April 28, 2023

5 Tips on how to create a Brand Anthem and why you need one

Creative agency and production company Native Foreign share their best advice for creating a successful brand anthem

A brand anthem video allows a brand to tell us who they are, what they make, and why they matter. Truly, brand anthems transcend the product or service and showcase the brand's values, mission, and philosophy, and the most important part, the people. The goal of a brand anthem is to directly connect with the audience on an emotional level.  Your brand anthem is your rally cry!

When people see your brand anthem video, they should gain an instant understanding of your message and a strong sense of your brand’s purpose. And by people, we mean BOTH employees and customers. Before putting pen to paper, make sure you do the hard work of figuring out what your brand is all about. This might take some soul searching but it will be worth it in the end. If your messaging isn’t clear, your audience won’t have a grasp on who you are and why they should buy your product or service.

So, what do you need to bear in mind?

1. Incorporate History

When we were asked to create a centennial video for Radio Flyer, we knew there was no way we could do it without including historical clips in the final edit. Radio Flyer was founded by Italian immigrant, Antonio Pasin, who created one of the first legacy toys in the US. But rather than focus on the creator and his wagon, we focused on the kids! At the beginning of this three month engagement, we realised Radio Flyer had little to no video content up until the mid-90s. Our team focused on unarchiving still photos and scouring the internet to incorporate footage of real Radio Flyers from each era.

In addition to archive footage, Radio Flyer supplied the crew with authentic wagons starting with the first model ever built to the models of current times. At its headquarters’ of Chicago, we used vintage Radio Flyers to recreate each era and combined all the footage into one powerful edit, keeping the modality of the viewing platform congruent with the times. The end result is a historical montage that you see in the final award-winning piece.

2. No Fake Employees

Audiences are more sophisticated now than ever. Gone are the days when you can fake your brand anthem with a bunch of phoney smiling faces. It’s fake and it’s also offensive. People care about the real team behind a brand. One great example of employee representation is in the Curation Foods brand anthem we created. Curation needed a brand anthem to represent their conglomerate of brands including O Olive Oil, Yucatan Guacamole, Eat Smart Salads and Cabo Fresh. Because of the uniqueness of each sub-brand, we knew it would be challenging to give each brand enough screen time. Instead, we decided to highlight a few real people inside the Curation family. From the farmers, to the assembly line staff, to their new CMO - we incorporated a wide range of voices. Highlighting employees became so successful that we ended up delivering spin-off videos for Curation’s social media platforms. This gave audiences a face behind the day-to-day operations of a huge food conglomerate.

3. Use Graphic Motivators

Sometimes listening to voiceover with beautiful slow-motion footage isn’t enough! One of the best ways to make your video pop is to incorporate motion graphics. Motion graphics help communicate facts, provide relevant statistics, and accentuate the brand name overall but most importantly, they elevate a brand’s voice. Is your brand fun and flirty? Masculine or feminine? Advanced or tech-forward? Your audience will quickly understand your brand’s voice if you incorporate complimentary motion graphics. The anthem we did for Hotaling&Co. utilised slick graphics to punch up drink recipes, list out ingredients and showcase some amazing local SF bartenders. All of which allowed the anthem video to take off among influencers and tastemakers in the premium spirits space.

4. Feature Founders

Never underestimate a founder’s story! Countless hours go into building a company. Find the founding team and interview them. We recommend conducting pre-interviews (before the cameras roll) to learn the story behind the story. Another huge bonus of putting founders on camera is that they know their brand inside and out. It’s a great time to get soundbites, mission statements, and other nuggets you might need for the VO track. A great example of a founder’s video is the one we created for VCA. The anthem was part of a larger brand refresh, focusing on a recommitment to caring for the future of veterinary medicine.

The magic unfolded as we watched three old friends gab about the good ol’ days. Although we showed up with a list of questions, those quickly went out the window. These founders didn’t need questions! They organically related to one another, sharing authentic stories about building the VCA brand. Sometimes it’s not about your agenda, it’s about theirs. We got answers we never expected and it’s all because we let them take the reins.

5. And make it COOL.

When your brand needs an anthem for fundraising, it better look good, and it better be cool! Take high-end philanthropic drone company, Matternet, for example. Matternet has one of the most exciting medical transport drones on the market. We decided for this anthem that we wanted less dialogue and more COOL. We highlighted some various use cases with the drone but filming the product in a studio as well as a real-life hospital. Because of the inherent design, the angles and movement of the drone looked stunning on camera. You don’t always need interviews, real customers or employees to tell a story. Sometimes you can give viewers a video that inspires excitement.