Emotion. The Crucial Element Of Your B2B Video

Who says corporate videos have to be boring? Certainly not Adobe, whose hilarious B2B videos are the perfect way to put across their message.

Top consumer brands have long known that the best adverts pack an emotional punch. Classics such Nick Kamen in his pants in Levi’s Laundrette or monkeys in dressing gowns in PG Tips, Morning showed that it is not the product that matters, it is how consumers feel about the product. Get them to laugh with you, be inspired by you or shed tears with you and you are most of the way to getting them to buy your product.

A good recent example is the Sainsbury’s advert that recreated the World War One Christmas truce of 1914. The three minute forty second advert with the feel of a Hollywood movie packed such a punch that it sold 5,000 chocolate bars an hour and raised £500,000 for charity.

Yet despite these and other wonderful examples, when it comes to B2B adverts creativity usually gets tossed out of the window. A typical B2B advert is ‘pale, male and stale’. It consists of a talking head telling viewers in dull tones about why they should choose their product or service. The typical reaction is boredom and a click away.

So why do most businesses fall into the same trap? The reason seems to be that they have a perception that they must be ‘corporate’ or ‘professional’. They appear to think that hard-nosed businesses people make decisions based strictly on facts, logic and analysis, and that feelings play no part.

In fact, this is nonsense. A few years ago, a neuroscientist called Antonio Damasio made a groundbreaking discovery. Without going into the details of how he did it, he showed that decisions are nearly always based on emotion rather than logic. Even business decisions. In effect, he proved that business people and professionals are human too. Who’d have thought?

Adobe is one large business that hasn’t read the memo that being corporate equals being boring. One of its products, Adobe Marketing Cloud, is targeted at digital marketers and offers analytics and monitoring of advertising campaigns.

The temptation would have been to explain to its audience what the product does, trying to cram in as many features as possible. Instead, it made an advert with a talking chimp and a talking horse. The ad aired online the day after the Super Bowl, the most expensive day of the year on which to buy prime time advertising on US TV.

“Can you believe they spend millions of dollars on these things? For what, 30 seconds?” the chimp says to the horse. “You know, it’s way cheaper to run it online, ’cause then they’ll know who sees it and whether it works.”

The call to action at the end is Adobe’s tagline: “Metrics, not myths.


That advert was followed a few months later by Adobe’s Click, Baby, Click. In this advert, a fictional set of printed encyclopedias appears to be enjoying a huge surge in sales. We follow the excitement of the company and its suppliers as they gear up to fulfill the new orders.

The punchline is a cut to a baby repeatedly stabbing a buy link for the encyclopedias on a tablet. The advert closes with a simple question. “Do you know what your marketing is doing? We can help.” 

These adverts work for a few reasons. First of all, they are funny. “Laughter is the shortest distance between two people,” said comedian Victor Borge, and these adverts prove it. You immediately warm to Adobe.

"Laughter is the shortest distance between two people."

Victor Borge

And, what is more, the adverts are for a corporate product. Clearly, Adobe doesn’t take itself too seriously. That alone makes them stand out from grey corporates and makes you more likely to remember them. They are saying: “Just because we are a huge B2B software company, it doesn’t mean we have to be sensible and grown up.”

That’s not to say they are putting humour ahead of their message. In fact, because you are emotionally engaged through the advert’s story, the message is more memorable. You come away getting exactly the point Adobe wants you to get: look what can go wrong when you are not paying attention to the analytics.

To discuss your business’s video, please get in touch.

About the Author

Nathan Haines

Nathan is the managing director of Element 26 and an expert in video production and video marketing. Nathan enjoys supporting companies to grow their businesses using video. Get in touch on Twitter @element26uk

Like what you've seen? Get started with video today.