Video-based marketing campaigns were forever changed with the introduction of drone footage.
And it’s easy to see why. Outside of looking incredibly cool, aerial footage is a confirmation of quality, allowing brands to approach video content from a truly unique perspective.
Drone marketing — as some have started referring to it as — can be found just about everywhere, either to offer a unique visual, or to actually feature within the video in some way or another.
In this post we’ll be looking at the best examples of drone footage in marketing campaigns A) because who doesn’t appreciate a good drone video, and B) to inspire you when coming up with your own creative marketing ideas.
From Coca Cola to Expedia, countless brands have utilised drone shots in the past.
And you can too with the right inspiration.
Before we begin breaking down some examples of drone footage, we should probably explain the overall benefits of shooting from the skies.
Why is Drone Footage Important?
Drones have only gotten better in time. Back in 2012, these unmanned copters took the world by storm, although they were on the expensive side.
Today, drones are a lot cheaper and have a lot more functionality on offer. Some can even livestream direct from the skies, they’re that powerful!
Easily the best thing about drones is how universal they are. It doesn’t matter if you’re capturing b-roll for a location tour, or capturing up-close footage from an event, these little copters are here to help.
Below you’ll find the reasons why drone footage is so important. Some are pretty self-explanatory (i.e. they gather great footage), whereas others are pretty eye-opening (i.e. aerial footage is a quality check).
Aerial Footage Is Engaging
If there’s one thing we know about video content, being an agency with video as one of our primary services, it’s that audiences are almost always glued to their screens when they see impressive feats caught on film.
The natural reaction when seeing this type of content is to engage with it, either by giving it a like, or sharing the video on social media. This type of content goes a long way in accelerating word-of-mouth marketing too, let’s not forget that.
What’s more, drone footage increases your chances of going viral, like with the Bryant Lake Bowl video that we’ll be covering later in the post.
Stay tuned for that one!
Drone Shots Provide Scope
Drone shots are in a completely different lane as far as video goes because of how dynamic they are.
In other words, aerial footage provides scope, giving the viewer a pretty good idea of just how important whatever you’re shooting is. Your building looks so different from the top down compared to ground-level.
Check out our videography showreel for the perfect example:
Providing that scope allows people to connect with you a lot easier as they feel like they understand you and the area you work in a lot more.
Of course, this applies specifically to location tours. But giving viewers that 360 degree view is a benefit that applies to video types of all kinds.
Marketers Can Experiment More
Arguably the best thing about using drones to record video is just how freeing they are in terms of how you approach storyboarding and, ultimately, shooting.
Drones aren’t limited to the same physical restrictions found in other video types. They don’t need to sit on a tripod, or be held in someone’s hand to be controlled. No, drones can fly just about anywhere (just not too far as they do have range limitations).
Just look at the various motion shots you can pick up with these things.
Motion shots are exactly what they sound like. Shots that contextualise just how fast an object is moving. Sporting events give drones the perfect excuse to let loose, capturing footage that looks like something from a triple a video game!
In short, drone footage allows creativity to take flight.
Drone Footage Is A Quality Check
As mentioned at the top of the post, drone footage is a quality check that viewers use to determine how good your video is — and the quality of your brand by proxy.
And videos don’t need to rely on just drone footage to see it through to the very end. You can splice aerial footage in with your typical interview-style setup.
Cutting to these shots as they’re talking can make even the smallest businesses seem larger than life, which again goes back to what I was saying with scope.
That being said, the quality of your drone footage does matter. Just because you’re shooting from the sky doesn’t automatically make it appealing. Shaky shots due to high wind, for example, aren’t going to help engage your audiences in the way you want.
Examples of Drone Footage in Marketing Campaigns
Okay, now you know the benefits of aerial footage. Should we look at some legit examples of drone footage in marketing campaigns now?
With the list below we tried to be as comprehensive as possible. We tried to include examples that featured brands of all sizes. Again, to emphasise just how universal this type of video content truly is.
So yeah, you’ll see brands like Red Bull and Twitter, but it’s all balanced evenly with examples from lesser known brands.
Coca Cola: Delivering Happiness
We’re starting our list off strong with a pretty heartwarming campaign from the one and only Coca Cola. Back in 2014, the popular soda brand partnered with Singapore Kindness Movement to launch its ‘Happiness from the Skies‘ campaign.
In this campaign, various drones were used to distribute various packs of coke to Singaporean workers working in high-rises. Attached to the cans were thank you notes, written from members of the local community.
The drones in the video were pulling double duty. Serving as delivery bots distributing these acts of good will, and as direct recording devices alongside hidden cameras dotted around these locations.
“Construction workers, in particular, tend to be ‘invisible’ as they are working in areas that are not accessible to the average person,” said Eugene Cheong, the chief creative officer of Ogilvy & Mather Asia Pacific, the agency that helped bring this project to life.
Some of the shots shown in this campaign need to be seen to be believed. It’s no wonder it went viral at the time.
Red Bull: Drones Vs Sportscars
Red Bull as a brand has always had its finger on the pulse of what works and what doesn’t when it comes to formulating memorable marketing campaigns.
The campaign we’d like to direct your attention too is from 2019, where a drone was pitted against one of Red Bull’s Formula 1 cars to promote that particular season of the sport.
Remember when we were talking about those motion shots that create dynamic shots that you just can’t turn your head from? Yeah, this Red Bull video is one of them.
The video has gathered millions of views since dropping on YouTube. We won’t spoil who won if you’ve yet to see this video for yourself. Just know that the drone shots picked up from the FPV are unbelievable, and give you a rough idea of just how nippy these F1 vehicles truly are.
Johnny FPV, the influencer featured in the video, is easily the most skilled drone expert on the planet. In another marketing campaign, he worked with Porsche to showcase its Taycan Cross Turismo, which you can check out below:
Expedia: Mapping Amsterdam In Style
Expedia, the online travel shopping company utilised drones in its 2015 video offering a quick tour of Amsterdam. The ‘Travel Amsterdam in a Minute’ video does exactly that, it travels throughout Holland’s capital, zoning in and out of some of its most visited areas.
The drone in this video shoots both inside and outdoors. It also records time lapses of people walking about the city streets of the Dam in a very artistic fashion. There’s also footage of food being prepared in restaurants.
The video is a little under the two minute mark, but it finds enough time to cover the sell viewers on what you can do/see in the city. The fact that a drone can move so seamlessly between locations is another one of its benefits, just remember not to fly it too fast as you could lose control of it.
Especially if you’re going to film in tight spaces, like those featured in this Expedia video.
Bryant Lake Bowl: The Ultimate One Take
We couldn’t have a blog on drone footage and not talk about the viral sensation that is the Bryant Lake Bowl drone video.
This video went viral after appearing online. We’d recommend watching it before we talk about it some more (it’s that good):
The seamlessness of the drone footage here makes the video look computer generated. But no, all of it was filmed in one take, requiring only a few turns before the drone completed a full loop of the building starting from outside.
It’s an impressive feat, and the perfect example of how local businesses can leverage this type of video content in a way that is hella engaging to the point where it goes viral!
When talking about the video, director Anthony Jaska said:
“It’s just doing something unique … It’s taking a traditional storytelling and putting new technology behind it. There’s no cuts. It’s one take, no CG.”
Again, the potential of aerial footage holds no bounds.
Camisaria Colombo: Flying Clothes Campaign
Have you ever seen clothes fly before? Like controlled flight? Not the type that float through the air because of wind?
If you haven’t then you have now, courtesy of Brazilian retailer Camisaria Colombo, who used drone marketing to complete the sort of stunts you’d typically see in a Jackass movie.
For those not familiar with this marketing campaign, the brand celebrated Black Friday in 2014 in style, by dressing multiple drones in actual clothes — to the point where they actually looked like real people, just with drones for heads.
We won’t lie, seeing clothes move around like this is pretty funny. Which is exactly the reaction they gather from the onlookers who immediately start recording what’s going on with their phones.
It’s a classic case of viral marketing, just using drones. Although, thanks to this video I have started getting nightmares about these ‘dronequins’ hanging outside my window.
Twitter: One Quick Dronie?
From one creative use of drone marketing to the other. Social media network, Twitter, teamed with the Cannes Lions Festival back in 2014 to capture footage in a very creative manner.
They did this by flying drones around the festival. Drones that would get up-close and personal with the various celebrities and guests in attendance. The content gathered was then uploaded to the official Twitter account of the drone, and the now defunct platform Vine (the proto TikTok platform).
This would be Dronie’s only appearance at the event, which is a real shame as we thought he had the potential to be up there with some of the most revered paparazzi in the world.
Still, his legacy lives in, thanks to the various influencers now using personal drones to take photographs of themselves in various locations.
So long, partner…
Firezza: Pizza Delivery Drones
We’re all for shouting out other video agencies when they put together quality content. Case in point, Bee Aerial’s drone delivery marketing campaign for gourmet pizza delivery company, Firezza.
The video created has all the hallmarks of an agency-created video. It has high production value, the music is on point, and there’s a clear creative edge. Things soon take a turn when the drones enter the picture.
All of a sudden, there’s drones making pizza deliveries akin to the Amazon delivery drones that we never got.
All in all, it’s a fun video, one that makes use of drone footage and slow motion shots of pizzas being made. The premise might be a little silly for some, but marketers are always pushing the envelope when it comes to the various ways to get the message across.
Just look at the flying clothes campaign we’ve already mentioned for the perfect example of that.
Walt Disney World Resort: A Magical Promo Video
Last, but by no means least, we have the ‘Walt Disney World Resort Destination Promo Video.’ A video used to promote the magical experiences offered through its various resort packages available.
Take a close look at the video and you’ll notice a few things. One of which being the use of drone footage to highlight various sections of Disneyland.
The use of drone footage in a promo video is nothing new, it’s just Disney have a habit of overdelivering on every piece of marketing it puts out in its campaigns.
How Disney have used drone footage is here is very similar to how music festivals and other large-scale events utilise this footage, in that it’s interlaced with other important shots and a catchy backing track.
How to Use Drone Footage In Your Campaigns
There are various ways to implement aerial footage in your videos — which also applies to any corporate style videos produced too, by the way.
Do keep in mind that there are two ways to implement this type of footage into any marketing-based videos:
- Direct: As in you show the drone in action and make it a focal point of the video
- Subtle: Drone footage exists within the video but it’s never shown
The latter is definitely the more popular of the two, although you do see some marketing campaigns go out of its way to tell you there’s a drone involved. Hence the ‘drone marketing’ term.
We find that the subtle approach works better anyway. Highlighting the drone in front of camera might have worked well in the mid 2010s back when drones were just starting to grow in popularity.
But in the modern viewers eyes, it’s how you use the drone to capture incredible shots that truly matters.
Drones For Photography
One of the other popular uses of drones is to take high quality photographs. The kind that sit beautifully on certain pages of a website, or on video thumbnails.
The quality of the cameras found in drones rival those found in the cameras that sit at ground level. Some drones can shoot in 4k. Although, they can be pretty expensive — as is the case with most cameras capable of shooting in incredible resolutions.
Brands like GoPro and Patagonia make use of drone photography quite a lot to showcase its products throughout their digital advertising efforts. Patagonia, in particular, has put together some incredible campaigns in the past few years.
But yeah, you can totally use drone photography to market your products from a different perspective.
Every product marketing campaign will require images. So why not grab some aerial shots to really grab the attention of your audience.
It’s choices like this that put you ahead of the the competition.
Why you Shouldn’t Record Drone Footage Yourself
If there’s one thing that all of the above drone marketing videos have in common, it’s that they every brand featured had help from either an agency or from an influencer.
Very rarely will a brand or individual buy a drone and then begin picking up drone shots to use in various marketing media.
Sure, drones are quite inexpensive at this moment in time. But inexperience could cost your brand valuable time, not to mention, resources. And a poorly made video using drone footage could allow your competitors to move above you.
Drones might seem simple a lot simpler to record with, but there are a bunch of additional risk factors involved that you should know about first.
For example, under no circumstances, fly one of these things when it’s incredibly windy outside — or during bouts of wet weather. Filming during these conditions A) won’t produce high quality drone shots, and B) could damage the drone if it’s swept away by the elements.
The Best Examples of Drone Footage in Marketing Campaigns
Promo videos, location tours, and event videos. Is there any type of video content that couldn’t make use of drone footage?
Aerial footage has allowed brands and marketers to explore new possibilities — all to engage audiences and build on the quality of the brand, as mentioned.
Also, leveraging drones in your videos has a high chance of spreading the word naturally amongst your viewers/customers, which helps with word-of-mouth marketing. And word-of-mouth marketing goes hand-in-hand with viral marketing.
How you use drones will differ from brand to brand. Some will make drones the focal point of the video, whereas others use them to present unique b-roll. Coca Cola used drones to spread happiness, Expedia used drones to tour a major city, and Bryant Lake Bowl created something you can’t ignore.
While drones are incredibly accessible at the moment, shooting your own drone footage does come with its own set of challenges.
Which is why seeking the help of a highly-skilled drone agency like Canny is the play.
We’ve helped countless marketers capitalise on every benefit drone footage provides. Our work guarantees success in the areas that matter to you.
Get in touch to find out more, and let’s create highly engaging video content, together.
Drone Footage FAQs
What is drone marketing?
Drone marketing is the term given to certain campaigns that utilise drones in some way or another to record footage or take shots from above. Many brands are implementing drone marketing strategies these days, to provide a boost to their overall efforts.
How can drones help in marketing?
Drones help your video content standout a lot more compared to those not offering these types of shots. What’s more, having drone footage increases your chances of going viral, as proven by the examples shown above.
Where can I use drone footage?
You can use drone footage in all kinds of video content. In location tours you could use a drone to provide aerial shots of the building, or map the hallways of your place of work directly. Behind the scenes videos like this work really well in establishing brand trust.