Inside a Large-Scale Brand Awareness Video Campaign

Here's What a Large-Scale Video Brand Awareness Campaign Looks Like

When you leverage the true power of branded content on facebook you can reach people who never would have had a clue who you were before.
That’s what happened when I worked on this incredible content campaign with Toyota around the Paralympics.
While I can’t get into all the specifics about the campaign, I thought it would be useful for folks to see the basics inside a brand awareness campaign to really get a feel for how the process works, and how it truly meshes the creative side of things with the brand’s own mission goals.

I recorded a video below where I take you through the steps, as well as show some snippets of the final products, which (I know, I’m bias) I think are incredible stories.

Now Read: Why Creating a Brand For Yourself Is the most Important Thing You Can Do >>

Getting Started

The first stage here was the RFP and  proposal.
RFP stands for “Request for Proposal.” Basically, the initial connection is made with the potential client/partner, and then we ask them to put together a brief RFP. The RFP just aggregates the mission the brand wants to accomplish , and some of the creative they have in mind.

Once we have the RFP we put our creative heads together and come up with a plan for the client that speaks to that RFP keeping three major things in mind:

1. The brand’s main mission in getting this content created and put out into the world.

2. What type of content that people will consume (ideally virally) voraciously as well as share (an underused metric!)

3. What stories we can tell that our truly creative, bold, strong, engaging, and feel on brand for the client


Once the deal is inked and we’ve agreed on a creative direction, we do a few more onboarding calls to just make sure we are all on the same page, and then begin production.
In this specific case, I flew out to Switzerland with a video production team to do a week-long shoot in the Alps for the series (I was working with NowThis at the time).
Due to the short timeline, we were working around the clock. Shooting during the day, and writing and editing at night.


The pieces were then signed off on by the brand and then distributed through media buying and organic traffic throughout the world.
The campaign was extremely successful, and all parties walked away happy, and with a lot of new attention placed on them.

Email Matt to Find Out More About How a Brand Awareness Campaign Could Work for You


Hello everybody. Matt Johnston here, CEO of Guide Social. I just wanted to touch base with you today to tell you a little bit how the process works with getting a large scale branded content or sponsored content video campaign on its feet out into the world and in front of millions and millions of eyeballs. I can’t get into all of the specifics of certain cases for obvious reasons, but, , just using public information about this campaign, I want to sort of tell you a little bit about a campaign that I executive produced working with Toyota, , in conjunction with the Paralympics leading up to the Paralympic Games, also with the IPC, the International Paralympic Committee. So I wanted to sort of share this with you because I do think that it helps sort of tell the story of how the process of getting a really successful branded content campaign out into the world works.

So the mission basically was a series of Facebook optimized videos aimed at raising awareness around the Paralympics and the Paralympic movement sponsored by Toyota. And in partnership with the IPC. So we worked with them very closely to make sure that we were hitting those goals and making content that really moved people. Because when you can move people emotionally, you can move mountains with your brand. And I think all of us knew that it was just about dialing it in and getting it right to exactly the right place to get the kind of massive brand awareness that they wanted with this. The way the process works is that it starts out with obviously an initial connection, we’ll talk to perspective clients and we’ll meet the brand and they’ll say, hey, we’re really interested in working with you.

They’ll ask us “how does it work?” How do we get started here? And we always say, well, the first thing is, give us an RFP, which is a request for a proposal. And what that basically means is that we know exactly what they’re looking for so that we know if we can help and we can design the proposal for them. So this request for proposal has the mission in mind, has some ideas about the creative and talks about the sort of platforms and the general business goals that the brand wants to achieve by working with us. And we will return with a proposal that has all of these things in mind and has the creative in mind as well as an idea of what content people will click. So really what we’re thinking about in this proposal is one, what does the brand want to achieve from a business perspective, and how can we help them achieve that too?

How can we do this in a very, very creative way that feels on brand and also wonderful and moving and emotional, or if it needs to be funny –  all of that creative stuff, right? And then the third thing is making sure that it’s going to get a lot of organic traction. I mean, media buying is a part of all of these. And it has to be targeted. Media buying is key, and this is why we do it because we know the ad landscapes and we know how to target your customer avatars. So when brands come to us, we do the media buying for them and we want to make sure that the piece of content is something that, that Avatar, that interest, that audience is going to respond to and click on. So it needs to be super optimized and native to the platform and it needs to be very, what I call “clicky.” And He needs to be a thumb stop or something that will get, people will want to really share and engage with.

So we came back with that proposal, nine videos series, , focusing on brand awareness, human stories. We were going to do a short, , we, we did do a sh a series of short mini doc profiles and, , the deliverable was guaranteed video views, right? So a mix of organic traffic and paid media buying mixes up to make all the video views that we need. Right? So of course then we had to actually do it right? Production. I was lucky enough to be on the ground for this. So I flew out to Switzerland, spent a week in the Alps and we interviewed many athletes for these mini profile stories. We shot tons of b-roll during the day. And it was, it was a snow storm most of the time, which was an interesting challenge, but we got to spend some really great time with some amazing athletes.

And we were actually writing and editing the videos as we shot them, which was just a wonderful experience. Um, and with the production, the way that it went is once we had the plan all in place from the proposal. We had a series of onboarding calls. A few other calls to touch base on certain things. We made sure we were all on the same page about what exactly we were going to create. And then as we created the videos, we would submit them to the brand for review so they could sign off and say, “I feel good about this.” I feel good about the logo integration. I feel good about the story. Let’s tweak this, let’s tweak that, let’s make this more on brand, etc. Etc. We always make sure that everybody is super happy with what we put out into the world. It was a very successful campaign and we couldn’t be happier with how it worked out. So that sort of walks you through and I just want to show you just a couple of small snippets of two of these videos because I’m proud of them. I think they’re wonderful. This is when I was working in a capacity with NowThis, at the time, so that’s where these lived and , with Toyota branding, and along with the IPC, so this is the first, just to give you a sort of little taste …

Um, so, you know, as I said before, I can’t get too much into the details of all of this, but just to show you sort of, , through the lens of this broadly, how a campaign like this works, how it can be effective, the kind of stories that we’re able to tell, and just how great that can be for a brand. And I definitely want to talk with you if you’re interested in discussing how a branded content campaign like this might work for your brand. I’d love to just get on the phone with people and just talk about your brand, your goals and if a campaign like this would be useful to you because you know, it’s not useful for every single brand, but there are a lot of brands out there that certainly could benefit from this level of awareness.

Whether it’s for certain PR reasons or certain communities, you want to make sure that you engage with online, certain buyer personas that you don’t feel like you’re speaking to yet, and you want to find a way to speak to them through content. It can be very useful. So I thought maybe just taking you through this process, so you’d know how it works was really helpful – and definitely willing to talk to you. There’s a green button here at the bottom of this post, feel free to click that and contact me and I’d love to speak with you about stuff. Okay. I hope that you’re having an amazing day and thanks so much for your time and attention today.

**Note: This particular series was executive produced by myself working with NowThis, the #1 video news publisher in the world, in partnership with Toyota and the IPC.

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Matt Johnston and Allie Bloyd