Humor, transparency, baby goats — these OTT ad examples have it all
The streaming revolution has changed the way we watch TV — and the way marketers advertise. By combining the precision of programmatic ad targeting with the power of TV, OTT advertising has become a top channel for performance marketers. It’s still a relatively new channel, however, so advertisers are still discovering which creatives best resonate with the modern TV audience. If you’re on the verge of starting your own campaign, let these OTT ad examples serve as inspiration as you navigate the evolving streaming landscape.
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#1: Geico is sick of robot tests
Perhaps even better known for its decades of ad success than its insurance plans, Geico (home of the Gecko, Maxwell the Pig, the cavemen, and so many others) has become one of the top OTT advertisers in recent years. Ads like this make it easy to see why; “Too Many Robots” sticks to Geico’s tried-and-true formula of unexpected situations, absurdist humor, and a catchy tagline.
Why it works:
- It’s relatable: Wanting to vaporize your laptop because of obscure bot-deterrent pop quizzes? We’ve all been there.
- It’s funny: Never underestimate the value of humor, particularly if you’re trying to reach younger generations.
- It’s unexpected: In a stellar example of knowing your audience, Geico often leads by setting up surprising situations — not with a pitch about car insurance. By the time you realize what brand is doing the advertising, you’re already hooked!
#2: Clean energy is for the birds
By the time this ad’s leading fowl ruffles its feathers, viewers are bobbing their heads in time with the music. North America-based pipeline and energy company Enbridge created this OTT advertisement in order to promote its mission of building “a bridge to a cleaner energy future,” a tough topic to explain at a time when viewers’ attention spans are shorter than ever. So instead of filling the time with pleas for change and stats about energy, Enbridge tells a story about tomorrow. And by the time you’re done watching, the sun is up — just as the company says, tomorrow has arrived.
Why it works:
- Tells a story: By following one chicken’s journey over the course of a minute or so, the spot makes the viewer invested, so they keep watching to see how it all turns out.
- Audio design: This spot grabs the viewer’s attention right away with a cover of the Stevie Wonder jam “Higher Ground,” then layers in sound effects like the stovetop burner flaring, a tea kettle whistling, and the final crow of its feathered star.
- Nails the theme: Enbridge’s tagline for this campaign is “Tomorrow is on,” meaning the future of renewable energy is already here. What better way to represent “tomorrow” than the sights and sounds we all recognize as a new day starting?
#3: Finding the perfect puffer
Anyone can use a search engine, but not all search engines will help you narrow down your options in a useful way. Google demonstrated its top-notch filtering capabilities with this “puffer jacket” ad, which is less about puffer jackets and more about how easy it is to find the exact thing you’re looking for — even if you don’t know what that thing is yet. Who knew there were so many different kinds of puffer jackets? Well, Google did.
Why it works:
- Gets to the point: Google kept this video to a tight 30 seconds, the ideal length for an OTT spot.
- Show, don’t tell: In seconds, the woman in the video has gone from thinking about puffers in a noncommittal manner to buying a down-filled orange puffer jacket at a reasonable price (and with free delivery to boot!). This is all handled visually without a single word of dialogue.
- The soundtrack: If viewers are looking down at their phones (as they so often do during ads), the bold opening notes of Ariana Grande’s “7 Rings” bring their attention right back to the television screen.
#4: The democratization of cashmere
Can a luxury product be ethically created and affordable at the same time? According to NAADAM, yes. The cashmere company’s “The Democratization of Cashmere” ad shows exactly how it happens in a stellar display of storytelling mixed with punchy humor… and goats. At nearly three minutes long, the spot is significantly longer than the other OTT ad examples in this post — yet it’s racked up 29 million views on YouTube alone, with commenters calling it “One of the few ads that I didn’t skip” and “A fantastic advertisement.”
Why it works:
- The cute animal doctrine: Want to grab viewers’ attention? Adorable animals are the way to almost any potential consumer’s heart.
- The human side: As one commenter pointed out, NAADAM’s video “humanizes the laborers” who often go unrecognized, literally naming some of them and describing their jobs.
- Radical transparency: One of the reasons why this ad is so long is because NAADAM takes the time to explain its cashmere process and what makes the brand so different compared to other manufacturers, even poking fun at stereotypical fashion ads that feature beautiful people lounging in a variety of unlikely positions.
#5: Local news
Local news used to be the purview of traditional TV, but Local Now wants viewers to know that’s no longer the case. This ad whirls through a reel of familiar local news personalities (“Gooood morning, Dallas!”), and then moves on to a walkthrough of movies and TV shows on their platform. Its simplicity and clean layout is built for brand recall and mimics the tone of local news networks.
Why it works:
- Familiar tone in a new format: Soundbites from local news personalities remind the viewer of their local news channel which automatically builds trust, but also reminds them that they can now conveniently stream this familiar content without signing up for ten different subscription services.
- A creative formula that yields results: Local Now saw a 6.2% increase in consideration intent in responders who saw the ad, according to a brand lift study done with a partner.
- Effective non-verbal cues: The viewers see carefully crafted copy that tells them the content is free (Local Now is a free streaming app that provides access to local news, weather updates, and thousands of free movies and TV shows), adroitly avoiding the cheesy cliches of local commercials.
The future of TV advertising is OTT
TV advertising is more accessible than ever before, but some still aren’t taking advantage of this growing performance marketing opportunity. At M&C Saatchi Performance, we’ve been able to stay one step ahead of the shifting media landscape, helping our partners reach their intended audiences while providing measurable results. Want to know more about how we can make your advertising goals a reality? Get in touch!