Video Marketing

The Difference Between a Brand Narrative Video and a Commercial

“Your brand is a story unfolding across all customer touch points.” — Jonah Sachs


There’s a lot of jargon in the branding, filming, and production industries that overlap. We admit the terms can be a little confusing at times, which is why we think it’s important to educate our clients and help them understand the subtleties. This is especially true for terms that we’ve coined and made the bedrock of our services like brand narrative videos. So what’s the difference between these videos and commercials? Let’s dive deeper. 


What do we mean by ‘brand narrative?’ 

In general, a brand narrative is a building block of a brand strategy. It might be easier to think of brand narratives as in-depth, dynamic storytelling. They’re not always set to videos (although that’s how we refer to them), but they help define the brand’s story and bring it to life.

Typically, a brand narrative contains five main elements: brand truths, promise, story, emotional impact, and external expression (i.e., the “marketable concept.”). When we talk about brand narrative videos at WK Studios, we mean videos that use psychology and science to connect with your audience––on a level that’s real, emotional, and authentic. 


How it differs from a commercial 

Commercials are something many of us have experienced. Like narratives, they promote your company, but they’re a lot more straightforward and “high-level.” Where narrative videos dive deep, commercials skim the surface of emotional depth and help to spark initial interest. You could think of them as the handshake and a brand narrative as the hug. 

Commercials are also typically shorter and generate buzz through their shareable nature. And while these are all benefits to your brand and should be used in your marketing strategy, if you want customers to become brand fanatics, you need to invest in a brand narrative video. 


Brand narrative benefits

Choosing the narrative video vs. commercial route is a little more involved, but the end goal is higher engagement and deeper emotional connection. In addition, narrative videos benefit your brand in the following ways: 


Engages the psyche 

We mentioned before how these videos utilize psychology and science. Going further than most simple ads, they tap into neurotransmitters like dopamine, oxytocin, and endorphins. You know, the feel-good hormones. Because the content tells a story, your audience can bond with your brand through these emotional connections. And the emotion doesn’t always have to be happy (just think of Apple).



Most brands (read: all brands) should be thinking of ways to highlight their differentiators. A brand narrative video helps to “cut through the clutter in ways that matter.” These differentiators through visual storytelling also support better recall, which ultimately leads to more awareness and engagement. 


Creates ROI

“Of course, you don’t just want something that looks pretty and makes your clients feel good. You want to see ROI. Luckily, brand narrative videos produce it in spades. Given the emotional complexity of these videos, recent statistics show “ if people love a brand story, 55% are more likely to buy the product in future, 44% will share the story, and 15% will buy the product immediately.” 


The studio difference 

It might seem like a big undertaking, but a video production studio can help you bring your narrative (and your brand) to the next level. Trusting a professional company means you get access to the best equipment, experience, crews, and the know-how to tapping into emotional depths. In the end, it always comes back to storytelling. Ready to take the plunge

Marketing Video Marketing

Combine Corporate and Social Video Filming to Reduce Costs

With the end of the year looming, many companies like yours have started thinking about and planning their 2020 marketing budgets. Smart companies know that video is an essential component in that plan, but what kind of video?

Brand stories, testimonial videos, product videos, advertisements, social media videos — they all have a place in a successful campaign, but corporations that use branded narratives to create stories are ahead of the curve. They’re capitalizing on emerging studies that scientifically prove that stories stick with viewers and cause chemical reactions in the brain such as dopamine, oxytocin and endorphins. These emotion causing chemicals are then carried into the customers’ experience with all your other marketing. Social media videos take on new power when used in conjunction with narrative video.

At WK Studios, we believe video has the power to merge your brand with emotions. Viewers remember the emotion they felt long after the information has been forgotten. Creating video campaigns that evoke emotion in customers will stick with them long after the initial viewing. While we believe that all video is powerful. History, life experience and neuroscience teach us that storytelling videos are the most effective.

Budgeting for Video Marketing Campaigns

A solid video production company will offer to produce a social media campaign while also filming your corporate video content. By combining the two projects, film sessions can often be minimized in many cases. This helps reduce costs for your agency, corporation or non-profit.

Social Media Videos

Video helps you engage your audience on social channels and many of these platforms prioritize video in their listing algorithms, resulting in better organic reach. Users have come to expect social videos with great lighting, optimal sound and professional production value. Your social videos on each platform should align with the same overall brand narrative. From videos in your Instagram story to the video ads you create on Facebook, brands should be consistent and take advantage of as many platforms as possible.

Make Your Video Dollars Go the Extra Mile

In planning your marketing budget for 2020, the idea of creating a corporate video, testimonial videos as well as a full schedule of social videos may seem daunting at first. Finding room in the budget for all types of video marketing doesn’t have to be expensive or exhaustive to be successful. In many cases, filming sessions can be combined when you select the right video production company to create a variety of videos for your marketing campaigns.

Packaging your video projects helps increase brand consistency throughout your marketing campaigns. An experienced and savvy video production company has the capability to produce a social media campaign while also filming video content for a brand narrative or other corporate videos. Blending these projects can reduce costs for you by using clips from a single filming session to create multiple, cohesive videos for your brand.

Create Corporate and Social Media Videos in 2020

WK Studios offers video marketing packages to deliver video content with an emotional impact. We have more than 20 years of experience in the PNW creating in the visual language of film and video production. Our team uses our skills to engage your audience and create an emotional response to your brand. We use the “Hollywood” or Lean Model, meaning we hire the absolute best crew for your specific project and brand narrative. You don’t pay for the staff you don’t need.

Contact us today to receive a quote for a customized corporate and social video package. We look forward to learning more about your brand story.

Brent Dolan

Brent, Director of Operations at WK Studios, currently lives in Bend, Oregon, with his wife Stephanie and two sons Micah and Ezra.