How Corning broke the rules in online video - and won

Geoffrey Precourt

When Corning, a company that makes glass, decided to experiment with marketing via online video, it seemed to break every rule:

  • Shorter is generally seen as better. But Corning's online-video debut came in at five-and-a-half minutes.
  • No one lets a corporate logo run on screen throughout the entire video. When Corning did exactly that (the logo sits in the upper right-hand corner throughout the video), the creative team at its agency was "horrified."
  • Platforms like YouTube are seen as a strictly consumer play. Corning is a business-to-business company, and its 630-second video focused on 'strong, durable glass'.
  • There were no celebrities in the Corning video. And it's almost axiomatic that star power is the driver of all viral programs.

Yet somehow, it worked.

The challenge