7 B2B Video Ads People Actually Enjoyed

Michelle Martin
Contributing Writer
Published5 Sep, 2023
TL;DR

What makes people watch ads? Is B2B ad fatigue real? How do you stand out? Answer: Stealing great ideas, of course! Not really, but analyzing the underlying strategies and applying them to your brand can absolutely help drive success. So today, we’ll break down the secrets behind seven successful B2B video ads and share strategies you can implement right away.

The average person is exposed to 4,000-10,000 ads every single day. That’s only ads, not counting all the organic social media content from friends and family we see daily.

But I bet you don’t remember even 100 things you’ve seen so far today, right?

That’s because most B2B video ads aren’t that… creative. Or interesting. Or funny. Or relatable. Or human. Or one of the many other reasons people watch and remember content.

Data like CTR, CPC and CPL only tell part of the story. B2B video ads aren’t always a direct path from ad view –> conversion. So how do you get your (no offense) boring B2B brand to have the household name recognition of Coca-Cola? At least among your target audience?

Jump straight to seven B2B ad examples and how you can use them to succeed right now, or watch the webinar recording for a live comedic experience.

7 B2B Video Ad Examples

1. Notably excited Nolan

Chili Piper’s Nolan McCoy, who created and starred in the ad, describes it as an “anti-ad.” So many of the B2B product marketing ads we see every day are—understandably—full of hyped-up energy and bold statements about how life-changing the product is, buuut lack a real example to back it all up.

Nolan wanted to make an ad the opposite of what he was seeing every day as a marketer. This B2B video ad is all about showing the product’s capabilities, instead of telling. And doing so with a, well, decidedly less than exuberant mood.

Perfect for fellow “slightly jaded marketers," according to Nolan.

Why it works

  • “Anti-ad” energy: Instead of big hype, our hero is monotone and serious—the opposite of what the audience expects to see.
    Shows the product in action with an on-screen demo.
  • Uses humor and surprise to capture attention, but follows through with real substance (the product demo).

Steal this idea

  • Identify patterns of the ads in your industry. Are they all serious? Then be funny. Are they all funny? Then be serious. Find a way to be different.
  • This ad was filmed on an iPhone. Don’t overthink it! You don’t need a bazillion-dollar camera setup to make effective ads.

2. Side effects of Chili Piper

Chili Piper’s promo ad is a parody of the medication commercials we’ve all seen on TV. They nail it, from the “Do you suffer from a leaky funnel?” opening to the, “Studies have shown…” and, of course, the side effects of using Chili Piper to increase your conversions, which include “long-lasting euphoria” and “booking more meetings.”

Even the narrator’s voice is similar to the ones we hear in medical ads, adding to the authenticity of the concept.

The result is a B2B video ad that’s highly shareable thanks to its humor, and also effective at communicating Chili Piper’s benefits.

Why it works

  • Takes the familiar concept of “side effects” / medication commercials and flips it for the B2B software niche, turning those negative side effects into positives.
  • Really funny = really shareable.
  • Low cost to produce.
  • Hooks viewers right away with the concept, so they’re likely to stick around to watch the whole thing (and learn about Chili Piper in the process).

Steal this idea

  • Is there a social media trend going around, or a trending commercial/event? Make your own parody or humorous take. (Maybe check with the legal department first, though, k?)
  • Take a familiar format everyone knows, like an interview, news segment or famous movie scene, and use it to tell your story, your way.

3. The scroll stopper

Here’s proof that anyone, literally anyone, can make effective B2B video ads. Even though Chili Piper’s Nolan McCoy is a video content professional, he chose to film this ad in a few minutes on his phone. He wrote on a piece of paper, filmed himself lifting it up and down against a wall, then roughly overlaid that on the social media post background with the popular “green screen” editing trend. He purposely didn’t bother making the edges perfectly blend in, either.

Why? Because it doesn’t need to be perfect.

This ad’s success lies in exactly how simple it is, and how much it looks like an organic social media post. You’re scrolling and then—bam!—the movement of the sign catches your eye, and you stop, and you watch. Ba-da-bing.

Why it works

  • Instantly “stops your scroll” to do a double-take.
  • It’s a simple video ad meant to both blend into your social feed, and stand out. Not every ad needs to be a big production/live-action scripted masterpiece.
  • Tailored to the social platform it’s posted to, i.e. use a LinkedIn post background for LinkedIn, Instagram for Instagram, etc.

Steal this idea

  • Sometimes simple is the best way to go. Don’t overthink your B2B video concepts!
  • Making something like this is fast and easy, so why not test it out and see how it converts for you?
Speaking of Scroll Stopping...
Speaking of Scroll Stopping...

Speaking of Scroll Stopping...

If you're here, I'm willing to bet you'd love our Ultimate Guide to Video Marketing. Featuring more advice from Nolan, Kyle and other experts, this guide is packed with video examples, frameworks and strategies.

4. How do you professionally say…

Leveraging the popularity of AI writing apps and tools, this ad uses an AI-style voiceover to reframe our characters’ conversation into workplace-appropriate terms. Using the phrase, “How do you professionally say…” hooks people right away, as there are lots of memes starting with this on TikTok. That, combined with the “job role labels” over our characters' heads instantly lets weary creatives and marketers know this ad is going to be funny and relatable to them.

We see the battle between artistic integrity and efficiency played out in a humorous format with AI as a neutral middleman between the passionate creative and the data-driven marketer—something every creative professional can relate to.

The results speak for themselves: Over 200 booked calls and 500 shares… for a B2B video ad. Who shares ads? No one. Who shares B2B video ads? Absolutely no one. But this one, made to look more like an organic TikTok trend, was able to break through.

Why it works

  • The ad considers not only their target audience, but where those people are likely to be at the time they watch the ad. In this case, at work.
  • The ad resonates with feelings many marketers have had with tight campaign deadlines and creatives asked to “make something quickly,” as evidenced by comments from viewers saying, “I can so relate!” and, “I’ve never felt so seen!”
  • The back-and-forth conversation style based on the “How do you professionally say” meme is instantly engaging.

Steal this idea

  • Become your audience by understanding exactly what they’re going through, then create an ad that speaks to that and frames you as the solution.

5. I’m Kyle and I’m a designer

While the previous example emulated a popular TikTok meme to look like an organic post, this one is more “up-front” about being an ad from the beginning.

Kyle, our video’s protagonist (and a Senior Copywriter at Superside), starts off with a cheery interview reminiscent of brand-building videos we’ve all seen where every employee absolutely loooves working for XYZ Corporation.

Soon, we see Kyle’s unhappiness with his job start to take over the interview. That is, until he finds a way to ease his workload and regain his creative joy…

Why it works

  • This ad perfectly combines the three Ps: Person, place, and pitch. Kyle is a relatable creative professional to the target audience (person), the video format and style seamlessly fits into Instagram and TikTok (place), and provides a humorous take on how tired creatives can save time and stress with Superside’s services (pitch).

Steal this idea

  • Use Superside to make your B2B video ads. (Ha, got you! But also, really.)
  • Use the three Ps to your advantage. Consider who your ad is for, the platform it’ll be on (hint: It shouldn’t be ALL of them), and craft a pitch that promises the transformation talked about in the ad. In Kyle’s case, that means tackling his overflowing to-do list by hiring Superside to help out.

6. Okay, let’s hear those ad ideas, people

Weber describes this ad's concept as “anything can be an ad.” In this case, the lack of ideas is the idea.

Our character is in a meeting listening to his coworkers’ amazing ideas, and he’s panicking because he feels, in comparison, his ideas aren’t any good. A highly relatable moment for all creatives; I know I’ve certainly felt that way in past agency jobs, surrounded by talented writers and designers and thinking, “What am I even doing here?!” or, “I can’t think of anything for this campaign!”

Kyle, as the creative we all are, finally breaks down and asks his coworkers how their stuff all looks so good when their internal creative team is swamped, and he couldn’t get anything out of them. The answer? Superside to the rescue, of course.

Why it works

  • Takes a relatable experience of feeling like everyone else’s ideas are better than yours and turns it into a solution: Hiring Superside to help out with design and production needs.
  • It's funny, engaging and viewers see themselves in Kyle’s character right away.

Steal this idea

  • What common experience can you turn into a solution? For example, if you’re a password storage app with enterprise security, perhaps it’s a skit of an employee repeatedly forgetting their company sign-in information and the progressive frustration that entails during the day until they explode in rage. Then, a coworker tells them about your app, which is safe to use for corporations because of their advanced security blah-blah-blah. You get the idea. Turn a relatable human moment, or emotion, into something you’re the solution for.

7. Good morning design team!

This B2B video ad is all about tapping into the personal experience of a designer, versus simply presenting a solution for a job-related pain point.

Designers—we all know at one time or another, you’ve sat at a bar with your designer friends and grumbled that your marketing team just doesn't understand how long things take, or that a creative brief was so vague as to be useless, or that the next time someone Slack's you for one small thing, you're going to LOSE it... And your designer friends nodded along, exclaiming, “Yup, I hear ya!”

While the ad doesn’t show Kyle out talking to his designer friends, it does show his inner surprise at his new project being “so reasonable” and the brief being so complete.

For that reason, it’s super relatable to creatives everywhere. This ad generated over 1,200 qualified leads in only 30 days because it taps into Kyle’s personal experience, instead of focusing on business outcomes for the fictional company he works for.

Why it works

  • Connects with the target audience as people, instead of just their “employee selves” at work. People are more than their jobs and roles. (Yes, even B2B employees are people, too.)
  • B2B is still “business to person” marketing.

Steal this idea

  • Focus on a feeling or scenario your target audience goes through outside of their job role. Instead of what KPIs they need to hit, show what’s on their mind as they prep for a yoga class or go to bed at night. Show you understand them.
  • Humanize business. We’re all stuck on this rock together after all. (Yes, your ad can be that deep.)

A Last Word on Successful B2B Video Ads

Whatever you decide on for your next B2B video ad campaign, remember success isn’t only measured in free trials or sales. Good ads build a bridge between a business and the viewer, whether they’re B2C or B2B ads.

You don’t cut through the noise by turning up the volume. Or, putting out more of the same ads. You stand out by doing something different, testing ad concepts, and relating to your audience on a human level.

Okay, sounds cool, but how? Foster a culture of creativity.

Be the person who isn’t afraid to spit out bad ideas at meetings, so others share their ideas more often. Keep an idea list in your phone to jot down inspiration. Have a Slack channel dedicated to sharing great ad examples (or not-so-great ones) and talk about them. As McCoy says:

Sometimes the best result from an anti-ad is that it lives rent free in your head long after you first encountered it.

Nolan McCoy,
Nolan McCoy,Head of Video & Creative Content at Chili Piper

Make something people care to recall and success will come.

Michelle Martin
Michelle MartinContributing Writer

Michelle is a SaaS expert who loves digging into the technical side of creativity. She’s worn many hats during her decade in agencies, from project manager to brand strategist, copywriter and social media strategist, and worked across a wide variety of clients (though tech is her jam!). She loves to put the sass into SaaS content… and now CaaS. Connect with her on LinkedIn and send her a pic of your dog (really, she’ll love it).

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