3 Types of Online Video Classifications

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Sometimes, we’ll hear something that’s so totally useful and brilliant that it inspires our work and how we communicate about the work we do. This time around, that’s how we feel about the categorization terminology that Jon Klaff, who is the head of media solutions at YouTube / Google talked about during the Reel Summit this summer. Jon categorizes commercial online videos into three categories: “Hero Videos,” “Hug Videos” and “Hygiene Videos.” We really like this terminology because it allows us in the video strategy world help communicate with the marketing and creative teams that want to start creating videos for their brands. It’s often difficult to explain video types, so when we heard this simple categorization, it really struck a chord.

Let’s dive in to the three categories of videos and use our long term Client, Wacom’s videos as a concrete example for each.



Let’s talk first about hero videos. Hero videos are your big brand videos. They tend to be a bit flashier that most and are generally used to appeal to the emotions of viewers. The goal of hero videos is to get a viewer after they watch it to say, “I want that” or “I need that.” Simply put, they make a big impression and inspire viewer behavior.  Some hero videos can have a really strong call to action (CTA), whereas others take a more mild approach to that CTA, but still leave viewers with that “ahhh, cool” feeling.

At Wacom, they use brand videos in the form of product trailers. When Wacom launches a new product, say for example, a brand new interactive display, they’ll also produce a grand trailer that helps to drive the emotional desire. Here’s a look at one of Wacom’s videos that we’d categorize as a ‘Hero’ video.  If you actually go into YouTube to read the comments, you’ll see they’re full of “wows” and “I wants”. Job well done, hero video!



The next type of video is a hug video. A hug video really appeases the logical side of a viewer’s brain so they support that emotional desire, and really gives that customer that additional information they need to give themselves permission to buy. Hug videos are packed with proof and substance about why a viewer should make a purchase. Video allows viewers to see products, businesses or people from multiple points of view, so by using video to address those conversion concerns, it’s easier for marketers to tip viewers from the consideration into the purchasing phase of the conversion funnel.

A good example of a hug video might be one that focuses entirely on showcasing product features and benefits. The goal is to ignite and appeal to the logical side of somebody’s mind. Another example is a testimonial video. Testimonial videos often use real people with real experiences to give people permission to buy. A third example of a hug video might be a celebrity endorsement video.

Wacom uses hug videos in a number of ways. They create some videos that are entirely created to showcase product features and benefits, and they also create customer testimonials where viewers are able to see how it’s actually being used for the market. Wacom also engages with some Influencers of celebrity status in their world, as a way to show the product in the wild, being used by someone that have perceived authenticity. Let’s take a look at this product focused video from Wacom, that calls out the specific features and benefits of the product, and responds to the most common questions that users have about the product. This video was designed to educate and tip viewers from the consideration phase into the conversion phase of the purchase funnel.



Finally, the third type of video is hygiene video. Hygiene videos are those that support a viewer and a customer after the purchase. They not only show a customer how to use a new product, but they also help to proactively answer any questions that they might have about the product once they get it. We love this type of video because it allows brands to take care of their consumers and build long lasting value-based relationships.


Wacom uses customer care videos to actually show their customers how to resolve common challenges when setting up a product. For instance, if somebody buys a $2,000 Cintiq, the customer care video would show them how to install the drivers or set up the express keys on the Cintiq. So what they’re trying to do is to prevent people from having the frustration of not being able to set it up properly. Another example of a hygiene video would be a tips and tricks video. For instance, somebody after they buy their product might go to the Wacom webpage, and see tricks and tips on how to optimize the express keys, or how to get the most out of their new purchase.

There are three primary goals to hygiene videos. One, it allows customers to quickly and easily resolve common challenges that they might have with the product. This is not only huge for creating loyalists, but it’s also huge for reducing costs that come in to call centers or retail locations from consumers asking questions about how to use the product. In Wacom’s case, they make beautiful products that tend to be fairly big investments for their consumers. Their hygiene videos ensure they have post purchase consumer loyalty content to reach the consumer as they begin trying out their new product. In Wacom’s case, when they started creating hygiene videos, they saw calls to their customer care center go down, which served as an awesome business cost reduction.

The second thing that hygiene videos do is to help prevent returns.  This is a big deal because if people actually know how to use and care for their products, they feel equipped to solve their own problems, which helps to prevent users from endless hours of frustration that often ends in returning unwanted purchases.

The third thing, and possibly one of the most important things, that hygiene videos do is create a positive brand experience. When a brand can not only provide an awesome product, but back that up with anticipating their consumer’s needs, questions and frustrations, they’re building trust. That trust leads to loyalty and long term value based relationships. This is a HUGE deal, because in today’s online environment, if a consumer doesn’t feel like they’re getting the support they want, they can easily turn to all of your competitors.

Here’s an example of how Wacom uses hygiene videos to help customers quickly and easily resolve common challenges with their new product. The focus on this video is teaching new users how to start using one of their products.

So there you have it, three super easy to understand online video classifications: Hero Videos, Hug Videos and Hygiene Videos. We think this is a great was to classify and communicate with our Clients, and invite you to use the terms in your own video endeavors and see if they help you to better communicate the type of videos you’re creating.

Video Insights

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