Austin Shoe Hospital: Video Case Study

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Appealing to the audience on an emotional level is an effective approach to using video to enhance your marketing strategy. An excellent example of a more emotional approach comes from a shoe repair company in Austin, Texas. For over 100 years, Austin Shoe Hospital has been repairing every possible form of footwear from their many locations throughout the state of Texas. In recent years, they have focused on building up a mail order model that has allowed them to expand their market across the whole country and beyond. Thanks to their long history and generations of satisfied customers, Austin Shoe Hospital had developed a reputation for high-quality work and top-notch customer service in their home state.

With their expansion, they faced a pair of challenges:
1. They needed to communicate their reputation and high standards to a much broader audience that had almost certainly never heard of them.
2. The audience they hoped to reach likely was unaware that mail-order shoe repair was something that even existed, in the first place.

So they decided to make a series of videos that highlighted their services while simultaneously communicating their commitment to quality. With a minimal budget and a crew of one, they set to work on creating a dozen or so short spots featuring actual employees, including CEO Caroll Kelly, describing their craft and demonstrating their methods.

According to Carroll, the series was shot over the course of two days at their Austin headquarters. They hired a freelance filmmaker who shot and edited each spot for about $1,000 apiece. Most of the scenes were done in a single take, with minimal scripting. They simply filmed their own people speaking from their hearts about something for which they have genuine passion. “You’ve got to be true,” he said. “That’s the way to build credibility.”

The results were excellent. The spots clearly demonstrate the repair process and provide great detail about the level of quality of both the craftsmanship and the materials. And they worked. Carroll estimates that the mail order business has increased by about 200% each month since the videos started appearing online in late 2012.

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