5 Great Branded Videos Over 90 Seconds

By Pete Fergusson

Owner and CEO of Nemorin Creative Film & Video

London, UK

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The reality is that the duration of the content very much depends on the content itself.

90 seconds.

It’s a number that’s thrown around a lot by marketing gurus and professionals – 90 seconds is the optimal duration for a branded video. It’s not so long that people get bored and switch off, and it’s not so short that the content is shallow and audiences don’t get engaged at all.

The reality is that the duration of the content very much depends on the content itself. There’s an audience – and a market – for good quality, long-form content. Even the most talented documentary filmmaker would be hard-pressed to tell a thorough story in under 90 seconds, and there’s even an entire category on Netflix dedicated to long-form films that includes a 7-hour real-time train journey.

So here are our five favourite branded films that run over 90 seconds.

Just like any great branded content, the branding is minimal, the story is compelling, and it caters exactly to the tastes of Red Bull’s audience.

1. Red Bull – Slacker

Pushing the limits of what’s possible – this 9-minute documentary about extreme high-wiring in Utah is the embodiment of what Red Bull’s philosophy is all about. Just like any great branded content, the branding is minimal, the story is compelling, and it caters exactly to the tastes of Red Bull’s audience.

This branded video is three times longer than a 90-second video, but it was rewarded with 14.6 million views.

2. Heineken – Worlds Apart

This fascinating social experiment is so deftly put together that the viewing time flies by. It’s fascinating, emotional, eye-opening, and sums up Heinken’s ambitions nicely. This branded video is three times longer than a 90-second video, but it was rewarded with 14.6 million views.

Coming in at 7 and a half minutes, you’ll find yourself riveted until the final frame.

3. Volvo – Music of the Mind

This documentary is a remarkable story produced by Volvo and Sky Atlantic. It isn’t about Volvo – it isn’t even about cars… It’s about technology and humanity coming together, with just a sprinkling of blink-and-you’ll-miss-it product placement. Coming in at 7 and a half minutes, you’ll find yourself riveted until the final frame.

Each episode is about an hour long, and the engaging storytelling would easily fit on primetime TV.

4. Boeing – The Age of Aerospace

Boeing created this 5-part miniseries detailing the history of the company and its contributions to the advancement of aerospace technology. Each episode is about an hour long, and the engaging storytelling would easily fit on primetime TV. No 90-second considerations here. (Click picture to go to website and see the miniseries)

By investing more time in getting to know the characters and individuals, the end results are seriously worth it

5. Ancestry – It’s A Small World

This series from Ancestry AU is a wonderful exploration of people, character, and culture. While it would be possible to distil the essence of the series into a single 90-second video, Ancestry decided to take their time and tell it over several 5-minute episodes. By investing more time in getting to know the characters and individuals, the end results are seriously worth it – overall, the series racked up a couple of million views online.

Listen to the story. If it’s demanding a longer time in which to be told, don’t be afraid to push the limits.

So there you have it – five examples of branded videos smashing that 90-second rule to pieces. When producing videos, perhaps consider the content itself rather than the duration. Listen to the story. If it’s demanding a longer time in which to be told, don’t be afraid to push the limits. When the story is strong and the content is engaging, audiences will stay.

Want more from Pete Fergusson? He shares his thoughts on native advertising in 2018 in our ebook “36 Predictions for Native Advertising in 2018” which you can download right here