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Moviegoer at Scotia Bank theatre on Richmond St., Toronto, March 24 2014. (Fernando Morales/The Globe and Mail)
Moviegoer at Scotia Bank theatre on Richmond St., Toronto, March 24 2014. (Fernando Morales/The Globe and Mail)

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Successful video ads have these five elements Add to ...

Storytelling. Emotion. Targeting. These are just three of the main elements that contribute to the success of mobile video advertising, according to what its authors are calling the largest study of its kind.

Research done by Tremor Video and Millward Brown examined more than 300 video campaigns, testing the content with 150 consumers to gauge receptiveness and feelings toward each one. Brands and marketers should take the advice to heart and create more innovative campaigns because, right now, most of them are doing it all wrong.

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What was uncovered are the five key foundations of effective video advertising:

Entice and intrigue

Give consumers a reason to engage by starting the story but not telling the whole thing. This applies both to getting people to pay attention to the ad (completion rate) and encouraging them to interact (engagement rate). Results showed that high-performing mobile creative outperforms TV benchmarks.

Finding balance here is key. Give enough information, not too much or too little, so viewers are encouraged to click through or act to find out more.

Bring them in

Align design, technology and the right medium to create engaging advertising. Don’t try to draw consumers away from your ad, hoping they’ll spend more time with your brand. Let them stay in the video overlay and make their own decisions to continue to interact.

Symphony not noise

The ad should sing and flow with a consistent theme and messaging throughout the layers of content. It’s tempting to use every tool in your belt, but too many messages, graphics and functions create confusion and dilute the effectiveness of the experience.

With the many options available today, it’s easy to go overboard. Remember: simple sells.

Make them feel ____

Consumers have an emotional connection to their mobile devices so take advantage of that and create experiences that trigger an emotional response. The ads in the study generated more interest and excitement than we tend to see with TV or online video norms. Emotion is the heart of why advertising works.

When you pair emotional triggers in content with a distribution method that viewers are emotionally connected to, more often than not you’ll have a winner.

Catch the moment

Mobile devices serve as a first screen so often, it’s important to get people in the relevant moment. Find a way to keep consistent creative messaging across different platforms while leveraging the unique role of each device.

With availability of big data and targeting, brands are able to deliver their video advertisements in ways traditional media has never been able to do. The right message at the right time can be pitched to a single demographic group, or a series of demographics, with matching content.

Compare this with the old way of advertising that sees the same national brand ads plugged into TV shows and repeated, and the potential is obvious.

Adopting all five of these elements to your video advertising strategy will help generate interest, improve overall brand recall and increase sales conversations.

Lisa Ostrikoff is a TV journalist and anchor-turned-creator of BizBOXTV, a Canadian online video production, advertising and social media marketing agency. You can find her on Twitter and Facebook.

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