Video promotion has been around for a lifetime. Originated in the U.S. in 1941, it had come a long way through the competition and grown driven by consumer expectations. Today, commercials have become an art form. They are an important component of a brand identity, and businesses go out of their way to make these short videos truly remarkable.
How exactly they are doing it can be very intricate. Let’s take a look at a few successful video ad campaigns that make for a great case study and try to learn their recipe for greatness.
1. Code.org: What Most Schools Don’t Teach
Code.org is a nonprofit organization that works to increase the availability of computer science worldwide. It offers free online courses determined to help women and underrepresented minorities get into programming. Code.org did an amazing job preparing their training package but, with the video they’ve made, they might have outdone themselves. Have a look:
The promo is nothing if not motivating. Their formula is pretty simple in concept. Get all the best people from technology and then show everything that makes it so fantastic. It took many stars to align but the video from Code.org has now encouraged millions of future programmers to get their feet wet with programming.
2. BuzzFeed Purina Ad: Puppyhood
Purina is a renowned animal food company. It knows how much the owners love their pets and wanted this love to be embodied in their promo. There are a few angles you can take with animal products. Many companies have already tried cute, funny and both. However, few have pressed these buttons with such finesse.
The Puppyhood series by Purina is a masterpiece. Even though they are much longer than any regular pre-roll you would see on YouTube, the entertaining value is off the charts. It’s a very positive and powerful use of storytelling with product placement so subtle that you could never get mad it.
3. It’s a Tide Ad Super Bowl Commercial
You can’t really say “washed out” but Tide has been around for a really long time. Laundry detergent is not exactly something to write home about. Similar ads have been run over and over again reusing the same types of tropes. The people at Tide know this and so for the last year’s super bowl they’ve come up with a little something special.
Here, they take a selection of a few typical video ad setups and reframe them as Tide ads. Why? Because clothes are always clean in these ads. What makes it so brilliant is that they make you remember Tide in various contexts that go far beyond a typical washing powder commercial. All with a simple cue of a clean attire that you can observe in literally any ad.
4. Dove: Choose Beautiful
Dove is in the business of personal care products for women since 1957. Fast-forward 2019, the company had grown a lot, creating a very sophisticated brand identity. It often likes to grapple with the state woman identity and self-perception.
The brand is often associated with body positivity and the company can explore the idea of what it really means to be beautiful from very radical angles. The promo they’ve come up with in 2015 is very sensitive.
What makes this ad so great is that it’s not a standard run-of-the-mill ad with a picture-perfect model promoting a product.
Dove had come up with a very curious social experiment where women need to choose to enter a mall via the door that says “Average” or the one that says “Beautiful”. With women discussing their choices afterwards, this commercial is not afraid to raise difficult identity issues. It does so very delicately and with an empowering message that speaks to the human condition.
5. Dollar Shave Club: Our Blades Are F***ing Great
Dollar Shave Club is a razor and men grooming product company that was acquired by Unilever for $1 billion in 2016. It is all great and lustrous for the company now, however, before that happened, Dollar Shave Club had to wrestle with Gillette as well as Procter & Gamble for a few years. How did the Dollar Shave Club succeed? Let us find out.
The company needed to make headway in a niche already occupied by the heavyweight brands. It didn’t have the resources to involve celebrities in their message. But the message was very distinct and powerful:
“You don’t need to overpay for razors because high-quality blades don’t really cost that much. And you don’t need to remember to change them thanks to the subscription-based model.”
The promo video features none other than the CEO of the company himself. With witty humor, a unique sales offer and a simple, yet powerful delivery, Michael Dubin confidently endorses his own product. In their video, the company looks far more humane than the competitors and hits its demographics right on the spot.
Overall, we have to say that strength is in the most minute of details. Just like in any form of art, if you set out to do it, you really have to be fully dedicated. You cannot be impatient or save on resources because the quality of these details will inevitably suffer. Above, you can see that the videos are directed masterfully.
These were some of the most inventive and inspiring video advertising campaigns of the past decade. We’ve learned a lot from them and hope that they will help you come up with great content that drives results.
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