Virality is addictive.
As a marketer, there’s no better feeling than watching your video metrics go through the roof in a short span of time.
While there’s no lack of video content in digital advertising, there are a few things that successful ad campaigns have in common that make us pay attention to them.
Maybe it’s an insanely creative intro or an eye-catching ad design—or maybe it’s both.
There are plenty of ways you can incorporate videos into your marketing strategy to gain the interest of your target audience.
But if you don’t know where to begin, you can always learn from these award-winning video ad campaigns created by some of the biggest brands in the world.
It’s not enough to have a great camera or a wow-worthy idea to create video content.
You need to take the time and effort to plan a clear video strategy that is based on concrete goals, strong messaging and measurable results—just like these brands did:
Today’s consumers are far more socially conscious than ever before. This is reflected in their behaviors, lifestyles and, most importantly, their purchasing decisions.
According to a report by Harvard Business School, 77% of consumers prefer purchasing from companies that demonstrate social responsibility. This implies that brands have a better chance of holding their attention if they spark a dialogue rather than a one-sided conversation about the issues that matter to them.
Procter & Gamble (P&G) decided to take a stand against racial bias with its award-winning campaign titled “The Look”. Launched in 2020, the ad features an African-American man as he goes about living his life—only to encounter white people looking at him suspiciously the whole time.
At the end of the video, the man is revealed to be a judge. The campaign successfully highlighted the everyday bias experienced by black men in America. In addition to the video ad, P&G also created a conversation guide to encourage its customers to get involved and #TalkAboutBias.
In today’s digital age, user-generated content holds more value than a perfectly packaged marketing campaign. Why? Because it is considered to be the most authentic form of content online. In fact, 92% of consumers reportedly look for reviews and recommendations from existing customers rather than trusting promotional videos or emails. One effective way to build brand authenticity is through customer testimonial videos.
A simple way to establish brand authenticity is by first identifying the core purpose of your business. This will eventually help in building long-term relationships with customers who share the same values and beliefs.
The ‘Share a Coke’ campaign launched by Coca-Cola in Australia (back in 2011) set an excellent example of how to connect with your consumers. As one of the longest-running user-generated marketing campaigns, it involved adding 150 of the most popular names in the country onto millions of Coca-Cola cans and bottles.
Fans of the iconic beverage quickly scoured through supermarket shelves to find a bottle with their name on it. They were also encouraged to post a selfie with the product on social media, complete with the hashtag #ShareaCoke. Not only did the campaign help in generating a huge buzz for Coca-Cola on social media, but it also put its young consumers front and center by personalizing their favorite drink for them.
Video ad campaigns that proactively break stereotypes or reflect real people have a far better chance of succeeding in the long run. As part of an inclusive marketing strategy, these videos make an effort to reach out to all groups of people, making marginalized sections of society feel like they’re finally being seen and understood.
By celebrating audiences from different backgrounds in their campaigns, businesses recognize the importance of embracing diversity and broadening perspectives. It also helps increase a brand’s credibility in the consumers’ eyes.
Google created history when it launched its “Real Tone” technology alongside its Pixel 6 smartphone line in 2022. Unlike other phones, the new camera feature is designed to represent diverse skin tones more accurately in images—mostly to counter racial bias in camera technology.
In order to announce the launch, Google played a 60-second commercial during one of the most-watched television shows in America: The Super Bowl. The result? Both “Real Tone” technology and its marketing campaign went on to win the top “Grand Prix” award in the mobile category at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.
It’s no coincidence that top video ads dare to push the boundaries of creativity.
But there’s more to innovative marketing than simply figuring out new ways of promoting a brand, it’s also about understanding the different types of videos you can utilize and creating memorable experiences that will stay with the consumer for a long time to come.
The popular dating app Tinder did this best with the launch of its interactive “Swipe Night” challenge. Created as a first-person adventure, users were given the option to be a part of a story where their choices at critical moments determined what happened to them next. At the end of the story, participants were matched with people who had made similar choices throughout the event.
Tinder integrated streaming video into the mobile app for the first time, and set fixed timings for the challenge so everybody could play together. The award-winning campaign ended up earning 3.1 billion impressions for the app in addition to a huge jump in their social media engagement.
Fintech company PointCard wanted to change the way people thought about banking—making it seem more fun and friendly to their audience. Partnering with Superside designers, the PointCard team developed fresh ideas and concepts for their upcoming ad campaigns.
From “unboxing” video ads with motion design to showcasing a lifestyle built around exclusivity, the company successfully launched various projects across digital platforms: reporting a boost in their video CTR of 270 percent.
PointCard’s marketing success proved that it pays to stand out from the crowd: whether it’s by creating a unique visual style or by deliberately taking a counter-intuitive approach.
Videos offer a golden opportunity for your viewers to get up close and personal with your brand. When you show them (rather than tell them) the things that make your brand worth their time, they’ll be willing to pay more attention. For instance, case study videos can be a powerful medium to showcase real-world applications and success stories of your brand.
“The Truth Is Worth It: Perseverance” was a video ad created by The New York Times in 2018. It showed actual footage of migrant children being separated from their families at the border as a reporter tries to verify facts about the event. The point of the video was to show how the publication goes to great lengths to provide accurate reporting.
Marketers can learn from this campaign and use videos to showcase their own work culture and practices.
Ultimately, a successful marketing campaign is one that inspires its target audience to take action. Whether it’s as small as buying a product or as big as changing the world, top video ad campaigns aim to guide customers toward making the right choices for themselves and those around them. This is possible only when your message resonates with them at a deeper level.
Tap into current events to find out what issues your customers care about. Then, seek to provide solutions to these problems. Marketers who design their campaigns as motivational pieces of content leave a long-lasting impression on their customers—turning them from casual users into brand advocates.
The ‘Missing Type’ campaign by NHS Blood and Transplant was unique in the way it sought to solve the issue of declining blood donors in the UK. During National Blood Week, the organization teamed up with major publications and businesses across the country to drop the letters of the blood groups A, B and O from their names as a way to highlight the increasing need for blood donors.
The campaign reached a whopping two billion people, with over 30,000 new donors registered throughout the week—helping save over 100,000 lives.
Marketing doesn’t have to be all work and no play. Brands that use humor in their video ad campaigns have a higher chance of going viral simply because funny videos have universal appeal: everybody loves a good laugh.
Online retail giant Amazon decided to have fun with its famous virtual assistant known as Alexa in its 2018 video ad campaign. The video begins with Alexa losing her voice–only to be replaced by a handful of celebrities, including Cardi B, Sir Anthony Hopkins and Rebel Wilson.
While the outcome was predictably hilarious, it was Amazon that had the last laugh as its commercial ended up becoming 2018’s most-viewed ad on YouTube with 50 million views.
This mainly applies to B2B companies, especially those in the tech or software industry.
When you show a human using your product or service, your video content immediately becomes relatable and interesting. It’s best to leave the technical bits for a corporate audience.
Cisco did a bang-up job of positioning itself as the leader of the future with its “Internet of Everything” campaign. Their ad begins with the story of a cat who sets off a chain of events that culminates in the owner buying her more milk—simple, right?
But if you look closely, you’ll find a range of Cisco solutions and products displayed throughout the ad, including smart home appliances and self-driving cars. What makes this ad great is that it markets all these products in the most natural way possible without seeming promotional or sales-focused.
Not sure how to include your own brand in digital ads without sounding too pushy? Don't worry, we have the perfect guide for you.
The biggest advantage of using video content in your marketing campaign is that nothing is impossible. Take your most outlandish idea and turn it into a well-crafted video.
Airbnb proved this with their “Strangers aren’t strange” campaign, which featured three odd-looking creatures in their holiday home. As the unusual “guests” begin to settle in, viewers can see how they enjoy the simple things in life, like a hot cup of tea and watching a movie, pretty much like anybody else.
The quirky campaign was used to highlight the fact that, in the end, we all love to take a break every once in a while, regardless of where we’re from or what we look like.
It is not uncommon for brands to take digs at rivals, especially when their products share a lot of similarities. If you’re planning to sass up a competitor in your video content, have your campaign focus on what makes your product superior to theirs with some genuine feedback from real customers.
Burger King’s legendary rivalry with McDonald’s was perfectly encapsulated in their “Big Mac vs. Big Mac” campaign. Not only did they recreate the McDonald’s Big Mac, but they also served it to fans alongside their own flame-grilled version of the burger: all the while keeping the true identities of the two burgers a secret.
Before you start brainstorming ideas for your next campaign, you might want to read our guide on how to build a winning video marketing strategy.
Spoiler alert: It’s not easy.
All great campaigns take time, money and resources, so be prepared to devote countless hours and manpower to making your viral video come to life.
But before you throw in the towel, consider seeking the support of a fully-stacked creative team like Superside, who can happily take over video production services while you plan out the rest of your campaign.
From tailored subscriptions to full-scale productions, marketers have the freedom to customize their own packages according to their project needs.
Whether you’re struggling to gain traction on social media or need help in designing your next ad, you’ll get instant access to a world-class team of creatives who’ll make your campaigns stand out, and worthy of an award.
Join our community of 30,000 who receive the best in design and marketing content, weekly.
Get a demo and discover how 450+ ambitious companies and 2,500 energized fans use Superside to free themselves from the shackles of limited budgets, broken processes and stretched in-house teams.