Hitachi’s True Stories | Simple Lessons in Emotional Video Storytelling

Hats off to Hitachi and their team of filmmakers. Why? Because they used the simplest code in corporate filmmaking.


Hats off to Hitachi and their team of filmmakers.



Because they used the simplest code in corporate filmmaking.

Here’s the code:
1. Real people.
2. Real stories.
3. Real emotions.


It’s pretty simple, yes?

“Hitachi | True Stories” is Hitachi’s largest North America brand campaign ever.

Part of Hitachi’s campaign consists of seven on-line videos. These seven mini-documentaries feature “real” people sharing their stories of how Hitachi’s products have positively affected their lives. Each film is less than five minutes; perfect for web viewing.


“So what’s the big deal, then?”

It’s this. I find it refreshing to see how a large company can capture personal stories about their products and services in a way that matters to me; and I’m not even a consumer. But I might be one day.

These stories “stick.”


I get how Hitachi helps people. I get how their products dramatically improve our lives. I get Hitachi’s commitment to making a difference in the world. I remember seeing these videos when they were launched two years ago. The stories stuck with me over time and I haven’t forgotten about them.

But these kinds of videos look expensive.

It’s not (so much) about the money. And it’s not about the hi-definition format.


It’s about the story.

The documentary format is the perfect format for most organizations for several reasons. It’s usually affordable over other formats, it “sticks,” and is pretty easy to incorporate into a company’s communications strategy.

Here’s a simple approach:


You can use this process to get started. It’s from a previous post I wrote called, “7 Sure-Fire Steps for Creating Your Company’s Documentary.

While the documentary approach may be unique in advertising, it has been a successful format for filmmakers for many years. With the advent of video falling the hands of so many people, I’m hoping more organizations will incorporate the documentary approach externally, as well, as internally, for connecting with their audiences.

PS. If you enjoyed this post or it simply inspired you in some way, be sure to hit the “Recommend This” button. Comments welcomed, too. Thanks!


Veteran filmmaker Thomas Clifford helps Fortune 100’s to nonprofits who are stuck, frustrated, losing employees or market share because they can’t breathe life into their brand story. He believes remarkable organizations deserve remarkable films. Tom produces films with passion and purpose at Moving Pictures, a firm connecting companies and audiences through compelling visual communications.

About the author

Thomas Clifford is an award-winning marketing/branding filmmaker turned B2B copywriter and content marketing writer. Tom’s copywriting focuses on jargon-free marketing articles, landing pages, sales pages, special reports and B2B case studies. He has spent 25 years solving difficult communication challenges for Fortune 500’s, national and local non-profits