Red Bull takes one of the most popular film techniques, the domino effect, to a mind-blowing level creating an epic piece of content

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Over the past several years the appeal in using new techniques in film content has grown. In a world that increasingly appreciates craft, this trend makes sense. However, I believe that too often the use of technique is done for the sake of technique and not with Brand story and value proposition at the core of the narrative.

In this post, I will explore one technique that has been used repeatedly for close to a decade – the domino effect done in one take. The first bit of content that made this technique truly popular came from Honda in 2003. They were merchandizing their engineering prowess and attention to detail which this technique brought to life beautifully. This was an example where the technique amplified the story and its message. Its brilliance spawned many imitations.

The brilliant use of the domino effect technique in content such as that of Honda, allowed it to spread and become a hit in pop-culture. The result was that innovative music bands such as OK GO took it to new levels, further popularizing the technique.

As its popularity grew, its use was bound to be poorly implemented as Brands jumped on the bandwagon. Brands got carried away in the game of it and forgot to tie the execution closely to the intended message so that a consumer could have a strong chance to remember what the point of the story was actually about (in other words, the benefit). An example of this is from Vodafone.

The technique now firmly established in culture, it requires a really bold approach or implementation to make it still engaging and entertaining. Red Bull accomplished this challenge. They did so by making the set-up seem close to impossible and filling it with surprises. Throughout the video you are continuously saying to yourself, “I can’t believe that they pulled that off”. The video is also fantastic because their value proposition and all their athlete and sport assets are at the center of the challenge and experience. In other words, while the technique has been used countless times, this story could be by no one else but Red Bull. Have a look.

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