B2B brand distinctiveness: Boston Dynamics’ Dancing Robots
This week’s example of distinctive B2B brand communication comes from an unusual source: a robotics company called Boston Dynamics. The company’s owner SoftBank recently decided to sell the business. Specifically, Hyundai is a likely buyer for a rumoured $1billion. To help promote the business, the obvious route would have been to brief an agency and splashthe cash on a ‘proper’ (i.e. boring!) B2B brand ad. I can imagine a Microsoft-style ‘explain the tech’ film. A gravelly male voice describing all the amazing features. “1 billion lines of code!” “Leading edge motion sensoring!” “Smart hydraulics!” etc. etc. However, in a moment of creative genius they put out much more distinctive B2B brand communication: a video of their robots doing the twist!
Post by David Nichols, Group Managing Partner and Head of brandgym Create.
Why is ‘Dancing Robots’ such a good piece of distinctive communication?
Delivers directly on their B2B brand objective
‘Viral videos’ can often push the creativity but forget the brand objectives. Not Boston Dynamics. Their stated ambition is ‘To change your idea of what robots can do.’ This video elegantly does that very thing. It delivers a comprehensive mind-changer on the capability of robots. And it clearly linked to the Boston Dynamics B2B brand, no one else. The technical wizardry on display leaves Sony Aibo in the dust.
Distinctive communication needs consistency…
In order to create memory structure, to get remembered, brands need to be consistent. But many often a B2B brand isn’t. They choose a new agency or creative platform every time they brief a new campaign. Boston Dynamics have stuck to their style of super simplistic ‘see & believe’ raw video and we instantly know it’s them. This is not only cheaper than something more polished, but also more distinctive B2B brand communication and so more memorable.
… and freshness
I have seen Boston Dynamics videos for years now. They always tell a clear product story with the robots in a starring role. Dog-like robots opening doors. Humanoid robots climbing stairs, shifting boxes and doing backflips. All these were impressive displays of capability. This latest piece of distinctive communication adds some freshness. It again has a stunning display of technical achievement. But it adds fun and joy into the mix. They simply said, “Hey, can we make them dance?!” and got out the videocam. This is what we call ‘fresh consistency’.
Targets all B2B brand audiences at once
No need for Corporate comms to brief a PR agency for investors. Or internal comms to brief an internal campaign. This one film does the lot. Staff pride, tick. B2B brand buyer awareness, tick. Business to business capability, tick. Gov’t/Defense capability, tick. And (most importantly), it gives confidence to the board members signing the billion dollar cheque to buy the business!
In conclusion, distinctive communication doesn’t have to cost the earth. Boston Dynamics have told a clear product story with a simple but highly effective slice of ‘fresh creativity’. It’s highly memorable and does the job with maximum efficiency: 23million views and 135,000 comments on YouTube and counting.
For more inspiration on distinctive communication, a reminder about our free live webinar on Jan 27th. We’ll explore the explosive growth of digitally-powered fitness brand Peloton. You can save your seat by clicking here: https://tinyurl.com/MBG-Webinar
And for more insights on distinctive B2B brand communication, check out THIS EARLIER POST.