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Branded video review with RedPill: Influencer Special

Every fortnight, RedPill reviews three branded videos and assesses the reasons behind their social performance.

RedPill’s rating system scores videos across five categories (awarding a maximum of 20 per cent for each category): originality; on brand; creativity; craft; and shareability. The sum of all five scores produces a rating out of 100 per cent.

With RedPill recently launching the Influencer Top 10 chart, which tracks and ranks successful brand-influencer partnerships by audience engagement, we looked at this week’s rankings to see what lessons can be learned.

Smosh Games for Reese’s Puffs - Ultimate Breakfast Triathlon (Bonus)

Rating: 86 per cent

A breakfast triathlon? Sure, why not. Ridiculous challenges are always a solid bet in the YouTube world, and Smosh Games have always executed goofy idiocy to a high standard. The real selling point in these videos is never the challenges themselves, but the banter between the hosts. Watching Smosh Games you really feel they are a genuine group of friends, and their enthusiasm is infectious. Watching them, I don’t even care that bucking hay bales has nothing to do with breakfast (unless you’re Molly the cow).

Reese’s Puffs prominent product placement could feel gratuitous, but thankfully it doesn’t distract from the fun. And the final challenge is a great example of advertising and entertainment in a self-reinforcing relationship.

Mark Wiens for Star Alliance, Marriott Hotels and Turkish Airlines - Turkish Airlines Breakfast and Istanbul Street Food Kofte!

Rating: 71 per cent

The life of a travel vlogger is probably one of the most enviable jobs around. And on YouTube, it is certainly one of the most monetizable. However, while many brands use the standard paid promotion model, others employ the ‘scholarship’ method - they’ll provide flights or accommodations or a lump sum upon acceptance of a proposal (and a final video). Of course, for a travel vlogger to win these, they need an already sizeable audience and an established brand.

At 25 minutes, this video could have used some work in the editing room - Mark’s reactions are fantastic, his pleasure is palpable, but we don’t necessarily need one after every bite. Mark is certainly living the dream, and using great brands to make it possible.

Clothesencounters for Smashbox Cosmetics - Fall Bombshell Makeup

Rating: 80 per cent

It’s pretty normal to see two or even three makeup how-tos in the Influencer Top 10 on any given day. They range from the strictly business to the more playful with plenty of fluttering eyelashes. Clothesencounters manages to find the right balance between the two - she’s efficient and to the point, but her winking humour and obvious skill make it thoroughly entertaining. Even to a guy who only puts on makeup every once in awhile, watching Jenn work has the pleasure of watching a master of her craft work with fluidity and poise.

From the brand’s point of view, there could have been a bit more Smashbox in the tutorial - it does get lost among the host of other products used. But this is the true challenge with influencer marketing - how to split the difference between a video shifting products (that will never go down well with the influencer’s core audience) and one that hardly features the product at all.

Matthew Davies is a director at RedPill, a specialist branded video agency that delivers a fully integrated approach to social video production and distribution for brands around the globe.