We’ve previously outlined the huge benefits of emotional storytelling and just how effective it can be in video advertising. Ultimately, branded video content that tells a unique story, often around the theme of personal triumph, is much more likely to be shared. But it’s all well and good understanding the benefits. The next step is to put these principles into practice and produce video content that genuinely connects with viewers. Here are 5 examples of great storytelling.

Budweiser – Born The Hard Way

This topical campaign from Budweiser was released for this year’s Superbowl. It contains many of the classical elements that make up a great story. Quest, antagonism, high stakes, emotional resolution and personal triumph. But perhaps most importantly, in this ad the brand feels like a very credible part of this story.

Allegro – English For Beginners

This is another great example of an ad that takes viewers on a character’s journey. Touching and light-hearted at the same time, we are all willing our hero to succeed in his quest. This emotional connection is formed because we see the arcs in his very personal story. His goal, his quest, his struggle, and ultimately his success.

Donate Life – The World’s Biggest Asshole

When we talk about storytelling in commercial video, the immediate assumption is to picture ads that pull on the heartstrings like the Allegro example above. However the principles of good storytelling work across all genres, including comedy. This great spot from Donate Life tells the offbeat and amusing story of Colman Sweeney, the world’s biggest asshole.

HBO Go – Grow Up


This is a great example of how the principles of storytelling work across all forms of video content, including in this case a short product-focused TV ad. This spot also demonstrates how story doesn’t necessarily need to be driven by dialogue. Here a brilliant voiceover script does the job just as well.

 Nike – Unlimited Future

This ad from Nike shows that great stories don’t necessarily need to be told in a linear way. The ad very cleverly presents the struggle, quest and antagonism elements of a great story. But the emotional resolution is presented by the simple presentation of a name. A name that by itself represents a strong emotional resolution to the story. Bravo.