The spring of 2020 transformed our everyday routines. People socially distanced, they wore masks, and they began obsessively cleaning their hands after touching anything and everything. In 2020, on-the-go sanitizers became an accessory du jour, as necessary as carrying a wallet, keys, and a cell phone. Justin Kerzner, a NYC-based entrepreneur and DTC brand expert, was determined to create something safer and more sustainable: a sanitizing product that also promoted healing and hydration. 

Last April, Justin and his creative partners launched Chapter 20, an FDA-cleared antimicrobial spray powerful enough to remove bacteria from skin without damaging it. “Our formula is totally safe,” says Justin. “So much so that you can actually drink it.” But in order to communicate the power of their sanitizing product, the Chapter 20 team knew they needed video to bring their cure-all formula to life.

The chemistry of clean

Chapter 20 is based on Hypochlorous Acid (HOCL), which is produced by the body’s own white blood cells to fight off infections. The substance is incredibly versatile — it’s been widely used in the healthcare industry as a powerful yet non-toxic disinfectant. .

Pre-launch, the Chapter 20 team was focused on perfecting the product formulation and securing FDA approval. With that now squared away, Kerzner is eager to turn his attention to messaging and a media plan.

Building out a brand with video

When it comes to Chapter 20’s video approach, Kerzner is passionate about preserving creativity, even as he’s building a business. “If an expert in a field tells us that we need to shoot in a specific way, or to deliver a specific color palette because it’s going to help with something, we want to do what they suggest,” he explains.

The brand is currently experimenting with Vimeo Create to turn existing product shots and shorter videos into bite-sized, shareable content ideal for social media channels. “At the end of the day, we want to build an amazing product, which I believe we’ve done; a community, which we’re just starting,” he says.

Creating content to build connections

Kerzner says his biggest challenge is crafting a messaging strategy for a product that has a wide range of use-cases — It’s a substitute for hand-washing; a post-workout face refresher; a treatment for cuts, sunburn and mosquito bites; and even a form of tattoo care. “Chapter 20 works great for all these things, so there’s plenty of value. We just have to figure out how to share all that without confusing people, and get them excited about a cure-all formula,” Kerzner says. “Video is an easy, approachable way to explain all of that.”

The Chapter 20 team is confident that the brand will find its voice through a mix of agency-generated and user-generated content. The key, Kerzner advises, is being flexible, and adapting to the needs of the moment. “Video lets us get beyond the functional, so we can create a feeling of knowing that you’re clean,” Kerzner says. “And Vimeo Create makes telling that story so much easier.”

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