Corporate video production by theft from film genres

corporate video production through theft from film genresWhen trying to be creative with ideas for your corporate video production, I can’t think of a better plan than looking to film and television traditions for inspiration. It is likely you will find something appropriate to the product or service you are selling. Technically there are hundreds of film genres, including a range of hybrid combinations. In recent years, there has been a trend towards fiction and documentary hybrids, often making it more difficult for the viewer to label a film by genre. However, in general, audiences are accustomed to a range of genres and can identify them. Audiences have been first hand witnesses to the changes and developments in film and are experts in their own right.

Content excellence and telling a story with corporate videos

In the light of the recent revelation of Coca Cola’s Content 2020 marketing strategy, we should all be taking note of the importance of ‘content excellence’ and telling stories in our marketing campaigns that people can connect with. Using ideas from the style and form of traditional genres is a wonderful way to engage your audience because you are using a language that they are familiar with – a language that is ingrained from a lifetime of watching TV and film. It isn’t rocket science and you don’t need to reinvent the wheel. The goal for your corporate video production should be to think of intelligent ways to borrow from other forms to tell a story about your own brand, product or service.

Here we have a list of some of the more popular genres. We have given some well known examples of adverts that have taken a particular genre and painted it all over their own brands, creating some unforgettable advertising experiences (or not as the case may be!).


Romance is not an uncommon stylistic choice in TV and Internet marketing. That’s why I couldn’t resist highlighting two examples. The Chanel adverts are like mini-Hollywood productions. The old Nescafe adverts are icons of the time and I wouldn’t even like to guess how many times elements of the script from those adverts made it into real life romantic encounters! An extremely effective campaign. These are not thought of as corporate video productions which is really what you want to achieve.

Perfume – Chanel

Coffee – Nescafe Gold Blend 1992


The obvious aim of a comedy is to entertain an audience and make them laugh. The 118 TV adverts have become instantly recognisable in themselves – which is because they have been based on extremely familiar themes. This example below is based on the Rocky films and likens the brand to Rocky i.e. ‘a hero’.

Direct inquiry services – 118


Documentary is an extremely broad term so please excuse any over simplification. By documentary in this instance I am talking about videos or adverts that aim to present their footage as non-fictional. Toothpaste brands seem to like vox pops and customer testimonials to vouch for their products. However, I am unsure about the authenticity of the customers in this Colgate advert because the first one appears to be current TV personality Dawn Porter. Anyway, you can see what they are trying to do.


Film Noir

Film noir is a genre that is most easily recognisable by its low-key black and white visual style. This genre borrows from the crime story genre and has a similar mysterious edge. It lends itself well to brands that want to express a particular type of masculinity (and by default a particular type of femininity). This example was made by a video production company for Jameson whiskey and it demonstrates it’s potential to build up some suspense. They use a colour grading technique which sets the golden colour of the whiskey against the black and white backdrop.

Whiskey – Jameson


The Western genre is instantly identifiable. It is unlikely anyone will ever pull it off as well as Marlboro in 1960’s. I suppose the Milky Bar kid gave it a go… Obviously it is no longer possible to advertise cigarettes on TV in the UK. This advert from 1969 is a perfect example of associating a brand with a particular type of person and you can see the potential power of using a celebrity to advocate for your product (imagine John Wayne in this case!).

Marlboro 1969

Soap opera

The soap opera style is a great example of corporate story telling that viewers can relate to and connect with. These gravy adverts from the 1980’s and 1990’s must be familiar to anyone who was around at the time and had a TV.

Bisto – 1990


Of all the genres, this has to be the most difficult to pull off effectively. Somehow, Phones 4 U have done it. They have used a theme that apparently has no real connection with their product and yet this works. It grabs your attention and creates a morbid fascination and a need to see it through to the end.

Phones 4 U


The action/thriller genre is an obvious choice for marketing a vehicle. Action thriller movies generally tend to involve a protagonist/hero confronting a range of obstacles and challenges which are in the way of them achieving their ultimate goal or completing their mission. There are hundreds of examples out there. This recent example for the Mini is an example of action combined with some comedy.



MWP are a video strategy, production and marketing company with a focus on delivering measurable results.

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