Small Business Tips by Progressive

Nearly every Visual Creatives client eventually makes a video. After all, video marketing gathers the most attention, showcases your brand and adds variety to humdrum content.

When guiding clients through the process of ideating and scripting, we often propose something we call “parallel storytelling.” What is parallel storytelling? It is telling an unrelated story that actually speaks to your brand’s core values. So while a bank, for instance, might be focusing on a community relief project, the real story is that the bank is there, working in the community and is a caring institution. The name of the bank hardly needs to be mentioned: the characteristics showcased in the video are automatically ascribed to the sponsoring organization.

I came across a great example of parallel storytelling today sponsored by Progressive. Progressive wanted to highlight their commitment to small businesses. But rather than overtly create a promotional piece to small business owners, they provided content of value in this little series of short video clips.

Things to note as you watch:

  • The clips are short — usually 40 seconds. This gives them a high degree of shareability.
  • The three partners featured create a very human face for Progressive. And it is a new face – we only see spokesperson Flo in the YouTube avatar. We begin to identify with the three partners in the empanadas restaurant, and want to see them succeed. We keep clicking, hoping to see them solve problems and flourish.
  • The topics solve problems for potential Progressive customers. The clips address hiring, marketing, day-to-day operations: all issues that concern small business owners. Notice they do NOT talk about insurance.
  • The style of the videography is cinematic. We are treated to lush colors, detailed images and a true sense of place.

The Progressive small business tips make you want to watch the next short clip. And the next. And that is the definition of video marketing that is compelling, and educational.

Want to consider some parallel storytelling of your own?