Video Advertising Strategies that Convert
Deliver your message with a story.
A clear, convincing message is the key to success for any direct-to-consumer brand. But a message isn’t simply what you say, it is also how you reveal and deliver that message.
Your message needs a persuasive narrative. The most successful commercials capture both the heart and mind. They tell a story where each element flows to the next, building an argument that culminates in a compelling reason to take action, make a purchase, or become a customer.
In this guide, we’ll take you through the actual process we use at Filmkraft to create our client’s most effective commercials. Our focus here is D2C commercials, but this formula can be applied to any form of video advertising.
If you're more interested in learning about successful strategies on digital, check out our blog on how to create successful video ads on social media.
Marketing is the strategy of persuasion. You must understand the beliefs, desires, and psychology of your audience to create commercials that resonate.
Without a persuasive strategy, your marketing will fall short.
That’s why we developed “The Persuasive Journey,” eight building blocks that evoke feelings (relatability), compel action (performance), and keep your content top of mind in the future (brand awareness).
Change the perceptions and behaviors of your audience with this proven formula:
Attention spans are shorter every day with so much content, ads, and platforms trying to grab our attention at every moment from all directions. That’s why the first 1-3 seconds of a D2C commercial are the most critical to spark the viewer’s curiosity.
You should captivate the emotions of your viewer immediately with a relatable scenario, burst of humor, unexpected visual twist, or poignant moment.
These emotional anchors do more than grab attention, they reel the viewer into your narrative by tapping into raw feelings. Now they are actively paying attention and emotionally ready to receive your message.
By evoking joy, nostalgia, surprise, or empathy, you’re not merely presenting an offer, you’re creating a memorable experience. This emotional resonance ensures the viewer is invested and ready for the next stage of the Persuasive Journey.
Exercise: How to grab your audience emotionally
Think of the most common ways your customers use your product. Look at the customer feedback or reviews that are the most interesting or exciting to read. Take those real-life situations and turn them into a hook. (This is where a creative agency like Filmkraft can help!)
Introduce your unique selling proposition (USP). Focus on one or two main selling points to drive your core message like ease, experience, price, taste, or quality. What is your most persuasive selling point for this audience?
Keep it simple. Don’t overload your audience with too much information or use unnecessary complex jargon. A confused viewer is a lost viewer and wasted opportunity.
But simple doesn’t mean unspecific. Your message should be powerful and focused, communicated in language that speaks to your audience how they want to be spoken to.
Exercise: How to identify your USP.
What are the big ideas that differentiate your product from the competition? Are you faster, easier, or more affordable? Choose one or two as your source of truth. Everything you say after this step should align with those USPs.
You often hear the phrase “Features and Benefits” - but we think that marketing is much more powerful when you reverse that order. Benefits determine your features.
What’s the difference between features and benefits? Features are the what, benefits are the how. Features are the tools, benefits are the result.
Benefits paint the picture of how a product or service will improve your life. A smartphone feature is a great camera, but the benefit is taking amazing photos. A health drink’s feature is a daily dose of vitamins, but the benefit is feeling healthy.
Exercise: How to identify your product benefits.
Think about your customers’ needs, desires, and goals. How will they achieve their goals with your product? Benefits are the answer to that question.
Spotlight the most useful attributes of your product or service that deliver the highest value to your customers. For a smartphone, this would include the camera resolution, battery life, and screen size. For a sports drink, this could be the unique mix of electrolytes and vitamins.
But don’t just list features. Choose the best features and position each one in a way that is easily digestible and relatable. For example, show a close up of one feature being used in a real situation. A well-presented feature can both inform and pique interest, helping potential customers visualize how the product will improve their life.
Exercise: How to decide which features to spotlight.
Think about your key benefits. Which specific features are the most vital to achieve those goals? If your rugged cooler customers want to share cold drinks with their friends while camping, then highlight the space-tested cooler insulation that keeps drinks cool for days.
Reasons-to-believe (RTB) are more than features and benefits, they are the reasons your audience should trust in your product. In a world cluttered with marketing messages, people are more critical and need a reason to believe your claims.
RTBs include scientific evidence, certifications, expert reviews, or celebrity endorsements. In a TV commercial, RTBs lend credibility to your brand and break down audience skepticism.
When the viewer trusts you, they will listen to you and consider the action you want them to take.
Exercise: Find your RTBs
Why should customers believe your claim? The RTB is the answer to this question. Why choose your business over another? For a sports drink, this could be, “Because this professional athlete trust us and drinks our drink when they need top performance.”
Social Proof is a kind of reason-to-believe. Nowadays, consumers usually discover and interact with brands online. A brand that shows genuine people using their service in an authentic way will gain the trust of their audience.
The virtual equivalent of a friend’s recommendation is seeing someone online use a product in a real way.
In a D2C TV commercial, social proof can be demonstrated in several ways:
Social proof helps the viewer to imagine themselves as a satisfied customer, “If these people had a great experience, then I will too!”
Exercise - Find your social proof.
Do your customers post reviews online? Do they make amazing comments on social media? Take the best comments or reviews and ask those customers to use their words in your advertising.
This can get complicated since you need to have the right legal permissions and meet advertising standards when making claims. This is a very important area where an agency like Filmkraft can help.
Every compelling story has a “denouement” — the moment when all the elements come together, tensions are resolved, and the narrative reaches its conclusion.
In a D2C TV commercial, the denouement wraps up your message and leaves the viewer with a clear, lasting impression of your brand and offer.
The denouement can be a final heartwarming scene of a family enjoying the product together, a recap of the offer, or a strong closing statement. It should encapsulate the essence of your brand and the value proposition, leaving the viewer with a memorable image or feeling.
Strategically, the denouement reinforces your brand's ethos or core message, and determines how the viewer will remember and react to your brand when they need to make a decision.
Exercise: What’s the best denouement for your brand?
What is the best way to leave your viewer feeling? Think of the best image to deliver that emotion. For example, A happy family smiling or a motivated runner winning the race.
The key to every D2C commercial is the Call to Action (CTA), the final moment where you direct the viewer to take the next step.
A well-chosen CTA creates a sense of urgency and prompts action, but there’s no need to reinvent the wheel. Keep it simple, and consider including an incentive as a motivating factor.
Examples include “Visit yourwebsite.com and get 20% off” or “Download the free app and get free shipping.”
The best CTAs feel organic and follow the story of the TV commercial. The CTA should also set a clear expectation of what happens after the customer takes action.
Exercise: Write the perfect CTA.
What action do you want the viewer to take after they see your TV commercial? What can they expect if they take action? Choose clear wording. For example, “Visit www.website.com and see for yourself.”
At Filmkraft, we love to turn brand visions into videos that captivate and convert.
Creative concepts are nothing without great execution. Nowadays, brands need to do so much — grab attention, resonate with consumers in an authentic way, deliver a clear message, demonstrate USPs, features, and benefits, gain trust, and convince a viewer to take action — all within a 30 second TV spot! (or even 15 seconds!) (Features and Benefits!)
We’ve given you the actual internal playbook we use at Filmkraft. We developed the Persuasive Journey method after years of working on countless D2C and direct response commercials. (Our Reason to Believe!)
Looking to shoot your first TV commercial? The Persuasive Journey framework is the best way to minimize your risk and maximize your chances of success. It has a track record of creating many of our clients’ top performing commercials. (Our Denouement with some Social Proof!)
Ready to propel your business to new heights? Discover the Filmkraft difference today and contact us to begin your journey to unprecedented growth! — Now that’s a nice CTA ;-)