Have you ever dreamed of being a professional athlete, donning your jersey colors while singing victory songs with crowds of fans? The following Nike video captures the dreams of countless aspiring youth (including my former self) and is persuasive by aligning audience motivation with exciting media effects and realistic content:

First, in terms of motivation, this video is all about hope for young boys. The hope of getting noticed and climbing ranks to be on the world stage for the first time. The hope of being a star, partying with beautiful women, and the list goes on. I would explain more but feel I’m doing an injustice to the hope that drives so much devotion and talent year after year.

Secondly, this video utilizes a first-person perspective, filled with video game shaking effects and explosive pacing to keep you aroused. If we measured the biofeedback of viewers with measures like skin-conductance, heart deceleration, and alpha suppression, the effects would be overwhelmingly significant.* The structural features of this video (cuts, edits, movement, flashes of light, and sound) effectively illicit orienting responses (ORs) to keep your attention. If you’ve played soccer before, these ORs are automatically amplified even more, getting you ready for game-like competition without even leaving your computer screen.

Finally, the content of this video is filled with some of the best players in the world. For two minutes you’re playing with actual super stars who millions of people love (there are psychological implications for this realism that I will leave out for the sake of brevity), not stunt doubles or graphics. Nike makes you viscerally feel the classic story arch of a new athlete experiencing a range of emotions from climatic highs after scoring goals to painful throw-up.

After watching this, who doesn’t want to buy in to this Nike soccer dream?

Enrique Allen

Lang, A., Bolls, P., Potter, R, & Kawahara, K. (1999). The Effects of Production Pacing and Arousing Content on the Information Processing of Television Messages, Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, Vol. 43(4), 451-475.

Reeves, B., Lang, A., Kim, E., & Tatar, D., (1999). The Effects of Screen Size on Message Content on Attention and Arousal. Media Psychology, 1, 49-67.

Simons, R. F., Detenber, B. H., Roedema, T.M., & Reiss, J.E. (1999). Emotion processing in three systems: The Medium and the message. Psychophysiology, 36, 619-627.

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The other night I randomly heard about Better Place, a global provider of electric vehicle (EV) networks and services. I’m excited about different forms of zero emission transportation like the Air Car and want to be an early adopter. So I go to the Better Place website via Google search and scroll down to see what I thought were 3 videos (turns out that one was a picture gallery link). I instinctively clicked “A day in the life with an EV” which took me to another page before I could see the video below:

Do you think the video was persuasive? Here’s my quick analysis pictured below:

As you can see my excitement of the video (and of the Better Place brand) decreases as the video goes on. In addition, after watching the video I’m left wondering what to do other than leave their site. I could go into more depth about this video but instead I decided to ask my social network what they thought. You’ll see a couple clear points that can improve this video below:

I will continue to share short case studies like this and feel free to submit video campaigns for review. You can reach me by commenting on this post or tweeting @enriqueallen.

Thank you,
Enrique Allen

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Why Online Video Matters For Advertising

December 8, 2009

This is the first of a series of posts on why online video matters to different use cases of persuasion.
Online video is becoming a central experience on the web, validated by increasing levels of consumption and investment. In just one month alone this year, there were more that 11.2 billion total video streams, that’s [...]

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Rico Nasol, a Content Team Senior Manager at Zappos.com cited 6-30% more merchandise sales, depending on the item, when using online video. Don’t forget this has huge revenue implications (approximately $1 billion in 2008 gross merchandise sales). Rico says that by the end of next year, Zappos will use ten video studios to produce around [...]

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