes their brand great and forget that almost all humans resonate with STORY rather than a collection of flashing pictures.
Clearly, OR and Wright spent time getting the story right.
In this piece, it starts with a group of men drinking, coming up with excuses as to why they are not being active outside and asking “Where the ladies at?”. The answer to that question is immediately revealed by showing athletic women giving it their all, sometimes succeeding, sometimes failing, but having a blast doing whatever they want – skydiving, climbing, biking…you name it.
End to end, the story is reinforced without overtly shoving OR down your throat: Want to live that outdoor lifestyle? Want to be a badass woman? Want to do things that make guys jealous? Our brand has you covered and we celebrate you. Not a bad story to tell.
EFFECTIVE USE OF AUDIO
Obviously, the backing track from Cake adds a level of fun, keeps the momentum and the lyrics are reflected in the shot selection. From jewelry, to appearance, to emotional strength, the clips can be tongue in cheek, but continue to resonate. I have no idea what OR must have paid to license the song, but it was money well spent.
The sound design was also spot on, immersing the viewer in the sounds of the environment, making it seem like you are floating, riding, or falling right along side the characters.
Krystle Wright crushed the shots and editing. Keeping up with the pace of the music, often reflecting what was being said, one could argue that it is a little too “see and say” which is a technique where the images are a literal reflection of the audio. “Picking up slack” shows a woman on a slackline, for example. However, unlike commercial videos that are trying to sell you something without tact, the interplay of the lyrics and images are spot on without being overbearing.
You can’t argue the effectiveness of this video. At the time of this writing it has been shared 17,926 times and 1091 comments – in FOUR DAYS. The Facebook page for Outdoor Research has about 230K followers. That puts their engagement analytics through the roof. According to Avinash Kaushik of kaushik.net, many brands only see engagement rates of 1% on organic traffic. This video is closer to 8% for amplification (shares divided by followers).
About three quarters of the way into the video, you start to see the athletes crashing, spinning, and tossing themselves around. Some might see the failures. What this does to the viewer is add a level of authenticity. Not everything is perfect, but the underlying goal is to keep trying, to get better and to enjoy the outdoors. Too often, brands forget about creating authentic content and put way too much glossy lipstick on an otherwise stinky pig.
I also loved the fact that none of these women were objectified. This was not a sexed-up video with scantily clad women. It was meant to empower female viewers, not cater to lust. Sure sex sells, but there is something infinitely sexier about a woman that can rip a powdery fall line than a girl in a bikini trying to shoot a gun.
Again, story matters. Message matters. Authenticity matters.
If you’re responsible for creating content for your company, or maybe you’re in a position to make decisions about your marketing message, take some cues from Outdoor Research. They nailed it with this piece. Job well done.
Matt Stagliano is a photographer first, and firearms / outdoors enthusiast second. His work has appeared in countless magazines and online outlets such as RECOIL, SKILLSET, Guns & Ammo, Concealment, Breach Bang Clear, Ammoland, and others. He spends most of his time running Stonetree Creative, a full service portrait studio in Maine when he is not on assignment as Firelance Media. Learn more about Stonetree online or follow him on Instagram (@stonetreecreative). On Facebook here.