If you can’t see this video, click here, or watch it directly on Vimeo.

My wife shared this video with me yesterday, so I assume it’s doing the rounds. But watch it to the end and there is a masterstroke of salesmanship.

So go watch it.

Done? Now, here’s what I think:

The credits are the two guys in the video quirkily thanking the individuals who did each part, and asking you to subscribe to their channels. Of course, having watched 4 minutes or so of stop-motion mastery with these guys, their facial expressions and creativity creating an emotional bond, you trust them. You like them. And you want to be a part of the community that they are a part of.

It’s like an the end of the theatre – as the actors bow, I want to go and have drinks with them because I’ve shared an emotional 3 hours with them. We’ve been part of the same story, of which they were the story tellers.

Then these two guys let me know that I can have a deeper part of the story – I can buy one of the t-shirts that they wore. It’s memorabilia – and in the experience economy, memorabilia is what extends the experience through creating a physical touch point for the emotion experienced in a fixed event. By buying the memorabilia, I’m becoming part of the story.

No doubt if you go to buy the T, they’ve sold out. So now there’s demand for products which will only spread the video further and further.

All of this through an experience of 4 minutes.

Why Do I Think This Is A Big Deal?

People keep telling us ‘tell stories’ but they often don’t say how and they also don’t say how you monetise it. I think this is an exceptional example of how to do it.

Furthermore, as the experience economy becomes more and more prevalent in the digital world, this is also an exceptional value of how to create a digital experience (I’m not talking about flashy websites, but emotional experience.)

I’d highly recommend in fact that you read Pine and Gilmore’s The Experience Economy (affiliate link) if you haven’t by now, and you’ll see how good an example this video is, and how you can do likewise.

Your Leading Thoughts

  • How do you think you can do a similar thing with your business and your products? Get specific, and as a community, let’s share some advice with each other and help one another out.

Archived Comments

  • Gary Day-Ellison

    This video wins because it knocks down all the reasons I usually pass on net video.

    It catches my attention and keeps it. It immediately tells me I am not wasting my time with hard-sell double-glazing features. These guys are fun.

    It gets my attention from the first frame and keeps up the pace of ideas. It’s inventive. Even the credits.

    It doesn’t sell at me. It entertains me. They are playing and it’s fun. I want to play too.

    It is not a vain ‘talking head’ and I enjoy their interaction.

    It asked for my time and repaid me. I want to share it on. It reinforces the recommendation value of LikeMinds in sharing it with me. I like it. I may even but the T-shirt.

  • Robin Dickinson

    Thanks, Scott. Very entertaining.

    Several thoughts came up for me:

    1) From the time it took me to get from watching the video to writing this post, I can remember that it was about T-shirts, but can’t remember the brand or link. This is probably because there was no direct url to take an immediate jump (or was there?);

    2) It would be interesting to see the profitability of this exercise – time/effort vs. net profit derived from shirt sales. The grand assumption is that free-seekers who share entertaining videos virally will buy/sell these shirts. At no point did I feel compelled to buy a shirt, nor that I was being asked to buy a shirt – or get my friends or colleagues to buy a shirt. Hmm.

    It was long – entertaining – but long, and left me just a little confused about what to do – what action to take. Sure it suggested a bunch of things, but they were ‘sprayed’ at me in a rather rushed way at the end.

    As I say, the truth will be in the bankable metrics. If the technique delivers ROI, then that’s excellent.

    Just wanted to throw some thoughts into the mix.

    Robin :)

  • / Scott Gould

    Very interesting comments.

    Gary, as a fellow ‘creative’, gets emotionally engaged – Robin not so. I think that answers part of the question asked by Robin.

    I check the stats, BTW Robin. 150k views, and 40k subscribers to their channel. That’s a pretty cool community that they can sell further products to.

    All the T-shirts have been sold out for a while now. There were I don’t know how many 100 of those – at say $5 profit each – and now the sell out has created demand and you can buy replicas. Admittedly, they aren’t making a killing here – but they are a crowd of people that have given them permission to emotionally engage them with more.

  • JoanneMPrior

    It did not grab me in terms of I thought I would like to buy a t-shirt. I felt the same as Robin, uncertain about what action I was meant to take and how I was meant to take it. Which gives us the idea that when we are presenting to our audience we need to make sure we are clear about what it is we are ‘selling’ and how they might access it!


  • / Scott Gould

    See response above :-)

  • / Scott Gould

    See response above :-) |

  • / Scott Gould

    Joanne I wonder – are you more creative, or financially minded?

  • Rosa Garriga

    I feel the same way as Joanne and Robin, it didn’t engage me enough to want me buy a t-shirt, plus I also think is a bit too long.
    I’ve read Pine & Gilmore and I’m not sure if I agree this can be categorized inside the experience economy, isn’t it just a fun and engaging piece of advertising? (although not really advertising, since the selling message is not clear…I’m graduated in Advertising, by the way).
    For the people that hasn’t read the book, an ‘ideal’ experience should be: entertaining, educational, esthetical and escapist (they don’t have to be all at the same time, but the more the better). To me, this video is certainly entertaining, maybe a bit esthetical and escapist, but the role of us as viewers is totally passive (unless you go and buy the t-shirt) because it’s not engaging us enough, therefore I don’t consider it as an experience. It’d be for the people that go and join the communities…

  • Rosa Garriga

    I’m sorry if that comment sounds a bit harsh! I’d love to hear your thoughts !!

  • Robin Dickinson

    Interesting way to reply to comments ;)

    I still don’t understand the assumption that says mass volume views/subscribers = profitable, sustainable revenue. Free-seekers are free-seekers. The idea that if we get enough of them they will buy, and it will deliver ROI metrics, makes several intuitive and risky commercial leaps.

    The judgment that I was less emotionally engaged is based on what? My comment is purely commercial. Much of my day is spent searching for the net returns in great ideas. If emotional engagement can then deliver the numbers, bring it on.

    If all the T-shirts have sold out and they are still generating demand, do they have a supply-chain issue? Again, I find it all a bit confusing from a commercial perspective.

    Love the creative. Had a big laugh. Fully engaged me emotionally. Yes. Unfortunately, where I bank, none of those things have a place on their deposit slips.

    Love the discussion. Your blog is generating some great dialog.

    Well done, Scott.

    Robin :)

  • / Scott Gould


    They have a large number of people who given these guys permission to market their very relevant, personal and targeted products to them. It’s Seth Godin’s idea of permission marketing.

    I have the same – I have 500 people who have given me permission to ‘sell’ Like Minds to them – though of course, I’m not selling so much as sharing it with them.

    The concept behind this video – of creating a story and putting people into the story is exactly what you are doing on your blog. Take your Share Words post – that is what you did there – allow people to get in on the story. Now what I’m pointing to is an example of monetising that emotional connection.

    The T-Shirts that sold out were the originals that they wore in the video. The new t-shirts are reproductions. The art world lives on this idea of originals being worth far more. It’s clever how they did that and created demand, and now sell reproductions of the originals.

    I certainly think there are a few ideas here that others can use to create bankable results in our changing economy. There’s value in a permission asset, there’s value in their creativity, and they are no doubt making more per bit of digital content that they create than we do – and we have far more ‘deeper’ and ‘valuable’ relationships, or so we say!

    I get the feeling you think I’m saying this is THE way – I’m not – but I am pointing out a successful example.

    “If emotional engagement can then deliver the numbers, bring it on.” – yes, it does!

  • / Scott Gould

    Rosa I’ve spoken with Joe about this type of thing myself. Whilst, sure, it doesn’t fit exactly into the framework because it is not PHYSICAL, it’s virtual. If you read Authenticity, they begin to go into this.

    This advert does more than just advertise – it is like Theatre, in my opinion. Sure, only a snapshot and it’s only 4 minutes, but it does contain a few of the parts that Pine and Gilmore point to in their framework.

  • JoanneMPrior

    Hi Scott, surprised to hear back from you! I think both! Why do you ask?

    I possibly may not be the target market of these guys so maybe that is why it did not ‘sell’ to me.


  • / Scott Gould

    SOrry to hear you’re surprised – that must mean most bloggers don’t reply to you – how unsocial!

    I’m curious to know what target audience you are. Below Robin and Gary both commented – Gary is more ‘creative’ and Robin more ‘business’ minded, so the difference in their insights can be understood in that way

  • / Scott Gould

    Not harsh at all, Rosa – say it like is!

  • JoanneMPrior

    Hi Scott, I can see what you are saying and I absolutely am so pleased it brought these guys results. For it was engaging emotionally and I think that is what we are to take away from this is that ’emotionally engage’ and it creates a demand for what we have got. Yes?!

    I think it fascinating in terms of the possibilities!

    Which again I think you are making that point also!


  • kendallthiessen

    Interesting comments. I thought it was great as did most everyone who commented (look–we are watching and discussing!).

    I would suggest that giving a bit of context–i.e. what they are about and why they love t-shirts–might have been a nice addition and explained a bit about why I was watching them.

    Example: I met the CEO of Threadless last night and while he never once “sold” us on anything he did still manage to express his mission to “inspire awesomeness” in the artistic community to create kick a$$ tshirt designs that help financially support their efforts. That made me want to by one of his shirts. In other words, he gave me his “Why” but did it in an inspiring way.

    In this case, they included a short ad at the end with their various links and thank yous. By that time, I had forgotten what the shirts looked like and who I was supposed to be buying from (one thanks was to a designer, one was thanks was to a t-shirt maker and then there was their site–unclear who was selling the cool shirts).

    In sum, I liked them and felt the ad was entertaining but am not sure I would be motivated to buy a shirt.

    Kendall (@ideasurge)

    P.S. Twitter over capacity. #fail

  • / Scott Gould

    Hey Kendall

    Thanks for the comments.

    I love your example of Threadless. They are an exceptional example of monetising a community. Sure – they might not be a billion dollar company and it’s unlikely they’ll get to that size – but they are a great model for others looking to create revenue from community (like myself!)

    The issue is, like you say, you’ve not buying these t-shirts. I guess many of us aren’t – but we aren’t t-shirt buyers, right? If they were selling a book – I’d probably buy it right away.

    Would you agree?

  • Catherine White

    I’ve been a subscriber of these guys since they producing their quirky videos in their garage.

    Extraordinary story tellers, but I’ve never felt compelled to tell buy products they promote.

    They remind me of two Australian Comedians, The Umbilical Brothers.

    Great entertainment, but salesmanship … nah.

  • scottstafstrom

    What I liked about the credits at the end was: “you should subscribe to his channel”. I am not a buyer right away from these guys but I may end up being a subscriber. If I am a subscriber and get to know them and their products better, I may be a buyer someday. They asked for the sale yes, but they asked you to come back for more.

    I am trying to do something similar with my art. I may not have someone buy an original from me right away because of one of my videos, but maybe I can get a new subscriber, fan or ‘liker’ that can become a customer someday.

  • / Scott Gould

    Hey Scott – yeah I agree – the “you should subscribe” echoed community for me. And sure, you may not buy, but you subscribe – and thats a good thing. You are giving your permission for these guys to sell to you again.

  • / Scott Gould

    What things have you been motivated to buy through Social Media Catherine? I’m curious to know what does work for you – would b good to know!

  • sytaylor

    Yeah, a perfect example of telling a story. Starting to see it everywhere now. T-Mobile & Vodafone… even BT tell stories with their ads, and try and have some personality. But it still doesn’t have that ground up, local, movement feel to it.

    Given the environmental trends for re-localising produce, telling a story could be the key to most businesses in the next 10 years.