We all remember the commotion of Super Bowl Sunday: Dad’s cheers, bottomless dip bowls, ill-fitting large jerseys, the whirlwind of excitement that takes over the room after coin toss . . . what are we missing? The commercials. While the Super Bowl hosts some of the most famous commercials, you don’t need Tom Brady to make a game-winning video strategy. Read to see how video advertisements can improve the reach and impact of your media strategy.
Video advertisements may seem simple at first glance, but they have a wide range of storytelling formats and capabilities. In any case, video advertisements tell a story about your business with interesting visuals, music, graphics, and/or voiceovers.
Video advertisements can be short-form or long-form, depending on your goals. Short-form videos last about 15 seconds and are great for digital media and connected television platforms. They capture the viewer’s attention fast. Long-form videos last anywhere from 30 seconds to over a minute and work well on broadcast or cable. They have the flexible timing needed to explain a complex idea or tell a story. Both forms have their own purposes and can elevate your strategy’s impact.
In addition to versatility, video advertisements are also highly measurable. According to a survey, marketing professionals have reported the ROI from video advertisements has skyrocketed from 30% in 2015 to 89% in 2020. While finances matter, the ability to track and encourage audience engagement sets video apart.
Video advertisements can serve as bridges between marketing channels if mixed into your media plan correctly. Tracking pixels, or single pixels that are coded into your video, can tell you details about your audience. With tracking pixels, you can see how many people visit your website from the video, their activities, and their purchases. In addition, linking a video to other marketing channels gives you more control over the user experience and how they interact with your marketing platforms. Integrating video into your media plan will give you optimal performance tracking and reach.
The benefits of video are endless. You can establish your business’ voice, capture the attention of current customers and prospects, and strengthen the bonds between your marketing channels as soon as someone hits “play.”
You’re probably reading this from your home desk or behind a mask at the office. And, you’re not alone. About 77% of the workforce says they would like to work from home at least once a week, even after the pandemic ends.
COVID-19 has not only spread itself across the world, but also the trend of working from home. The commute from bed to desk rarely involves a billboard or radio, so be on the lookout for how your target’s media consumption habits may have changed. Currently, radio only reaches about 45% of adults ages 25-54, while broadcast television reaches 80%. That’s not to say radio and billboard should be ruled out completely; planning revolves around where your audience is paying attention. For many right now, it’s time to roll the clips.
Not only are individuals watching television and connected television more frequently, they are coviewing it with their other quarantine-mates. With video, your message could have a larger reach than ever before – and depending on who’s in the room, a larger influence.
In the era of COVID-19, a new group known as Nervous Consumers comprises 35% of the consumer population, but holds the most influence. Known for their cautious behavior and active consumption of media, Nervous Consumers often give advice to others about daily best practices. With trips to the grocery store feeling more like spy missions, it’s clear their advice matters. Lucky for video, Nervous Consumers trust broadcast television the most for their information.
With consumers shifting their attention and trust to television platforms, you can optimize your reach and impact by focusing your media strategy around video. Advertising is about people, after all.
Don’t Try This At Home
You don’t need to be Steven Spielberg to make a great video advertisement, nor do you need a huge crew or shiny equipment. All you need is access to stock footage, maybe a few clips from social media or other events, and a willingness to try.
Especially during COVID-19, using footage that you already have at your fingertips saves time, money, and endless hours in a mask. Pre-filmed footage (b-roll) can come from social media videos, event coverage, or virtual tours. While these videos may not have commercial-quality on their own, a voiceover and soundtrack can work wonders. Plus, using your own footage adds a genuineness and charm to your ad that consumers will trust.
You can also use stock footage as a supplement to b-roll. Stock footage can act as a bridge between b-roll clips and improve the overall flow and professionalism of your video.
So, don’t shy away from video if you’ve never done one before. We promise it’s worth your while, and Triad can make the process easy and successful.
Learn From Example
Now that we’ve gone through the previews of video advertisements, it’s time for the show to begin: video advertisements that shatter the screen of expectations. Learning from the best can inspire your next creative vision and provide you with an understanding of storytelling format will work best for your business.
Video storytelling formats fall into five categories: manifesto (heartfelt speech), dialogue (two or more people talking), visual (one powerful image), narrative (story with beginning, middle, and end), and monologue (personal story or memory). Keep reading to see how some businesses invigorated their strategy through video.
Manifestos are heartfelt speeches typically narrated over footage. They require a greater amount of audience attention than other formats, but can have immense emotional impact.
We actually used the manifesto format in our “This is Your Time,” campaign for Curry College. Triad wanted to demonstrate Curry College’s wide range of offerings for continuing education students in a motivational manner. An inspiring script, cheerful music, and stock/b-roll footage representative of our target portray life at Curry: productive, flexible, and supportive.
We were also able to adapt the 30-second spot into 15-second videos as well, making our campaign cross-channel friendly and increasing our reach.
Another great example is Nike’s “Find Your Greatness” video, which debuted during the 2012 Olympics. The long-form video features Nathan Sorrell, an overweight adolescent, running down a long road. At first glance, Sorrell seems like an unlikely spokesperson, lacking the muscles and reputation of a typical athlete endorsement. However, the voiceover reimagines the qualities that make an athlete and speaks as an advocate for everyone, regardless of their weight. By using manifesto, Nike rebranded themselves from the athlete’s store to a champion for all humans.
Manifestos empower the viewer and encourage them to take action from the perspective of someone who understands them. You can demonstrate support for your audience’s emotions and struggles with inspiring words and heartfelt delivery.
Ever wonder why politics and religion typically aren’t brought up during family dinner? Too many perspectives and emotions. However, a video featuring dialogue strategically can work to effectively facilitate a conversation about important issues or causes.
Always’ “Like a Girl” campaign successfully leverages dialogue to raise awareness about gender roles and stereotypes. The long-form advertisement features a dialogue between interview participants and a moderator. The moderator asks the participants to perform several actions “like a girl.” Highlights include individuals flailing their arms while running and throwing a ball as if they had never seen one before. The moderator then asks why the participants performed as they did, revealing the stigma of girls being weaker or less qualified. Through dialogue, Always maintained its position as a dependable brand for women by demonstrating its support for women beyond providing care products alone.
Apple’s famous Mac vs. PC commercials also utilize dialogue cleverly. The videos feature a young, hipster-esque male (Apple) speaking with a nerdy, slightly older one (PC) in common situations. Through personifying the brands as people with comical banter, Apple exemplifies why their Mac is the new, cool product for modern situations.
Dialogue works extremely well in advocating for a cause or setting your company apart from the rest. It also expands the number of people your target can relate with by incorporating more than one view.
A picture’s worth a thousand words, but a video’s worth more. Visual formats often highlight features of a single image, product, or setting as a means of capturing an emotion or capability. When the average attention span is 8 seconds, visuals catch the viewer just in time.
In order to understand the effectiveness of visuals, you need to understand how your audience pays attention. There are two routes of attention according to the Elaboration Likelihood Model: central and peripheral. The central attention route often requires in-depth analysis of information, fact-checking, and strong arguments. Central route attention is usually used for high-involvement decisions, like purchasing a car or expensive laptop. However, the average advertising-inundated consumer does not care about your product/service until they need it, processing with the peripheral route of attention.
The peripheral attention route does not care about what an argument is about, as long as it looks good. Attractive people, bright visuals, number of arguments, and claims from experts (although maybe false) are enough to convince the peripheral route consumer. It’s typically used for impulsive or low-involvement decisions, like seeing a candy bar at checkout.
As most consumers rely on peripheral route attention, this is where visuals come into play. Visuals captivate the peripheral attention route with vibrant visuals and sounds. They’re the perfect hook for prospects. A notable example: Apple’s “iPhone 11Pro – It’s Tough Out There.” The video features various foods and items being catapulted at the iPhone 11, with it surprisingly standing strong against the waves of cake and toys. From first glance, you get it: the iPhone 11 can handle anything.
The visual format works as an introduction between your business and its prospects, leaving a memorable first-impression with beautiful images and sounds.
Narratives are stories with a beginning, middle, and end. Think of them as mini films. Narratives work the best in long-form videos, and can help communicate your brand’s story.
Extra Gum raised brand awareness by telling a story that tugged the heartstrings of people everywhere. Set to the soundtrack of Haley Reinhart’s “Can’t Help Falling in Love,” the video follows the story of two high school sweethearts’ relationship, told through gum wrapper drawings. Extra made the story the star of the show, not even revealing their slogan until the very end. With narrative, Extra Gum increased brand awareness with a story the audience could not look away from.
Narratives can provide a great first impression by telling the audience who you are and getting them emotionally involved with your company.
Monologues are videos from a single perspective that highlight a personal story or memory. They can work extremely well in endorsements or creating a relatable character.
Lincoln’s collaboration with Matthew McConaughey uses monologue in an unexpected way. Besides capturing the audience’s immediate attention with his fame and beauty, McConaughey reflects on why he’s driven a Lincoln for the past few years. Simply put in his southern twang “I just liked it.” Through McConaughey’s simple monologue, Lincoln pokes fun at other celebrity endorsements that go above and beyond and positions itself as a sincere brand that needs no further explanation.
Monologues open the viewer to a story from the perspective of the storyteller. This can work wonders in helping your brand establish a voice and tone that your customers can relate to.
Roll The Credits
Although there are numerous formats of video storytelling, each one has the potential to elevate your company right now. At the end of the day, people are more than words on a page. They are about experiences and emotions. Your business is too. Think Success with your next video campaign by contacting the experts at Triad.
Your ideal consumer sits on the couch next to their spouse on a calm not-Super-Bowl Sunday when your commercial appears on the screen. With an interesting hook, vibrant visuals, and powerful voice, you’ve made a touchdown without even having to put a helmet on.
Want to get started? Call Triad today.