In 2016, the digital advertising industry saw a sharp rise in digital video as the medium of choice for content sharing and brand-to-customer communications in both B2C and B2B markets.

This increase in digital video consumption is driven by a number of factors; one of the greatest being the rise in Video on Demand (VoD) that includes big names like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. These platforms have drawn millions of viewers from offline TV to online video – increasing the opportunities for brands to advertise via digital videos.

As we enter the new year with a little nostalgia, we can’t help but reminisce about the themes, concepts and strategies that led to some of the most compelling video ad campaigns of the year.

Human touch
Recent research has shown emotional and psychological elements appear to resonate more profoundly with consumers than feature and function elements. Winning brands combine powerful, lasting messages delivered in ways that touch their audiences. That’s why many great ad campaigns are often founded on delivering messages in novel and thought-provoking ways – increasing the odds they’ll be shared virally by brand fans, who further add credibility and awareness.

The primary purpose of digital ads is to pique and appeal to viewers’ interests and heartstrings. In order to achieve this, the ad must resonate with consumers by ringing true; delivering a personally meaningful message that communicates how the product or service fits in––and enhances––consumers’ lives.

Long-term gains
Great campaigns can increase loyalty, conversion rates and encourage purchase across more items within the brand umbrella, which––in turn–– has a significant impact on future digital advertising revenue growth. Additionally, a strong ad campaign will always be inextricably linked to the brand, so the ad itself won’t be attributed to a competitor.

Click to read more about video advertising and the user experience, here.

Below are some of our personal favorite video ad campaigns of 2016. While it’s no easy feat for brands to find broadly relevant messages, these video ads have nailed the magic formula by combining all of the elements that successfully reel audiences in.

Morton Salt, OK Go – “The One Moment”
What We Love: OK Go has worked with many brands on music videos, but few as brilliant as this. The band filmed 4.2 seconds of colorful stuff exploding—paint buckets, water balloons, even guitars—and slowed it down to a four-minute video, cleverly integrating Morton Salt and its “Walk Her Walk” charity initiative along the way.

Purple Mattress, “The Raw Egg Test”
What We Love: The Purple Bed is now generating plenty of interest online, thanks to a clever video that is racking up impressive viewing totals (more than 22 million views, and rising) on YouTube. In the video, ‘Goldilocks’ compares Purple’s cushioning effectiveness versus competitors using “The Raw Egg Test.” Purple lets a massive piece of glass, weighing 330 pounds, with raw eggs adhesively bonded to the bottom, fall from a height of three feet onto the Purple Bed – all while the eggs don’t break. The egg test shows how pressure points can be eliminated at the same time that broader surfaces are fully supported, so that soft and firm can indeed co-exist in the same mattress. From its fairytale-ish storyline to supporting raw egg test to serve as anecdotal evidence, Purple has managed to work its creative production magic to make us believers.

H&M – “Come Together”
What We Love: Leave it to Wes Anderson to make the year’s most delightful Christmas ad. A train is delayed in bad weather at the holidays, but the conductor, played by the always-awesome Adrien Brody, hatches an improbable plan to celebrate on board. The four-minute spot is a mini masterpiece of craft, with H&M fashions woven throughout and a surprisingly emotional ending.

Nike – “The Switch”
What We Love: The short video is a classic from the sports giant – full of UK humor and guest spots from some of the most famous faces in football, including Raheem Sterling and Anthony Martial. With a multi-million pound budget at their disposal, it’s no surprise to see the level of quality on display. Here, Nike isn’t selling any one product in particular. Like any other hyper brand, they’re selling the brand, the lifestyle, and the can-do attitude. This ad certainly ‘ticks’ our boxes.

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Posted by Kara Degeorgis

After successfully working as a freelance digital artist for several major publishers and brands, Kara’s passion for art and technology led her to a career in the digital advertising space with Theorem. Since 2014, Kara has played a key role on the creative team, building out Theorem’s brand communications and creative service offerings with award-winning design work. Her current responsibilities include guiding clients through the intricacies of successful ad design and development from innovative ideation through execution. In parallel, Kara’s working towards a Master’s Degree in Strategic Design and Management at Parsons School of Design in NYC.

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