7 Great Examples Of Video Advertising

Video advertising - Image of a camera with blurred background.

Search is changing

YouTube is the second biggest search engine in the world. More and more people are using TikTok and Instagram to research purchases and even plan trips. Google’s own recent algorithm advances are designed to more fully incorporate video and image queries in the future.  

In this landscape, video advertising is not a “nice to have”. It is essential.

Working with video can be difficult for a lot of companies. This is why many SMEs do not get to involved with video advertising. On the flip side, there has never been more tools available for film making. The barrier of entry into video advertising has never been lower.

But to break that barrier, companies need to be able to tell a story. They have to elicit emotion from the viewer.

In this post we are going to look at 7 examples of great video advertising that do just that.

Ready? It’s time to say “action”!

Apple Watch Series 7 “Hard Knocks”

This is a very well made and expensive example of video advertising. In terms of logistics, it is not achievable for anyone outside a giant brand like Apple.

But conceptually, this advertisement is very simple.

In a lot of Apple product advertisements, they do not sell features. They sell feelings and dreams. This is a trick that has served them well. Steve Jobs was a master of it

So what is the feeling that this Apple Watch film is playing on?

Here, Apple highlights that the Apple Watch Series 7 is tough. It can cope with anything you throw at it. Worried about going out with an expensive wearable on your wrist all the time? This ad puts your mind at rest.

There’s nothing about RAM or connectivity or technology in this film. It presents a feeling. It tells you that the Apple Watch is tough. Though the Apple Watch film itself is complicated with a lot of shots, it communicates that one simple message all the way through. 

There is also an aspirational element to the film. Would you like to be someone that does all this cool stuff? Then you should buy an Apple Watch!

The film does this by only using visuals, meaning that it translates all around the world. So while the ad was expensive to create, it can be used everywhere. This means it is effective in every single target market for Apple.

Thai Life “Thank You Stranger”

Life insurance is complicated, difficult and something that no one wants to think about.

So how do you create a video advertisement for it?

The answer is human stories. This is what Thai Life does in this film and it is brilliant.

The advertisement tells two stories in 90 seconds. Both stories are incredible, highlighting where someone has risked their own safety to help someone else. Giving the viewer a feeling of how precious life is and how it should be protected.

A complex product is difficult to sell. It is hard to touch on all the facets of it in such a short time. One solution to that is to focus on feelings. If, for example, you sell financial products you might focus on someone buying their first car or bike. It is an easy story for people to understand and it elicits an emotional response that people tie to your brand. This is a superb example of that.

The video has attracted over 3.8 million views on YouTube and is in regular rotation on TV in Thailand.

Guinness “Welcome Back”

This is another example of a brand eliciting a feeling, but it ties into a big event that affected all of the target audience.

Guiness’s “welcome back” campaign was released in the UK when pubs were reopening, after being shut due to lockdown measures. It utilizes Guinness’s iconic look, using everyday examples. This ties into the feeling of how when we miss something, we see it everywhere.

This advertisement tied into Guinness’s “raising the bar” drive where Guiness committed £30 million to support UK pubs through COVID-19.

It is a great example of a brand using current events but tying that to a feeling of something we all missed during COVID. Which was not specific to Guinness! But more around community and seeing friends. 

This will not be the last “pandemic” commercial on this list…

Dove “Reverse Selfie”

Dove’s “Reverse Selfie” is a well made advertisement that highlights a pressing social issue.

According to Dove, “by the age of 13, 80% of girls distort the way they look online. Retouching apps and the pressure to post the ‘perfect selfie’ are hurting their self-esteem and confidence.”

The campaign film tells the story of a selfie in reverse. With the effects used to create a digital image gradually being removed from the subject of the film.

It is a novel way of highlighting issues around online toxicity, social media and the pressure to appear a certain way.

This video again shows the value of a human story with issues that people care about at its heart. The film also benefits Dove as a brand. By showing their awareness of this issue they place their brand at the center of discussions around damaging, unachievable, beauty standards on social media. It garnered 1.3 million views on YouTube and over 1 million views on Instagram.

Burberry “Open Spaces”

This campaign has a more surreal feel than the previous examples above.

Burberry’s “Open Spaces” film imbues a bit of magic into fashion by taking the viewer on a weird walk through the British countryside. It is inspired by a quote from Thomas Burberry’s book, “open spaces” in which he states, “Inherent in every Burberry garment is freedom”.

The video is well shot with fantastic choreography. All the lead actors in it begin to come together at the end. This emphasizes the value of connection in an era where we have been disconnected from each other (it’s the pandemic theme again…).

At a basic level the film makes the clothes look great. The way they swish in the breeze makes them seem attractive and the tone of the film gives them a bit of mystique.

The campaign was a huge success with the video getting over 6.2 million views on YouTube.

Amazon “Big Game Commercial: Mind Reader”

This is the biggest budget of the whole list which is not surprising. It features a celebrity couple and it was made to be shown during halftime at the superbowl.

But although it features a Hollywood star, the core of the advertisement hangs on two things. One is humor, it is a funny ad. The other is the sense a lot of people have about digital products, that they can somehow read our mind.

The ad takes this concept and runs with it. The Alexa unit in the ad reads Colin Jost’s mind, with chaotic results.

A lot of brands are wary of humor and it is very tough to get right. But with the right story and script you do not need a huge budget to make a funny ad for your business.

This ad was a huge success, attracting over 69.5 million views on YouTube.

Google “Get Back To What You Love”

A little known fact, Google used to have a rule against advertising on TV. But once your company buys a huge video platform…you have to get into the filmmaking game!

Since its first steps into TV ads over 13 years ago, Google has become very good at TV spots. The “get back to what you love” ad is simple, well made and manages to elicit an emotional response. And it does it by using a search bar, some calendar events, map listings and great ambient sound effects.

Tying emotion to simplicity is a good lesson for any brand. Most of us do not have Silicon Valley budgets, but this ad shows what’s possible with a few animated screens, sounds and musical cues.

The ad got over 12.2 million YouTube views.

Lessons For Video Advertising

Story Above Everything – You have to tell a story, otherwise your video ad will not work.

Keep It Simple – Do not try to say too much.

Show, Don’t Tell – The best ads tell stories visually.

Get Emotional – You have to try to elicit a response.

Budget – A good ad does not have to cost a fortune.

Contact us via hello@maqe.com.

Talk to MAQE

Need to bring innovation and change to your business? Talk to MAQE. We have years of experience in We’re trying to tell better stories here at MAQE. It’s an exciting journey and if you want to talk about it with us get in touch via [email protected]. Stay tuned to our YouTube channel and Facebook feed for some new work in the future.