Back in college, I kept a notebook. In it I Scotch-taped pieces of writing that inspired me. Passages from books. Poems I had photocopied. Pages from a quote-a-day desk calendar. Song lyrics. And yes, even ads torn from magazines.
Over the years, though my methods have changed along with technology (I now text myself quotes that strike me and offer book recommendations via Instagram), my appreciation of and quest for inspiration—good writing that connects with me, speaks a profound truth, or simply makes me feel something—is ongoing.
You could say it’s one of the reasons why I’ve ended up here, in marketing, a copywriter who works daily to make connections—with people, organizations, companies, and brands—using words.
It’s also why I’m a sucker for the ever-popular brand anthem and corresponding brand anthem video. Why? Because above all else, anthem videos, when executed well, are designed to make you feel… inspired, hopeful, good—about who you are, who we all are, and by extension, who the brand is.
Of course, not all anthem videos are well-executed. And though I’d argue that you know a good one when you feel it, for me, the best brand anthems accomplish the following.
Reveal who you are and what you stand for.
Today, standing out from the crowd means standing for something. Consumers want brands that reflect and uphold the values that are important to them.
Timberland: Nature needs heroes
Retailer of outdoor gear, including boots, shoes, and jackets
Speak a profound truth.
Finding and vocalizing a profound truth—a great equalizer—can be incredibly powerful. We’re all human and, though the current political climate might lead us to believe otherwise, there is more that unites us than divides us. Emphasizing these commonalities can bring people together in support of your brand.
Kahn Academy: You can learn anything
Nonprofit offering free online learning resources for all ages
Commit to a higher purpose.
Brand anthems aren’t about a product, but rather, a mission—why you exist and what your product or service allows people to do and achieve (preferably greatness).
The North Face: Never stop exploring
Outerwear retailer of performance apparel, equipment, and footwear
Connect on an emotional level.
If a brand anthem video is doing any or all of the above, chances are good that it’s striking an emotional chord. Whether you’re speaking to new audiences or long-time supporters, you have to make them feel.
Allstate: People live for good
Personal property and casualty insurance company