Okay, I’m a softie. I fully admit it.

If you follow me on Facebook, I probably drive you nuts with all the posts of Farty Pants Phoebe, my own little feline furball of attitude and aggravation.

My home is a mecca for rescue animals of all shapes and sizes, canine and feline. I have a snaggle-tooth, one-fanged white cat with one blue eye and one yellow who likes to roll in the dirt, a golden retriever that is perpetually happy but dumb as a rock, a kitten (Phoebe) thrown out a window then rescued by my daughter, and a border collie who hides under the bed every time someone coughs or the wind blows. My heart is wide open to all who dare enter.

So how am I supposed to resist this video of a fireman rescuing a kitten? A KITTEN! And an unconscious one, for crying out loud! It’s too much. I’m completely won over.

I have to say, this video is a brilliant piece of marketing. It might be staged, instead of authentic – it’s really hard to tell – but with over 20 million hits, either way, clearly it’s working.

Anyone with a soft spot for animals is completely captivated.

What brand is behind the video? GoPro makes a video camera that can be strapped on to any kind of helmet and instead of touting the product virtues, they’ve done a stellar job creating a YouTube channel packed with compelling videos taken with their helmet-cam. They’ve probably spent a fortune on athlete endorsements, such as the video with Shaun White – along with a robust advertising budget for commercials like this one about the dog chasing a squirrel. But the kitten + fireman? Now that takes the cake.

It’s a beautiful example of engaging emotions via content marketing. Not a single word spoken to promote the product, just a powerful video that obviously uses their camera product. It’s visual storytelling at its finest.

Kudos, GoPro, you win the Carrie nod of approval. VERY WELL DONE!!

So What’s Your End Goal?

Even when it might not directly drive sales, great creative makes a difference.

(Who knows, this video might be driving website traffic and product sales like crazy! After all, first responders and athletes both share a certain kind of “adrenaline junkie” personality.)

If the goal of the fireman rescue video was to generate awareness, it’s meeting that objective remarkably well. Twenty million hits for the YouTube video and countless social sharing metrics are nothing to sneeze at.

MY POINT IS THIS: Great work like this isn’t done by chance.Whether it’s video, written word or visual – it’s created as a byproduct of strategy… You simply cannot have effective marketing or public relations without thinking through strategy first.

It’s essential.

If you don’t have a well-thought-out strategy, it’s time to put on the brakes. Slow down and think it through.

It makes a BIG difference.