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