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Understand the Power of Aspirational Marketing Videos

What Do We Mean By Aspirational? Aspirational videos show viewers something they don’t have in order to make them want it. They work because we can all imagine ourselves being better than we are, being richer than we are, being cooler than we are. It is the idea that resides at the core of the advertising…

What Do We Mean By Aspirational?

Aspirational videos

Aspirational videos show viewers something they don’t have in order to make them want it. They work because we can all imagine ourselves being better than we are, being richer than we are, being cooler than we are. It is the idea that resides at the core of the advertising industry. These videos show a lifestyle that the viewer doesn’t have but wants. They show archetypes of people that the viewer can imagine themselves being while knowing that they aren’t. The magic and power of video means that it is possible to show people images of lifestyles, sophistication and elegance that can never be achieved and therefore create a perpetual cycle of desire that can never be fulfilled. There are those that say this is the very heart of the problems with our capitalist society, but that’s a discussion for another place. I want to get down to talking about making videos that create desire, when, and if, it’s the right method for your business. There are adverts out there that simply demonstrate a product or inform the viewer that it exists and they can be very useful in certain circumstances, but I’m going to talk about who should be using aspirational videos, when they should be used and how to make them.

Who Should Be Using Aspirational Videos?

I have some very definite thoughts on this and you can feel free to disagree in the comments.

  1.  Low end products and services are not aspirational. I can think of so many exceptions to this that it’s almost a lie but by and large it holds true. If the product or service your business sells is entry level then people are almost certainly buying it because of the price and not because they aspire to be entry level people. Nobody aspires to the bottom rung of the ladder, the bottom rung is just the first step you have to take to get where you want to go. Once people are on the ladder, they look up and aspire to climb higher.
  2. The very best examples of products are not aspirational. Aspiration is about wanting to be better. Once someone can afford the very best there is no aspiration driving the purchase.
  3. Mid-level products and services thrive on those that aspire to be better, richer, cooler. BMW has thousands of customers who will never be able to afford a brand new Rolls-Royce or Ferrari but nevertheless want great cars that drive really well. A middle manager who is doing quite well in a company somewhere may want a supercar but realise that they can afford an M5. The aspiration has driven the purchase.

Aspirational videos

I’m saying that aspirational videos work for mid level products and services that give the feel of top end products to those who have to work to acquire them. My conclusion is, therefore, that if your business deals with mid range products and services using aspirational video techniques could bring you a whole range of new customers.

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How Do We Make An Aspirational Video?

Here are five elements that give your video the ability to create desire in your viewers.


What you show in the video must be beautiful. Everything must be in place, polished, lit, buffed and made up. The people must look great and the focus must be shallow.

Aspirational videosStyle

The fashion doesn’t have to be the latest, that’s an easy way to make a video that dates very quickly, but the video must have style. That can come from where the video is shot and how the actors behave. It could come from the editing or the choice of music or from the lighting or the sound design. There must be an identity to your video that speaks to the desires of the viewers.


That old fashioned sense of danger and romance should permeate every shot. People desire what they see and what they don’t have and we all need more romance and danger in our lives. If you video gives that sense vicariously then customers will want what you are selling.


Like glamour this is hard to define but we all know it when we see it. Your performers need to be attractive and stylish and most importantly exude a perfect calmness. Show them in control and at ease in every situation. Show them being desired and admired then show them using your product and service and the link will be drawn between their magnetism and your product.


This is about confidence. Your performers need to own whatever situation your scene requires. Give them some rebellion and let them own it. We all love someone who is totally their own person and doesn’t care what is thought of them. That’s the essence of cool.


If you want to learn how to make aspirational adverts, start by watching every perfume ad ever made.They are all about the style and the glamour and the craving for something that it takes just a little bit of effort to afford.

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