7 Amazing Examples of Great Digital Marketing Campaign Videos
On one hand, with so many advancements in technology, different styles of marketing campaigns, and different mediums in which you can market to potential audiences, digital marketing is more approachable than it’s ever been. On the other hand, there’s also so much going on, and so many competitors in those spaces, that it can be overwhelming and hard to find your space in a seemingly overcrowded market.
To simplify things a bit, we’re not only going to show you some great advertising campaign examples, but break down what makes them great, give you some tips, and showcase what Explainify can do to help take your video marketing campaign to the next level.
Before we get into some examples of some of the best advertisements we’ve come across, let’s first set some ground rules for what makes an effective video ad.
Of course, rules are made to be broken, and you don’t necessarily have to follow every single one to create an effective video advertising campaign, but many of the best video ads have most of, if not all of these elements in them, and execute on the fundamentals perfectly.
The fundamentals of how to create a great video ad
It Demands the Audience’s Attention
With people’s attention at a premium and so many things to distract, you must catch someone’s eyes as fast as possible. You’ve only got a few seconds before someone can simply turn off or skip your video ad—so you need to grab their attention and make sure you keep it. Oftentimes, the best way to do so is via something visually arresting like using animation to draw your audience in, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be visual. It can also be auditory. Or it can be both. Regardless, within those first few moments, you need to reel your audience in and keep them engaged.
It Knows Its Audience
While you’d like your video ad campaign to reach as many people as it possibly can, another option is to tap into a smaller, more active community. While it might mean that your video ads won’t be seen by as broad an audience, it means those who do see your video marketing campaign can and will engage with it in a much more involved, and valuable way.
That group can, if you do your job right, become brand advocates for you—championing your ad campaign, your product, or your message and sharing your campaign. This is why it’s vital to know your audience and speak directly and authentically to them.
It Features a Call to Action
Building off of the last point, it isn’t enough to simply identify your audience and to speak directly to them. You have to engage with them, and encourage them to do the same.
This is the part of a video campaign that is referred to as a “call to action.” What that call to action is can depend upon the type of campaign you’re running—is it for a product to sell, a campaign for brand awareness, a sales video, a political message, or a call to enact social change?
Regardless of the intent, the end goal is the same: to get your audience up to do something. Your campaign video should make your audience feel like they’re on your side, part of a team, or part of a bigger meaning/message. Or, if you’re trying to sell something, it should be obvious to your audience that they need this product, or this service—yesterday—without coming off as condescending or cloying.
A call to action can also be multi-stepped, or there can be more than one call to action within a video ad. For example, if you’re running a marketing campaign for a video game you could have a call to action in the form of hashtags in the caption, and calls to share your video widely on social media at the beginning. Then, at the end of your video, you could have another call to action, promoting pre-orders of your video, and incentivize people to do so with early access to a demo or pre-order bonuses, or even pre-order bonuses exclusive to certain retailers—which in and of itself is another call to action, as it calls for people to engage with other brands and retailers.
It Establishes an Emotional Connection
One of the ways that you can sell to your audience is via an emotional connection. When we use the term “sell” we aren’t just referring to products or asking your audience to buy something. It can also mean selling them, on the importance of your message.
People are cynical about marketing campaigns. We live in a world in which we’re constantly inundated by marketing, by campaigns, by corporations trying to sell to us. Whether it’s every time we go YouTube, when we’re standing in line at the grocery store, or when we’re walking down the street and see a ginormous multi-story ad on the side of a building, advertising is everywhere.
This constant barrage of information can be exhausting. And maybe a bit of awareness about just how exhausting that can be for our audience is a good thing. It can be a hard balance to strike, but it’s vital to know how to speak to people authentically—not like you’re simply out to get their money or to manipulate them. One of the best ways to do this is through emotion.
What that emotion is can vary. You don’t necessarily have to jump right to tugging at the heartstrings of your audience, or even of trying to paint your company, your product, or your brand, as “human.” You can make people laugh. You can bring light to a political, or social injustice, stirring up a strong reaction in people. You can make them curious. You can do all kinds of things—or you can do a little bit of everything.
Your job is to pique their interest and ensure that they don’t simply click off of the video within the first few seconds. And forming an emotional connection with your audience is a great way to have them on your side—to get them to share your video ad, to talk about it with others, to buy what you’re selling—to feel like you’re listening, or you’re saying what needs to be said, or you’ve solved a problem they might not even have known they had.
It Says What It Needs To Say
Last, and certainly not least, your marketing campaign ad says what it needs to say clearly, concisely, and doesn’t waste people’s time. Again, especially with everyone’s attention spans so limited, and with seemingly everything and everyone vying for literal precious seconds of their time, efficiency is key. A good video ad is short, sweet, and compelling.
Know your message and state it clearly. That doesn’t mean 100% of the time that you need to create a video ad that’s only 20 seconds long—some of the most well-known and best video ads of all-time are much longer than a conventional ad. And, in a way, they work because they eschew the rules; but, again, you need to know the rules to break them.
Is your campaign for a complex social issue that can’t be summed up in just 30 seconds? Then don’t try to sum it up in 30 seconds. Use your time efficiently, and know why you’re using your time. Be intentional about every second you use.
At the end of the day, just make sure you know what you’re saying, why you’re saying it, and consider how you’re saying it—thinking back to the previous tenets of what makes an effective video ad campaign will help you determine what you need to say and how you’re going to say it.
With all of that said, let’s take a look at examples of some of the best and most timeless video advertising campaigns, and we’ll break down what works about them, and what you can learn from them to elevate your video advertising campaigns to the next level.
Dove Men + Care: 2020
This digital marketing campaign is great because it identifies its audience immediately—dads—and also establishes an emotional connection with them, letting them know that they’re appreciated, that their hard work and care, and just generally being a dad-ness doesn’t go unrecognized. They’re celebrating fathers for Father’s Day. They very smartly go on to position themselves as contributing to an ongoing cultural discussion, the importance of being a good father, and finally at the end of the video ensure there’s a call to action for people to visit their website for more information. The campaign hits all of the marks perfectly.
Nike is arguably one of the most recognizable brands in the world. It reaches consumers in myriad ways—video ads, print ads, outdoor advertising, through sports and endorsements, etc. But one of the most inventive ways it reaches people is through Instagram. It does so in multiple ways, too. It utilizes influencers and celebrity culture to get the word out about its products. Have a favorite celebrity who you know rocks a mean sneaker game? It’s nearly a guarantee they’ll get Nike’s newest, rarest shoe, and they’ll post about it.
Take Travis Scott for example. Though he may not explicitly mention Nike, he has collaborated with them multiple times over on some of the most widely sought after sneakers in recent memory. Even just posts of him wearing old pairs of shoes that he didn’t collaborate with makes those sneakers skyrocket on the resale market. Of course, Nike has built up a cultural caché over years as a well-known brand, but doesn’t rest on its laurels. It goes out and signs up-and-coming athletes like Kia Nurse of the WNBA, Zion Williamson, Rui Hachimura, and even Guo Ailun, the first-ever international basketball player (Chinese Basketball Association) to be signed by Jordan Brand.
Let’s break down the ad above specifically. Nike knows how to catch someone’s eye immediately. Almost all of their ads pop and use color brilliantly to make sure people are drawn to them. You only have a few seconds, especially in an Instagram Story—a 24-hour video ad campaign specific to Instagram. Nike hooks its audience immediately with a bold splash of color. Then they keep the audience’s attention by utilizing the cultural caché of influencers. They speak to the audience and appeal to their emotions by also being engaged in social issues, by speaking out when needed, and putting their money where their mouth is—by backing up what they’re saying with action. They know their cultural weight and use it not only to grow their brand, but to do good, enact change, and become more than simply a product.
Let’s stick with Instagram stories. Netflix, very smartly, like many apps and services that offer trials, often advertises those trials—whether it be as a pre-roll for videos or via paid advertisements on websites. In 2019, they stepped up their game and gave Instagram users the chance to share what they were watching on Netflix via Instagram Stories, with a link to the show, or movie they were sharing.
What this campaign did so well was engage with its audience and call them to action in the most brilliant way. Essentially, it put power in the hands of Netflix’s audiences, and let them do the marketing for Netflix. Often, these were also movies or series that could only be watched on Netflix, and if you combined these Instagram Stories with teaser campaigns, or “sizzle reels” that featured quick shots of shows or movies one could only access on Netflix, it painted a picture to people of a service they didn’t want to miss out on.
What an absolute trip this brilliant video ad campaign for Lego is. What it does so right is that it subverts expectations—it plays up to every well-known stereotype of a “traditional” modern action movie trailer, but then subverts it all by pulling out from its reality, and showing, that this fictionalized movie is the figment of a bunch of children’s imaginations, specifically orchestrated by playing with Lego.
What this ad does so well is appeal to our nostalgia, and remind us what it’s like to be a kid—it encourages us, as a call to action, to embrace imagination and play.
This video ad campaign for a spectroscopy is a fantastic example of utilizing your ad to teach and inform your audience—to explain to them what makes your product stand out from the crowd and prove to them why it’s so vital that they have it. It also knows its audience, and speaks their language—it uses terminology specific to those who would be interested in such a product, and lets the facts speak for itself as to why their product is so revolutionary. But it also frames all of those facts in a visually dynamic, and engaging way. It also takes its time. It doesn’t skimp on any details and runs a full minute and a half long. It knows it can take its time because it has a lot to talk about to its audience—it has a lot of things going for it, and the point of the video ad is to showcase just how impressive this service is.
City Lodge Hotels
This video ad campaign lasts only five seconds, and, generally, would be a pre-roll or mid-video ad for a YouTube video. It does everything it needs to do within five seconds—concisely, effectively, and directly. Plus to top it off, it’s funny.
This ad for City Lodge Hotels is brutally, and effectively, honest: do you need a good night’s sleep? Then we’ve got your back. It makes its point with humor, using a quick cut to “room-wrecking rockers” trying to trash the hotel, but being unable to do so because they can’t pull a TV off of a wall. In effect, one would think it would alienate a group of people, but City Lodge Hotels knows its audience and is just doubling down on them. It’s a classic trope of setting up an “us vs. them” mentality in advertising, but it does so in a playful way.
These are just a handful of advertising campaign examples that demonstrate what it takes to make an effective, impactful ad that resonates with its audience.
Hopefully, you’ve learned some things and you can take some inspiration for your next marketing campaign. Running a successful video advertising campaign can be a lot of work—from writing a script, to editing, and digital design. It’s a lot to take on, on top of other responsibilities you have. That’s where Explainify eases your workload. From strategic consultation to producing beautiful Explainer videos and more from the examples we’ve touched on earlier, we’ve got your back.
We’re here every step of the way—whether you just need a helping hand or guidance, or you want us to do the bulk of the heavy lifting. We’ve got an experienced team ready with all of the resources to help make your next video ad campaign an absolute smashing success.
Ready to make your video marketing a success? Get in touch and we’ll work together to create the video of your dreams.
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