Last updated on 8th June 2022
In this article we’re going to take a look at 20 of the best video storytelling examples ever.
Video is still booming. According to our 2022 Video Marketing Statistics, people watch an average of 19 hours of online video per week. That’s a staggering 8.5 hour increase per week based on our figures from the past 4 years.
But that doesn’t mean people are willing to watch just about anything. With the sheer amount of video content being uploaded every day, people have more than enough choice when it comes to what to watch.
One way to hook viewers and keep them interested is to tell a story. That’s exactly what the 20 amazing videos do in this article so let’s take a closer look…
What is video storytelling?
Video storytelling is a marketing strategy that involves using video to tell a story connected with your brand, product, or service.
Video storytelling is popular with marketers and consumers alike because it targets emotions, whether that be pulling on the heartstrings or tickling the funny bone, and this can make videos more interesting to watch, more memorable, and more shareable.
20 of the Best Video Storytelling Examples EVER
1. Semrush – Traffic Analytics API
Data and analytics – not the most attractive subject in the world! It’s also not an easy topic to understand. That’s what makes this video by Semrush so great.
This colourful animated video uses Lego bricks as a visual metaphor to explain how their Traffic Analytics API tool works.
By using Lego bricks to represent data, the video shows all of the different benefits of the product in a way that is relatable, memorable, and makes their ad more enjoyable to watch.
2. Renault Clio – Papa and Nicole
This Renault Clio video may look a bit “past it” now, but it’s definitely earned its place on this list. During 1991 and 1998, this series of ads by Renault had viewers in the UK hooked!
The series ran across 8 different ads, and centred around the romantic rendezvous of a young woman named Nicole, who would always inevitably bump into her Papa at some point in the video.
The finale was much-anticipated by British audiences and a whopping 23 million viewers tuned in to see who Nicole would marry.
Of course, you may ask yourself, what does this all mean for Renault? Did it actually sell cars?
Yes it did. According to The Drum, the videos put Renault Clio cars in high demand with over 300,000 sales attributed to the series.
3. Shopify – First Sale Story
Shopify is a leading eCommerce platform with a lot of impressive software and functionality to help business owners manage their online stores.
But instead of focusing on the practicals of selling on Shopify, this video focuses on how it feels. We’re sure any small business owner would agree that the “first sale feeling” is amazing. It’s the very point where a dream becomes a reality, and Shopify captures it beautifully in this fun and inspirational video!
The video is all the more powerful because we’re introduced to the hero of the story within the first second. The character of Jess gives viewers someone to root for, and perhaps someone they can see themselves in.
4. McDonald’s – The Gift
The unique selling point for the McDonald’s Saver Menu is in the name – it’s a budget menu that means people can eat at McDonald’s for less.
However, instead of focusing on this key selling point in their ad, McDonald’s decided to create a heart-warming story about a mother and son.
This is a brilliant example of video storytelling because it gets across the point that the items on the menu are low-cost, but it does so in a way that makes viewers feel invested in the story.
5. Etsy – Unique Chess
Here is another heart-warming story about a mother and son, told beautifully in just 30 seconds.
Etsy has a large customer base now. According to Statista, over 80 million people have purchased goods on Etsy. So they don’t have to focus so much on what they do. Most people already know that when you want to purchase something home-made or unique, you head to Etsy.
This gives the company the freedom to create ads that tell stories like this one. This video shows viewers what Etsy does instead of telling them, and in doing so it emphasises the feeling that Etsy products can bring to people – and that’s far more important to consumers than the cold, hard facts!
6. Budweiser – Don’t Drink & Drive
This video is kind of similar to the Etsy ad in that it doesn’t simply state the dangers of drinking and driving, instead it shows viewers the viewpoint of an innocent family member at home (in this case, a four-legged one) and how they suffer when drink-driving incidents occur.
It was a clever move by Budweiser and also made for a great (and quite gut-wrenching!) twist after the first 20 seconds simply focused on a puppy growing into a dog.
There are many studies out there that prove stories are more memorable than facts, and this video is a great example of that. Drink-driving statistics are easy to forget, but the look on a dog’s face when it thinks its master isn’t coming home is not.
7. General Motors – Dr. EV-il
Climate change is a serious topic that is everywhere at the minute, and with good reason. Instead of taking the gloom and doom approach, General Motors lightens things up a bit with this video.
The ad was created to announce to consumers that they plan to be all electric by 2030, and to do so they told the story with the help of a well-known comedy character, Dr Evil.
8. eBay – Buy a Thing, Sell a Thing
This mini musical documents the journey of products as they move from person to person through eBay.
Even though this cast of characters doesn’t utter a single word, each scene tells the viewer so much about them and it’s enough to propel the story forward.
According to McCann London, who created the video, the visuals paired with the bespoke track composed by David Goo were designed to express the joy of the eBay experience.
The last shot is a heart-warming (and slightly humorous) image of a young girl wearing an over-sized top and holding a doll, both of which landed in her possession thanks to eBay.
9. Apple Watch Series 7 – 911
Most of the stories told on the list so far have been pretty light. But there’s definitely a place for tense and thought-provoking storytelling videos, as this Apple ad shows.
The video features real 911 calls that were made with Apple Watches and it takes viewers through the very start of the call where it’s unclear if the person was able to get help in time, through to a happy ending where all 3 customers were able to get help faster thanks to their Apple Watch.
Sometimes a feature is so powerful it can speak for itself, and that’s exactly what the Apple Watch does here.
10. Aldi Christmas Advert 2021
When it comes to storytelling, Christmas ads really go above and beyond. And we had to really hold ourselves back from including many, many more on this list!
If you want to get your Christmas video fix, there’s a section dedicated to the holiday season in this article: 50 Best Commercial Ads OF ALL TIME.
This video from Aldi is of course a spoof on the well-known Dickens’ book, A Christmas Carol. It tells the story of grumpy Ebanana Scrooge as he discovers his Christmas Spirit with help from other characters featured in Aldi’s previous ad campaigns.
It’s a heart-warming tale that can be enjoyed by people of any age and also subtly hints at the great food people can purchase from Aldi around Christmas time.
11. Honda – Paper
Stop motion animation is a painstaking art form, which is why you rarely see it done as beautifully as in this video by Honda.
Through the use of thousands of original drawings, this video tells the story of the history of Honda – without saying a word!
It’s a mesmerising piece of art that took around four months for a team of animators and illustrators to create.
The hard work paid off as this video was nominated for countless awards, including an Emmy for Outstanding Commercial.
12. Dreamies – Cat Borrowers
This hilarious series of ads focuses on an unusual demographic for cat treats – the cat borrowers!
Each mini story features unique and memorable characters that viewers are able to get the measure of instantly. There’s the creepy twins, the gossipy old lady, and the eccentric bachelor.
These videos are a great example of a company thinking outside the box and doing something a bit weird to get people talking.
13. Chipotle – The Scarecrow
This animated short film holds a mirror up to factory farming, and the image is not pretty. The horrifying visuals combined with the haunting soundtrack help to trigger an emotional response in viewers that will help them remember the video long after watching it.
And, of course, there is a happy ending that leaves viewers inspired to be the change they want to see in the world.
The video was extremely successful, clocking up over 15 million YouTube views, 2 Emmys, and 14 Cannes Lions during its run.
14. Wyzowl – The Monster Singer
This is a heartfelt story about belonging. Our designers and animators had fun creating this colourful world that documents the life of a monster that loves to sing.
The monster finds his place in the world when he enters (and – spoiler alert! – wins) the Monster Singer competition.
15. Procter & Gamble – When We Come Together
This short skit featuring famous faces like Sofia Vergara and Busy Phillips shows several Procter & Gamble products at work while telling a story. It almost doesn’t feel like an ad at all but rather clever product placement in the scene of a sitcom.
Instead of overtly marketing their products by talking about their uses or benefits, P&G created a story that’s relatable to almost everyone: cleaning a house as quickly as possible.
Through this story, the characters used P&G products to work together and get their task completed. It’s smart and enjoyable to watch.
16. Huggies – Welcome to the World, Baby
Most product ads are, with good reason, aimed at parents. But this Huggies ad takes a different tack and speaks directly to babies.
This think-outside-the-box approach is fun and adorable as the ad plays almost like an initiation video for babies, welcoming them to the world.
17. Disney – The Stepdad
We had to squeeze one more Christmas ad onto our list because this video is pretty brilliant! With decades of experience, Disney knows exactly how to tell stories that move viewers and this Christmas short film is no exception.
Disney’s trademark characters such as Mickey Mouse and Buzz Lightyear take a back seat in this heartwarming story about a stepdad joining a new family, and the challenges and triumphs experienced along the way.
The ad also features an original song that tells the story, and 100% of the proceeds made from song downloads were donated to Make-a-Wish.
18. Specsavers – Should’ve gone to Specsavers
Just like the Renault Clio ads, “Should’ve gone to Specsavers” is a well-loved series. This campaign by Specsavers has been running for a long time – over 20 years, in fact!
Each new ad features a different story that shows characters in a bit of a pickle because of their poor eyesight, like the elderly couple accidentally sitting down on a rollercoaster. The end is always the same powerful and punchy message: Should’ve gone to Specsavers!
It’s a great way for the brand to differentiate themselves in the industry.
19. Google Chrome – Dear Sophie
Google Chrome is a massive web browser now, used by billions of people every day. But once upon a time it was new and needed to be advertised.
Enter this beautiful story called Dear Sophie. This video tells the story of a father’s love for his daughter through the use of Chrome features, such as Gmail and Google Maps.
It definitely tugs at the heartstrings and does a great job of humanising the tech company.
20. Nike – Tomorrow
Nike always makes powerful ads. We particularly like the story in this one because it cleverly focuses on the goal of a wonderful tomorrow in order to motivate people to take action today.
In just 60 seconds the video shows snapshots of the stories of all different kinds of people all over the world. These visuals, paired with a powerful voiceover from Oscar-winner Lupita Nyong’o, make this a gripping and motivational video.
Videos and stories go hand-in-hand. And, while the videos we’ve seen here are amazing, there’s no reason why you can’t also create something exactly like this for your brand.
Ready to tell your own story through video? Check out our animated videos page.