Lessons from 2013’s Top Online Video Ads

Lessons from 2013’s Top Online Video Ads

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On this week’s ReelSEO Creator’s Tip, not only are we going to look back at some of the best ads from 2013 and talk about the lessons we can learn from them as video marketers, but we’re also going to introduce you to the newest member of the ReelSEO team, Andy Smith, and tell you about a new series that’s starting tomorrow. Called ‘Behind The Reel‘, it’s a look behind the scenes at the biggest names in YouTube, with Rhett and Link kicking the series off. The big YouTubers have got where they are through hard work and as video marketers, they have an enormous amount to teach us. But first, let’s take a look at some of the top video ads of 2013 and what ReelSEO have to say about them:

Takeaway Tips From Our Top Video Ads Of 2013

The first ad we want to talk about is ‘Ultra Reality’ from LG. What stood out for us is the fact that it tapped into the zeitgeist of the current advertising trend, “prankvertising”. To keep up, brands need to understand what is working on YouTube right now and use that knowledge to create amazing and entertaining content. The video also tells a story, they don’t just tell you how great the product is, they show you – in the most effective way.

Takeaway: Story telling is crucial if you want to engage your audience. 

Dove’s “Real Beauty Sketches” was one of the most watched and talked about ads of the year. It was also the most shared ad of the year and the most viewed online video ad campaign of all time. This ad achieved all of this without really pushing any product at all. Instead, they looked at their audience and determined what was important to them and asked what were they struggling with? They then addressed these issues and built an engaging story around the subject. It was a meaningful video that actually seemed to make a difference in people’s lives.

Takeaway: You don’t always have to overtly push a product to reach your key demographic.

Like Dove, Chipotle told a story that made the viewer feel they were involved in the narrative, triggering the kind of emotion that made them want to share the video with others so they could feel it too. The company also used animation thus diversifying the medium as well as the message they were presenting.

Takeaway: Make the viewer feel part of the experience by feeding into a particular emotion.

#HeartFriend from Zoosk was kind of an example of what NOT to do in a video. We got so annoyed with this video because they just pushed it way too hard. It has approximately 14.5 million views but only 332 comments and 1404 likes (at time of writing) which tells us that #1 most of those views came from paid promotion and #2 viewers just weren’t that engaged with it. YouTube needs to find a better algorithm that will only show ads a set amount of times so viewers don’t get sick of seeing them. We weren’t really part of their target market but still got served and we couldn’t skip the ad either.

Takeaway: Of course you need to promote your ad but do so in moderation and target the right demographic otherwise you are going to waste money and alienate your potential client base.

We loved the Pepsi Max and Jeff Gordon commercial for a few reasons. Firstly, it showed the importance to using Reddit for visibility – it’s not called the front page of the internet for nothing. Secondly, they used a long-form format really successfully by releasing a short teaser that encouraged viewers to click-through to the full length video and thirdly, and it was just really fun to watch!

Takeaway: Use a teaser to encourage viewers to watch longer content.

It’s really hard to talk about video ads from 201 without mentioning Kmart’s “Ship My Pants”. Made on a relatively low production budget, with no CGI or other special effects, no glitz, no glamor, the creativity still shone through and made this one of the best ads of the year. Also, they took a risk with associating the Kmart branding with potentially fruity language but it paid off for them.

Takeaway: You don’t need a big budget to make an outstanding video ad. Creativity trumps a huge marketing spend every time.

Do you agree with our comments? Let us know below!


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