Online Advertising – 3 examples of fantastic video ads

online advertising

Traditional vs Online Advertising… Its all just Advertising now

Long before online advertising was conceived, when TV was the most powerful medium, people joked that the ads were sometimes the best thing on.

Although the internet has blown the advertising landscape wide open there is still huge demand for ad time on TV. When you consider a 30 second ad during next month’s NFL’s Superbowl halftime show this year will cost $5 million, up from $4 million in 2014, clearly there is still demand and merit to TV advertising.

That was then…

Thirty years ago advertising was only available to a select few – those lucky enough to be able to afford it. TV, radio, newspapers, magazines and billboards were the corner stone of a gold star marketing campaign. And a pipe dream for all but the wealthiest companies around.

online advertising

Click HERE to view full infographic

However, things are changing. The barriers to entry have been removed thanks to the internet. Now all you need is some ideas, a decent wifi connection and you can launch your own website, YouTube channel, multiple social media channel and begin your online advertising.

This is now…

For larger companies online advertising is now equally as important as their traditional marketing activities. For smaller companies online advertising offers a more cost effective method of building a brand and an audience.

With this in mind I thought I’d share some of my favourite online video ads from a range of companies.

The Unskippable Ad

GEICO (Government Employees Insurance Company) is the second largest auto insurer in the United States, after State Farm. It is owned by Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway company and provided coverage for more than 22 million motor vehicles in 2014. More recently GEICO has become well known for its clever use of video advertising.

Here’s one example where they tackle YouTube ‘Skip Ad’ button that appears after five seconds. They made a series of ‘unskippable ads’ which gets the brand pitch out in the first few seconds. The characters then freeze, like at the end of the old Leslie Nielsen cop show parody ‘Police Squad… Have a look below. This video has been viewed over 8,000,000 and has got over 23,000 ‘thumbs up’

The Unskippable Family Ad won a Grand Prix in Film at the Cannes Lions festival in 2015.

‘Are blades are f***ing great’

Dollar Shave Club was created to combat high priced razors and blades. It delivers its product monthly to subscribers via the mail.Its an incredibly cost effective product but owes much of its success to its first video ad that went viral.

In March, 2012, the company uploaded a YouTube video entitled “Our Blades Are F***ing Great” featuring CEO Michael Dubin doing a walk-through of the Dollar Shave Club factory. The first 10 seconds of the video reel you in with the key value proposition and a curious setting. After 20 seconds CEO Michael Dubin unleashes the catch-phrase ‘Are blades are f***ing great’ and you’re hooked. There’s no way you can skip this ad now.

Order levels were pedestrian prior to the ad. In the 48 hours after the video was released Dollar Shave Club received 12,000 new subscibers and the ad has been viewed over 21 million times as of January 2016.

The video won “Best Out-of-Nowhere Video Campaign” at the 2012 AdAge Viral Video Awards, a  Webby Award in the Fashion & Beauty category and earned the People’s Choice Webby Award in the Consumer Packaged Goods category, both in 2013.

‘It’s gonna be Tropic’

Possibly taking a lead from GEICO, EBS Bank has radically altered their use of video ads.

A cursory glance down their YouTube channel video list and you’ll notice the earlier uploads were the typical financial company ‘explainer’ type videos with a talking head discussing a financial product. Nothing exciting here and the viewer numbers reflect it.

They began to take a different cournse, firstly with  the EBS Anytime Bar video (over 21,000 views) and their current ‘It’s gonna be Tropic’ series has gone even better with the ‘January Escape’ getting over 41,000 views in a week after upload.

EBS Bank are also clearly aware of the ‘second screen’ phenomenon by using the TV ad to promote their Facebook page and competition.

second screen


A recent study by global tech giant Cisco confirmed the rise of video. The report stated that increased adoption of video by businesses will cause traffic to double between 2014 and 2019.”It went on to say “Globally, consumer internet video traffic will be 80 percent of all consumer Internet traffic in 2019, up from 64 percent in 2014.”

If your brand is engaged in digital marketing, how much of your activity includes video? Do your plans include the large growth figures for video similar to the above findings from Cisco?

If you’d like to explore how video could play a roll in your marketing mix, contact me to HERE.

For further reading check out this blog post I did for OPEN | Design & Digital on using video.

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