How to Use Reaction Videos to Boost Your Brand

Max Benz

Max is head of content at Filestage and loves creating actionable content that has an impact. On the side, he’s running his travel and remote work blog "Let’s be crazy".

There are very few internet trends that can take over every niche and style of social media – but reaction videos did just that! They became popular in so many different areas, from business and entertainment to sports to marketing. They are highly versatile, and you can use them in a variety of ways, if you are smart about how you do it and you plan ahead.

You’ve probably watched a few reaction videos already and either didn’t know that you were following a trend, or you watch many of those videos and search for them on a regular basis. Either way, it is important to know about reaction videos before using them for influencer marketing or to build your brand.

What Are Reaction Videos (and Why Should You Care)?

Reaction videos are overly dramatized videos that have found popularity on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms. People will just sit and react to things – sometimes other videos, sometimes commercials, and sometimes just images. They will laugh, jump, scream, cry, and have many other emotional responses. Some are for entertainment and others are to generate responses. While the videos are traditionally for fun, they have also been used for education as well.

The videos were popularized by the Fine Brothers, who have a series of videos on their channel called “React” – and it has over 903 million views and counting. They will bring in celebrities, kids, the elderly, and so much more. The Fine Brothers even tried to trademark the word “react,” but they failed.

You should care about reaction videos because they attract a lot of attention, both positive and negative. They are fun but effective, and they can help you to get your point across in a way that models entertainment. 

However, you must be smart about how you use reaction videos because they do elicit emotions, and sometimes the emotions are extreme. People may get mad, sad, or happy. They can also get annoyed and click away. It is a very thin line to walk when you use them, especially in marketing for brands.

7 Examples of Great Reaction Videos (and What You Can Learn from Them)

Of course, there are some reaction videos that are better than others. These are the videos that go above and beyond. Our favorite videos include:

Elders React

Elders React videos are always great because they seem to be genuinely shocked at what is put in front of them. My particular favorite Elders React video is the one where they “Try Not to Feel Old” because it is a little mean, but it is quite funny:

The key takeaway here is that you can put a mean or almost mocking tone on things without going too far – and that something good can come from it.

College Kids React

The next great reaction video is College Kids React To When Our Generation Gets Old And Hears A Throwback Song – it offers some good insight into how the current generation of college kids (AKA the next big buying population) reacts to things that are old. 

You get to see how much this generation loves nostalgia but also how they think through things quite a bit more than other generations. They can easily see what is wrong with something and understand how our thoughts have shifted.

YouTuber’s React

While YouTubers tend to be a bit over the top, they are good at what they do – which is why they make millions of dollars. A good reaction video to watch is YouTubers React To Try Not To Get Mad Challenge – and see how they handle themselves. 

While it may seem strange to you, study their mannerisms and how they poise themselves because they are truly experts.

Rhett & Link REACT to Kids React to Rhett & Link

Another good option is Rhett & Link reacting to Kids React To Rhett & Link. It might seem like a bit of a strange video to watch when you are just trying to watch reaction videos (why not just watch the first one?) but there is a reason why Rhett & Link are known as the Lewis & Clark of YouTube. 

You can see how they handle themselves not only as YouTubers but as professionals – they tend to be not quite as animated as some of the other YouTubers who would do the same thing. 

They are older and have families, so they aren’t as “over the top,” but it still works for them. If you aren’t the type of person who wants to be over the top, you can look to them as a guide.

Best Brand Reaction Videos

One of the hardest parts about building a brand and working in marketing and advertising is that you don’t know how people will react to what you release. One of the best examples of this is the Colin Kaepernick Nike ad that was released a few years ago – people had extreme reactions and you can see that in the various reaction videos. One of the best that we’ve found is this one. 

You can see the extreme emotions that were released and the memories it brought up in this man. These are the kinds of emotions that you want to make people feel.

Highlighting Positive & Negative

Reaction Time is another great reaction channel on YouTube. One of their most popular videos is The Power of Makeup Reaction, where they react to Nikki Tutorial’s impressive skills with make-up. 

This is a great example because it isn’t a totally positive reaction. It’s important to learn the ways that negative reactions can be used in a positive way.

Challenges

YouTube and social media would never be what they are without challenges. Another way to get a reaction video is to use it as a challenge. There are plenty of videos out there where YouTubers will try not to react to specific things – and they almost always fail. Whether it is not singing along to a song or not smiling, it is a good way to do a reaction without feeling heavy-handed.

For example, one of the best “try not to react” videos is this “Try Not To Say Wow” challenge.

The takeaway here is that you don’t need to focus all of your time on the reactions – it can be another way to get the thing that you are reacting to out in the public and drive traffic to your website.

Here’s How to Use Reaction Videos to Boost Your Brand

If you are looking for a way to use reaction videos to boost your brand, there are a few different things that you can do. You want to make high-quality videos – take the time to learn how to record, produce good lighting, and edit the videos.  

In addition to these skills, it’s vital to make good choices about the tools you’ll use to record your videos. Allocate some time to run tests and ensure that everything will go smoothly during your video shoot. The best way to start is to review the list of carefully selected tools on platforms like G2 or Capterra. Both sites create their ratings and recommendations based on users’ feedback, and user comments are validated before being published. 

You may want to hire a freelancer or someone who can edit videos that stick to your brand guidelines part-time if you are going to make them a big part of your marketing strategy.

 Use Influencers

Often, people don’t want to just see random stranger’s reaction to videos, so this could be a great way to use influencers – they can react to specific things. 

Here are a few things you should be aware of:

Use CTAs

Another thing you need to do is ensure that your videos have a point – you want to use CTAs to influence people to do what you need them to do. Whether that is buying a product, checking it out, or just going somewhere online. You can use cards to add proper CTAs:

Remember that people won’t always watch the videos until they end, so you need to sprinkle CTAs throughout.

Don’t Miss Out: Check the Reactions

Of course, you want to check the reactions to the video. If something doesn’t seem right with the video, it could be because the influencer said something off-color, or the video has some glitches that no one else noticed. You also want to check for any negative responses or fighting in the comments section.

You need to continually evolve and change your reaction videos, but don’t forget about sticking to the basic premise.

Conclusion

Overall, reaction videos can be really great tools for a brand. You just need to do some research and study how other people you want to emulate do it. You can find out some great stuff from other brands, but you want to focus on studying the people who use reaction videos to make their money – they are the ones with the valuable insights you need.