3 steps to video ads that convert

Once upon a time, you made videos in Windows Movie Maker with shapes, slides, and wipes as impressive visual gimmicks. Fast forward to an AI-created “Berlin Ron Weasley” who winks at you with surprising ease. 

We’re not saying that starburst transitions have no place (Gen Z will inevitably bring them back) but as far as video ads go, there are much more appealing, and strategic, video techniques you can use to make your audience click. 

Here are our 3 top tips…

1. Create a narrative with cinematic footage.

Your ad’s narrative needs to be compelling. If it's not, no amount of editing will save your video.

“But it’s only a 15-second ad,” you say. Yes, even then you have plenty of time to sew a beginning, middle and end together. Our brains love stories, it's how we connect and relate to each other; having an arch is crucial.

That story also needs to be told with high-quality footage. Even when the goal is to create content that feels native and low-budget, leveraging high-quality shooting techniques sends a clear message to your audience that you are worth their time. 

Our filming checklist includes: 4k at 30 fps, a directional mic, adequate lighting, creative angles, and visually stunning compositions. 

Who’s doing it well?

Dove takes the cake on this one. Reversing the plot is incredibly engaging, especially with the reverse playback that keeps you hooked until the end. Mix this plot with different close-up shots, quality filming, and tone appropriate lighting (that blue hue gives a vibe) and you’ve got yourself a winner. 

2. Elevate the visual and audio details. 

Seamless editing is key to keeping scenes flowing smoothly. Cut away too quickly or overlook a small glitch, and you risk pulling your audience out of the story; the devil is in the details. Take the extra time to fine-tune framing, color-correct, and ensure your font usage is cohesive. 

The other often overlooked detail (especially on social videos) is sound. There’s nothing worse than trying to decipher garbled audio. Unidirectional microphones are the most affordable and reliable way to ensure your audio is crystal-clear. We find Sennheiser and RODE mics to be especially great.

*Bonus points* for using sound creatively. Audio can complete an immersive experience and truly captivate a viewer. Done well, simple post-production Foley work transforms a two-dimensional clip into something extraordinary.

Who’s doing it well?

Notice the ambient sounds in this Starbucks ad: the muffled chatter from nearby tables, coffee stirred with a metal spoon, and the noise of traffic outside. With just a few auditory additions, the ad engages as many of our senses as possible and we are further immersed. The emotional connection is deepened. 

3. Connect your story with anchors instead of transitions.

Say you’re looking to edit two frames from different shots or shoots together; you might be tempted to use a transition. May we suggest you don’t?

Anchors are visual cues that connect two clips in a cohesive way. Anchors can take the form of color, camera movement in the same direction, or an object that connects two shots together. Anchors create an abstract fluidity that assumes your audience is smart enough to follow along, and they are. When an ad makes us think just a little harder than usual, we respect it more. 

Who’s doing it well?

Burger King has some idyllic anchors at play here. Even the most varied frames connect seamlessly despite minimal use of transitions. Complemented by entertaining typography and graphics, we reach the end of the video and realized that we just watched a branding video for a fast food restaurant ... well played BK, well played. 

Got any of your own favorite video editing tricks? We’d love to hear what you’re working on. 

And if you want to elevate your video production, don’t hesitate to reach out. 

By author

Oleh Kovalevskiy

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