7 YouTube ads that teach you us how to create brilliant visual content


Ads are sometimes a notorious hindrance in videos. Given how they are being programmed these days, it is difficult to skip some without watching at least for a few seconds. Thankfully, not all ads are bad or useless or boring. Some are made so extraordinarily well that you’ll forget about the video you were going to watch and want to see the ad again. Some send a poignant message. Others are sprinkled with a good sense of humor.

While we picked out the ads that had impressed us over time, we started noticing a trend. There were a few things that popped out as common factors that go behind ‘good’ successful videos.

  1. The best videos on YouTube are generally under 3 minutes: Ads, especially can’t run for more than that so it works best to have a short video.
  2. Make the first five seconds count: The user gets the option to use the ‘Skip’ button after five seconds. You’ll have to make those 5 seconds so effective that the user is compelled to watch further
  3. The Catch 22 about a brand recall: There’s been a long-standing debate on where you should place the brand logo or do a brand mention in a video for best recall. In a research on TrueView ads by Google done across 16 countries and 11 verticals analysing 170 creative attributes showed that if you put the logo/mention first, the engagement rates drop. If you put it in the end, there is higher engagement rate but the ‘Skip’ rate increases.

So what do you do? If you are going to show your logo first, make sure it is tied to your product, not appearing elsewhere on the screen.

  1. Tune in to your viewers: The tone you establish in the first five seconds also plays a huge role in deciding if the viewer will continue to watch you after 5 seconds. Google’s classified 10 categories of style and tone like humorous, emotional, and calming. It turned out that humour was by far the best way to ensure that people continued to watch your brand.
  2. Bring in a recognizable face: If the viewer sees a recognizable face including a general celebrity or even a YouTube celebrity, the chances of them remaining glued to your ad are much higher

Now, here come the 7 ads that seem to have taken these advice points seriously and done a great job at keeping viewer attention.


1. Volvo Trucks – The Epic Split


There’s a celebrity in focus, no brand mention until the very end and a very neatly done ad in just over a minute. The ad more than drives the point across and does so in a way you’ll simply not forget. The video is so good that there are parody videos created on the same ad which has gathered over 1M views!


2. Dove – Real Beauty Sketches


The ad starts with an element of mystery. What is a forensic artist doing in a Dove ad? You’ll spend the rest of the video finding it out for sure. The emotional element in this video is high. It makes the viewer want to introspect their own thoughts and what they think about themselves. As a result, there is a strong connect established with the brand that tells them that they are so much more beautiful than they think.


3. Always #LikeAGirl


Don’t cry like a girl. Don’t throw like a girl. Without even realizing, the term ‘like a girl’ turned into an insult – one that was used on both boys and girls. A simple insight transformed this ad into sharing such a poignant message. We love the way the ad has been shot.


4. Knorr #LoveAtFirstTaste


Love – the four-letter world that makes the world go round. And gets you a lot of views on YouTube. This ad is shot with a certain degree of staged realism. Even then, it makes you watch until the end if food can really connect you to love. Somewhere, you begin to wonder if that would be a good way for you to find the love of your life too?


5. Vatika – Brave and beautiful


Imagine a hair oil brand saying that you don’t need hair! There’s no sign of the brand throughout this ad but the connect established in the end is quite strong.


6. Choose a different ending


There are quite a few interactive video ads that we really like but this one really drives home a point. This video contains violence and may not be suitable to watch at the workplace or for all ages. But it does a great job at combining video and interaction to show the consequence of action and power of choice


7. Nike Just do it


We all love the line from Nike that gets us going. Forget our weakness. Forget circumstance. Forget what is impossible and Just Do It. And this commercial – it does it!

So which one is your favorite ad and what makes you watch it. We would love to know in the comments below.

Here are some more interesting reads from the world of online marketing that you might be interested in.

  1. From the (Advertising) week that was
  2. What did these 6 blogs do to make us love them?
  3. A fresh n fabulous list of websites that offer free stock images

If you want to know or discuss anything more about content marketing strategies for your business, feel free to write to us at sales@justwordsdigital.com or leave us comments below.

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