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5 Video Ad Campaigns (and what makes them so great)

5 Video Ad Campaigns (and what makes them so great)


It’s no secret that video marketing is on the rise. And with that, the proliferation of video ads are rising too.


The reason? YouTube ensures that your consumers are engaged – they see, hear, and spend time watching your ad. The average person spends over 9 hours on video per month; millennials, in particular, rake in over 14 hours. And that’s just for desktop.


In Australia alone, the average viewability of video ads on YouTube is 93%.  YouTube viewers are more likely to notice video ads on YouTube than the leading online competitor.


Video is only going to get bigger - and if your brand isn't already rolling out strong video ad campaigns, you're missing out on a substantial portion of your target audience. 


According to a recent Nielson report, YouTube reached 15 million Australians from July 2015-2016. 89% were Millennials (those between 20-34 years of age), 87% were from Generation X (people 35-49 years of age), and 59% were Baby Boomers.


If done right, video ads can bring tremendous results and drive active engagement with your audience.


So here are some examples of my favourite well-executed Video Ads (and what makes them great).



Company: Geico “Unskippable ads”


Why is it so great?


Geico’s “Unskippable ads” campaign is one of my absolute favourites. Their clever use of humour instantly made these ads more likeable than most.


Two reasons this campaign worked: they know their audience, and they know their product.


Geico knows that their product, car insurance, isn’t the most exciting thing to make an ad about (even if it does help their customers save 15% or more).


They also understand their audience behaviours well enough to know that they are likely to skip an ad (if they can) when it pops up. No advertiser wants their audience to skip their ad, but rolling an ad without having the option to skip is unfavourable for consumers.


By addressing this tendency with humour, they managed to create an ad that people didn’t want to skip.


15 seconds isn’t long for an ad, but Geico has used it to their advantage beautifully.




Company: Buzzfeed and Purina “Puppyhood”



Why is it so great?


What I like about this ad is that it’s obviously an ad, but it’s an ad that we like watching because we care about characters: the main guy and the cute pup, Chloe. Their first day together shows many of the tribulations that all pet owners experience.


It’s relatable, and it reaches two different audience types: Pet owners and Non-Pet Owners (who may be looking to get a pet but are still deciding). Pet owners appreciate it because it makes them nostalgic for when they got their first pet. On the flipside, non-pet owners will find this endearing and the prospect of getting a pet all that more exciting.


Most pet food ads talk about the nutrients and how good it is but what Buzzfeed and Purina have managed to do is to tell a story and get their audience to invest in the brand emotionally.


Make your product relate to the consumer and show how it would fit in with their life. Telling a story will resonate with your audience much better than just telling them about the good stuff that will benefit them.


See also: Dear Kitten.



Company: Always “Like a Girl



Why is it so great?


Always have pushed the boundaries since their first ad back in 2015, with their first campaign where they challenged the phrase of what it means to do something “like a girl.”


Since then, they’ve successfully spawned off three more campaigns, supporting their branding ideals of Rewriting the Rules – with the “Unstoppable,” “Girl Emojis” and “Keep playing” ads.


The premise for “like a girl” is based on how a young girl’s confidence plummets at the start of puberty; a notion that carries over as she grows into a young adult.


Presenting it in a documentary style adds a sense of realism to the ad – they’re not just paid actors who are saying things to get you to buy their product; they want to start a conversation and empower their audience from the very first time they interact with the product.


The phenomenal execution of this social experiment allowed it to go beyond the video and inspired real action from their audience on social media; sparking active participation and changing a previously negative phrase into one of positivity and empowerment.


Let your purpose, not your product, drive your branding. Consumers are more likely to buy from brands that they believe share the same values and are making a positive contribution to society.




Company: Thai Life Insurance “Unsung Hero”



Why is it so great?


Yes, this ad’s a bit long – but the content is so good, you can’t help but keep watching. Most life insurance ads usually go from the angle “if something happened to you, what would happen to your loved ones?” or  “you can’t see what’s coming, so take care of what matters most.


And while those are strong sentiments, none of them quite capture the feels like Ogilvy and Mather Bangkok did for Thai Life Insurance.


There is a reason that the product is not mentioned at all until the very end - this ad is all about building brand awareness. The sole purpose was to stir strong feelings in their target audience and then have those emotions become associated with the brand.


Ogilvy and Mather Bangkok have tastefully balanced this concept – tugging in all the right places, with the brand logo aptly poised at the end (and no sales pitch) to maximise the effect.


A video ad doesn’t always need to do a hard sell in order to be effective and building a stronger reputation/association will bring in better results in the long run.




Company: Heathrow Airport “Coming home for Christmas”



Why is it so great?

The airport is often a stressful place of tearful goodbyes and frustrations – most especially during the holidays. People everywhere, families hurrying to make busy flights, and long lines.


But the airport is also a place of happy hellos and reuniting loved ones.


For their 70th anniversary, Heathrow Airport decided to focus on the warm and fuzzier aspect of their product: bringing families back together with a subtle message that doesn’t overwhelm viewers.


Indeed, this is an ad designed to build strong, positive brand awareness by showing their product in a natural situation – as a real customer would experience it – while tugging on the heartstrings.


What Heathrow have cleverly done is showcase how accessible, safe and friendly their airport is; and those who normally struggle (in this particular example, the elderly) would be able to navigate the busy, bustling airport successfully with ease.


It’s a lovely, heart-warming ad that brings their core message to life in a memorable way.




Remember: it’s not so much what is being offered; it’s how it’s communicated.  


What are some of your favourite video ads?