How To Make An Effective Video Ad

commercials

How To Make An Effective Video Ad

It’s hard to be a commercial in this world. Around 84% of people who watch standard 30-second ads are inclined to ignore them, according to a 2014 study by the telecommunications company Arris Group. Even the most powerful among them – Super Bowl ads – are disregarded by 80% of people (that is to say, they didn’t lead to business interactions or sales). What does that mean for the rest of us advertisers? Well, it means there’s something to be mindful of. Some researchers believe the TV commercial will become a historical artifact sooner rather than later. But this is no indication video advertising itself will retire anytime in the near or far future. It just needs to keep on chuggin’ down its evolutionary path.

We are talking about the shift from TV to online video marketing, of course. We’re not entirely there yet, though, so don’t fret if you were still planning to shoot that commercial for your local station. If anything, 2017 is a time to embrace both platforms. Just be aware they’re slowly starting to become different. But we’ll get into that later. For now let’s start out with some commonalities.

Things that shouldn’t be in any commercial

A lot of us are clear about what constitutes a good, bad, or annoying ad and yet it can be tricky to verbalize. Generally, it’s the repetition and placement of a commercial that invokes irritation. On TV, this means being subjected to the same six ads between your favourite programs. Online, autoplay and pop-ups, especially with audio, are what ruffle plumage. The content itself plays a smaller role in chasing people away but it’s also not a totally irrelevant factor.

Based on studies presented by VIEO Design, these aggravate viewers:

  • Misleading information
  • Insultingly dumb content and language
  • Poor-looking visuals (esp. for local TV ads and online content)

These issues aren’t always made intentionally. It is understandable to want to present information at a level most people can comprehend. Not having a huge budget to work with is also justifiable. You’ve gotta do the best you can with what you have. However, if you show your ad to friends and colleagues and they ubiquitously contort their faces, consider that some things might need to be adjusted.

Things that should be in every commercial

Alright, let’s move on to what’s going to spiff up your commercial. Obviously, using the best equipment you can afford, having a convincing acting crew, narrator, and setting, and solid script are gonna help. But before getting to that it’s important to understand how a commercial will help sell your product or service. This is where having a marketing plan comes in handy. By comprehending how you want to promote yourself you’ll be more equipped to use video to your advantage, rather than making a commercial because it’s a popular advertising method. Make sure you’re the one using it and not being used by it.

Give and take

Being in control of your message allows you to present it creatively, which can be thrilling. It essentially becomes an expression of your brand. It’s your company’s voice and as with individuals, has the potential to be inspiring and unique. But another dimension has to be considered too. Unlike a film or more objective project, an ad should attract positive attention from viewers. It’s as much about you as it is about them (arguably more about the latter, actually). So perhaps a more accurate thing to say is: be creatively persuasive.

Getting the best out of both worlds

We are starting to see differences between how online video ads and TV commercials look. While the latter’s timeframe is typically locked in between 30 seconds and a minute, the clips that adorn our computer screens have more varied lengths. Thee-to-five minute compositions and five-second hit-and-runs are not uncommon. Another advantage online ads have is their ability to make direct calls-to-action, such as allowing people to click a link directly to a relevant website. However, this leniency ought not to be taken as an excuse to be lax with the ad’s content or production qualities. When ya get down to it, it’s the power of the message that keeps people interested, not the medium. The latter is only a vehicle – a tool, really – to be used to your advantage. But if you don’t have direction both mediums will work about the same for you, which is to say they probably won’t.

Producing an effective video ad is hard to do. Advertisers always have to be on their game, juggling such considerations as: what people want to see, what they need to see, why they need you, and how to make your proposition look desirable and authentic. This task can incite fear and exhaustion in some cases. But if you don’t get overwhelmed by trying to fit your whole campaign into a five or 30-second timeslot, the process becomes more manageable. It can even be fun. And the passion and energy that frequently accompany having fun can be enough to make people think twice before skipping your ad.

Alexandra Latremouille
alex@imaginativegroup.com
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