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Columbia Sportswear succeeds by showing, not telling

What can you learn from an outdoor gear retailer? Their new web video series might inspire you to be more clever, humorous and maybe even add a 1950s public service announcement feel to your own web videos. The company’s demonstrations are 100% memorable, check them out.

What Columbia can teach you about being clever

“What do sweaty hot dog buns, cafeteria workers, mesh tank tops and a cat have to do with proving our gear is the best in the industry? Everything. Watch as we put our most innovative products to innovative tests. We’ll stay dedicated, and we’ll keep improving, because trying stuff means never taking a catnap on our laurels.”

That’s the pitch by outdoor gear retailer, Columbia Sportswear in their recent web video series designed with viral sharing in mind. Using humor in their clever demonstrations, in a brief moment, the company sears the memory of their technology into viewers’ brains. Promoting their durable gear, the company tests their products on sweaty twins, a cat, a jerk, and cafeteria workers making bean salads.

The videos appeal to your inner pre-teen who relates to the gag reflex as much as the funny bone. Columbia shares the videos on their site and through their social networks, maximizing their impact. The views are not in the millions, but they have only been online for a few days and their niche market of outdoor enthusiasts are indeed sharing the videos.

Getting inspired

Check out several in the series below for inspiration, taking special note of the production quality, but mostly the use of humor and taking advantage of the idea that gross is funny. We dare you to watch all four videos and not crack a smile or be able to recall the brand name afterward:

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The American Genius is news, insights, tools, and inspiration for business owners and professionals. AG condenses information on technology, business, social media, startups, economics and more, so you don’t have to.

22 Comments

22 Comments

  1. jeff

    March 20, 2012 at 8:14 pm

    They really do show not telling lol, good to watch

  2. Thomas Johnson

    March 30, 2012 at 7:35 am

    The 5 bean salad looks wonderful. The stinky foot aroma adds flavor while the overnight marinade kills any foot fungus, brilliant!

  3. AgentGenius

    May 10, 2012 at 6:33 pm

    Ours is the gross hot dog buns video. Gross.

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