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Top Video Trends For Brands In 2021 (And Why It’s OK To Ignore Them)

Trends keep us excited and energised. They make us feel part of a bigger movement and stay “in the know” of our industry. But if everyone jumps on the latest trend… how on earth does your brand stand out from the crowd?

January 26, 2021
man with video vr headset

Well. The new year has begun. We’ve entered Chapter 2021, ready to absorb all that it entails. And with the refreshing start of a new year, comes that time when the web gets inundated with predictions of what’s going to be chic and what’s going to be shriek for the next 3-6-5.

The top 5 face masks you just have to own this year. The best home cameras to get your zoom’s looking ultra professional (drop us a line for tips on that one). And guess what, we’re jumping on the bandwagon to fill your eyeholes with‘s Top Video Trends for Brands in 2021! But, in a crazy turn of events, we’re also going to tell you why it’s OK if you completely ignore us. Weird, right?

Without further ado, here’s what the Gusto gang think is at the top of the video pile for 2021:

Long-form Resurrection:

Reels, tik-toks, stories… snackable video content isn’t going anywhere. But we think long-form video deserves its resurrection. According to a report by Statisa, “54% of smartphone viewers’ video-viewing time is spent on videos that are over 20 minutes long” – and that’s only going up. At, we recognise that consumers still have a hunger for a story. And sometimes, a brand’s story needs it’s prologue, chapters and even sequels, jam-packed with valuable content. Why not create a ten-minute tale, then repurpose it for some punchy social cuts?

Virtual Production

Virtual Production is at the cutting edge of the production industry. Through the combination of virtual reality with game engines like Unreal Engine and Unity, live footage and computer graphics intertwine, meaning “decisions on set about composition, Visual Effects and Animations” can be made in real-time rather than post-production. It’s pretty mindblowing stuff. Disney’s 2019 Lion-King is a prime example – it solved the problem of how a director can direct a story when they can’t see everything that’s happening. The possibilities are (almost) endless.

video production company camera interview

Death of the Talking Head:

It’s a trend that sounds a bit like a Doctor Who episode, but this year we think it’s time to say bye bye to the talking head and ta ta to the sit down interview. Video content that features narration and voiceovers is booming and makes way for story-led pieces that centre around awe-inspiring visuals. Just how it should be.

The Drive For Live (With VR):

We both know that live-streaming isn’t new for 2021. But it’s skyrocketing too far outta this world not to mention. Last year, Facebook reported that Instagram Live’s viewership surged by a whopping 70%. Their ephemeral nature means viewers are driven to keep to their scheduled Live appointments for Fear Of Missing Out, and what’s more, 45% of viewers now say they’re willing to pay to see exclusive live content. R.O.I. = ✅

In a move that harks back to 90’s teleshopping, Amazon have harnessed the drive of live by enlisting influencers to talk about their favourite products – live – and making those streams shoppable so those products can be bought in just one click! Expect to see (lots) more of that this year, alongside innovative new approaches to live education – webinars around a campfire, anyone? But just because it’s live, doesn’t mean quality should lack – stop viewers from tuning out by choosing high quality production.

What really gets our video senses tingling however, is combining that live-stream with some Virtual Reality. Last year, Jean-Michel Jarre live-streamed a VR concert that allowed fans to use their headsets to interact using virtual avatars. It’s a virtual thumbs up from us.

User Generated Content:

It’s another no brainer. Creative community, Envato, report that “Ads based on user-generated content receive 4 times higher click-through rates and a 50% drop in cost-per-click compared to average ads.” We’re all human here (well, most of us), and UGC lets the customer do the talking as authentic brand advocates, boosting brand relatability and trust. Whilst productions can still continue in Lockdown numero three, full-scale marketing campaigns featuring consumers can also be produced entirely remotely thanks to a new breed of trouserless Zoom Directors (Tom included). Expect big brands to continue to use UGC as a powerful storytelling tool this year, as they tap into the desire for human connection.

Trends keep us excited and energised. They make us feel part of a bigger movement and stay “in the know” of our industry. But if everyone jumps on the latest trend… how on earth does your brand stand out from the crowd? Sure, it’s cool to be current, but at, we think it’s important to – first and foremost – remember what really matters… and that’s the why.

Every video should have a why. Why are you creating it in the first place? What really matters to your brand? Once you have the why, then you can decide how best to get results and what approach to take. Don’t just do something because a trend dictates you should. Do it because it’s right for your video.

You never know… you might just set next year’s trend!

At, we know when a trend feels right.