6 Innovative Video Marketing Examples: Ads That Inspire

James Rehwald
, Marketing Director

6 Innovative Video Marketing Examples, smartphone YouTube app

Video watching habits have evolved tremendously.

With that, so has video marketing.

We live in a world where video marketing is no longer limited to commercials on your home television screen or ads playing at your nearby movie theater.

It’s 2016.  Videos are everywhere.  People have shorter patience and want instant gratification.  You find yourself stumbling upon video content just about anywhere, whether it’s on purpose or without much choice.

There’s all the TV commercials, viral Facebook videos, pre-roll YouTube ads, Snapchat content and 3V ads, Netflix ads, website landing page videos, and the list goes on…

In our multi-screen world, consumers are receiving video brand messaging on their smartphones, tablets, computers, and TVs while the prevalence of mobile viewership is rising.

So how do you break through the clutter with a unique, engaging, and effective video?  How do you grasp and hold viewers’ attention?  And more so, how do you create a memorable image and stir up motivation to take action?

I'll show you some ways.

Making an innovative video that your target users respond well to is no easy task…one must carefully weave together art and science.  With the right targeting research, video filming/production, and rollout strategy execution, a business or non-profit can reap measurable results.

Customer conversions increase with effective video marketing—both for B2C and B2B businesses.

3 insightful video marketing statistics pulled from an Invodo study:

“Shoppers who view video are 1.81 times more likely to purchase than non-viewers”

“In an eye-mapping study of search engine results pages (SERPs), video results commanded more attention than other listings”

“57 percent of smartphone owners watch product video in stores”

As a marketer myself with an eye for videos that actually inspire rather than create a “this is another ad” impression, I’ve compiled a handful of innovative marketing videos and other noteworthy video content to share with you.

By breaking down what these video marketers forged together, we can learn from their creative example.


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The “Montana Meth Project” Advertisements

The Montana Meth Project was an advertising campaign involving TV, radio, print, and online ads running from 2005-2012.

This campaign’s video advertisements were particularly stunning in that they used a combination of fear-inducing storytelling and disgusting imagery to prevent and stop the methamphetamine use that had run rampant in Montana.  These commercial ads, in their standard 30-second length, carry some powerful delivery.  The graphic video advertisements encompassed various people encountering drug-abused versions of themselves.

Warning: Some viewers may find these ads disturbing.

Montana Meth Project, TV video advertisements on YouTube

Above is a compilation video of some of their several ads.

Best thing about this campaign—it worked.  Different studies bring up different numbers but the general consensus is that meth use drastically went down for the duration of the campaign.

These well-crafted ads done by San Francisco-based advertising agency Venables Bell & Partners successfully shocked drug users and potential users into taking action.


Coca-Cola’s “Unlock the 007 in you” Experiential Challenge

Experiential marketing, event marketing, engagement marketing, and other cool names refer to the idea of creating an actual, physical experience the directly engages consumers.

By integrating a “surprise” element where onlookers unsuspectedly become participants can add a great level of value to this type of marketing—ever heard of those flash mobs in public places?

It’s difficult to create a brand-consumer connection this way but this collaboration between Coca-Cola and the makers of 007 Skyfall is particularly well planned and executed.

Although the core of this marketing ploy is indeed an event, the actual cinematography of it is what takes the cake.  The quality videography blends together multiple participants' experiences to create a concise end product.  It makes you feel like you might actually be seeing more of what happened than if you were at the mall itself.

Coca-Cola and 007 Skyfall, Advertising Event in Mall on YouTube

The YouTube video makes the viewer feel a part of a thrilling impromptu adventure with a touch of humor, just like a 007 movie would…(and maybe if you buy a Coke from one those machines, something cool will happen to you too!)

An awesome video and experiential event developed by Coca-Cola’s North West Europe and Nordics business unit.


Budweiser’s #FriendsAreWaiting Super Bowl Commercial

You could say I’m a sucker for heart-throbbing displays dog-human companionship, but a lot of American dog owners would probably agree that the following video advertisement hits close to home.

In a compelling minute during its debut in the 2014 Super Bowl, viewers got to watch Anheuser–Busch do another memorable Budweiser commercial video but with a PSA-type of approach—cautioning beer drinkers to not drink and drive.

Budweiser Puppy Super Bowl Commercial 2014

Spoiler Alert: In the video’s 60 seconds, we get to see a man and his puppy, Buddy, grow up together before the owner decides to go out with some friends to drink.  With some clever, well-done shots of the loveable dog anxiously waiting for the owner’s return, the video strikes all the right chords with its viewers…right before relieving them with the owner’s much needed return and a message: make a plan to make it home.


This creative advertising video was directed and produced by a combination of agencies including Momentum WorldwideFCB Chicago, and AKQA.


“history of japan” Video on YouTube

I love this video.  Even though it’s not directly promoting any product or service, it gives us an example to learn about brilliant production without film.

What’s truly amazing is that for a 9-minute video, it’s hard not to watch the whole thing.

Hastily covering the “highlights” of ancient to modern Japan, the “amateur” video uses colorful animations over geographic maps, plays melodic 80s TV show-resembling vocals for special word emphasis, casually jokes around without getting too off topic, throws in non-sequiturs followed by quick factual reassurance, and makes applicable, entertaining references to modern culture sporadically throughout.

It’s a hilarious, yet surprisingly thorough breakdown of Japan’s internal power struggles, imperial conquest, international trade, cultural shifts, and economic growth, among other things.

The video, published by YouTube user and musician “bill wurtz” on Feb 2, 2016, broke 5 million views in less than a month.  It has accumulated a whopping 14.7 million views as of July 14, 2016.  Reposted and shared across social media platforms, the YouTuber experienced a surge in new subscribers and video views.

history of japan, YouTube video by Bill Wurtz

With creative graphic design, music, and video production, this guy made history fun to watch.


Guinness’ “Basketball” Ad Spot

This advertisement made the cut for TED’s “Ads Worth Spreading.”

Yes, this is the second beer product video advertisement on this list.  And yes, it’s unexpectedly genuine and quite touching.

See for yourself:

Creative Guinness basketball TV commercial

In what seems at first to be a telling look at others’ hardship conquered through sport, turns out to be something even better.  The element of surprise finds itself nicely in this video while making a great example of storytelling, friendship, and humble determination.

A brilliant video done by the NYC-based creative advertising agency BBDO New York.


BuzzFeed’s “Depression Isn’t Always Obvious” YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter Video

BuzzFeed has established itself, through its immense growth, with its paradigm shift in how to approach multi-platform video distribution.

The NYC-based internet media company caters to each digital platform individually, rather than using them all to drive traffic to one site.  Given BuzzFeed’s brand positioning of targeting teens and young adults with social & political articles, shareable news bits, nostalgic pieces, entertainment, funny GIFs, and other relatable written + video content, this strategy makes sense.

This particular video published on one of its numerous YouTube channels, BuzzFeedYellow, seeks to spread awareness about the unsuspecting reality of depression affecting people close to you.

The same exact video can be found on BuzzFeed Video—one of its several Facebook Pages, as well as @BuzzFeedVideo—one of its multiple Twitter accounts.

Using facial montage shots illustrating the dreary 9-to-5 job commute and all-too-familiar monotony dragging the screen character down, it gives something that many American viewers can relate to on some level.

BuzzFeed Depression Is Not Always Obvious YouTube video




Just when you think you know what’ll happen as the video moves towards a climax, a surprise arrives.  With this unexpected turn, the title and purpose of the video suddenly make sense with sobering fashion.

Well done, BuzzFeed.

Spoiler Alert: The depression victim, Ricky, was the seemingly happy-go-lucky background character appearing in every few shots, for those who didn’t catch that.


Summary: Video Advertising Success Explained

Video Advertising Success Explained, TV static white noise

We are emotional beings.

More often than not, sticking solely to data-driven findings, graphs, charts, and rationale aren’t enough to win an audience over when they’re looking at a screen.

Appealing to people’s fears, desires, trust, guilt, etc. are needed ingredients of a creative marketing video's working formula.

We’ve grown used to the constant images, sounds, and videos thrown our way—we see around 300-700 marketing messages a day, according to a Telesian.

People generally have higher expectations, less patience, and are more easily distracted.

According to HubSpot:

“…it's gotten so bad that our attention spans have, on average, shrunk to 8.25 seconds -- that's shorter than a goldfish.”

So if you’re planning to embed a marketing video on your website’s homepage, do an email blast, pay for a Facebook + Instagram advertising campaign, run a TV ad spot, manage a Snapchat account, or publish a YouTube video series, don’t you want to make every second worth the viewer’s time, especially within the first few seconds?

Make your money and their time worth it.

Don’t run a crappy campaign—make a killer marketing video that people want to share with others and act upon.  Get creative, know your audience, marry together reason & emotion, and stand above your competition with something new.


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