Promotional Facebook Videos: The Good, The Bad and The Indifferent

Hello and welcome again to the next instalment in our December series all about promotional Facebook videos. Last week we took a look at some Facebook targeting hacks that will help get your videos seen by as many relevant people as possible. This week, we’re going to take a moment to look at some live examples of Facebook video advertising, and consider which are good, which are bad, and which are not bad but not particularly good either.

So, let’s get down to business…


What Makes A Good Facebook Video Ad?

Great question. Well, we answered this in some detail last month in our blog post ’10 Elements of High Performing Facebook Video Ads’. So let’s recap those 10 elements:

High performing promotional Facebook videos all have the following things in common:

  1. A clear objective
  2. A highly targeted audience
  3. They follow the AIDA (Attention, Interest, Desire, Action) formula
  4. They offer a unique value proposition
  5. They tell a story
  6. They are high quality
  7. They have a clear CTA (call to action)
  8. They use Facebook’s targeting campaign tools
  9. They re-target past viewers
  10. The makers make their analytics work for them

Now, admittedly, obviously we can’t prove that every creator of a successful Facebook video ad campaign pays close attention to his/her analytics, nor can we tell if they really are making proper use of the available campaign tools. However, we can assume that the creators must be doing something right, for high-performing Facebook ads don’t just drop out of the sky.

No, the 10 elements that we outline above and in the aforementioned blog post, really are – really, really are – what make Facebook ads perform at a higher rate than others. And indeed, the formula is much the same for any online video promotional advertisement (and we recommend taking a look at our ‘9 Elements Of A Great Promotional Video’ as well for further creation tips).

However, seeing is nearly always believing, and so, rather than trying to guess what makes Facebook video promos good, bad and indifferent, we’ve scoured everyone’s favourite social network to find you some examples of each.

So, without any further ado, let’s watch some videos (which is still just as relieving to hear now, I’m sure, as it was when the teacher used to fire up the VHS at school)!!


Facebook Promotional Ads: The Good, The Bad and The Indifferent

The Good

It’s always best, I think, to start on a positive note, so check out this brilliant little example of a Facebook ad done well by Kroger. So short, and yet it hits all 7 of the practical elements in the above list beautifully. Watch it first, then we’ll walk through the highlights.

 

At Kroger, we know how to get our #FoodFace on for the big game!Click “Like” if you are planning a #SB49 party.

Posted by Kroger on Sunday, February 1, 2015

Cool, isn’t it?

The video was made to go live during Super Bowl week – so, with that in mind, let’s mark off the elements that the video hits

  1. Clear objective to remind people to get some snacks (from Kroger) for when watching the game.
  2. It has a highly targeted audience – i.e. football fans watching the game at home.
  3. AIDA is followed precisely ­– the cute animation grabs our attention, the ring at the door excites our interest, then as the vegetables dip themselves into the dips and enjoy themselves the desire (for yummy snacks and good times) is struck, and then the witty tagline at the end calls to action.
  4. The value proposition is made clear – watching football is made more enjoyable with friends and snacks.
  5. The story is simple and effective, with a clear beginning, middle and end.
  6. It’s great quality – brilliantly composed, well shot, edited and animated with great audio.
  7. The CTA is crystal clear ­– ‘Get Your Game Food Face On’, a delicious (pun intended) pun.

The Bad

I’m gonna go out on a bit of a limb here and say that the following video from the brilliant video camera company GoPro is a bad one.

Video of the Day! Canine speed flying in Hawaii. Watch the full video: http://g.gopro.com/6182fNY2

Posted by GoPro on Monday, April 27, 2015

Another shorty at just 15 seconds, but for me, this Facebook video ad from GoPro misses the mark.

Let’s do a quick rundown:

  1. Unclear objective. Is this video of a paragliding dog really supposed to make me want to go out and buy a GoPro? I don’t think my goldfish would really enjoy it as much. The whole concept, in fact, might very well raise some eyebrows about animal cruelty, not to mention safety. The doggy appeared to enjoy the ride – which is just as well, since it didn’t really have a choice in the matter. Such a video risks bringing negative attention to a brand.
  2. Target audience – paragliders, yes. Extreme sports enthusiasts, yes. Dog owners? Presumably.
  3. The AIDA formula not really adhered to either. If you’re not familiar with GoPro, then you might be surprised to learn that this is a promo for peddling video cameras – after all, we’re used to these sorts of high-action shots in advertising now, and so we don’t assume that it’s the camera itself being advertised. For me, the focus isn’t really made clear until the branding appears at the end.
  4. The value proposition is also dubious. Let’s assume that viewers know what GoPro is – a stunt camera. So where’s the added value in this video? Ok, so you could film your favourite pet dangling around in the air with you – but, as mentioned above, I’m not entirely convinced that this should be the focus of such an ad.
  5. There is story to this ad – they take off, fly about, and land. But it’s a bit predictable.
  6. The quality of the filming is good – and it should be, for GoPros are great little cameras. However, the chosen shots, I feel, leave a little to be desired. There are only a handful, and all but one is an extreme close-up. We don’t even get the sense that we’re flying, which is a shame.
  7. The CTA – ‘Be A Hero’, I also find incongruous to the whole concept of this particular ad. This isn’t what I’d call heroism at all – and the silly music doesn’t do much to help matters either.

Oh dear, I really don’t like this ad, do I? To be fair, I have been playing a little devil’s advocate to exaggerate the bad points of this video. But, nonetheless, they are still present within it. As part of the whole GoPro video promotion catalogue, this little Facebook vid probably doesn’t do the brand any harm. However, if this was their only video, then I’d be a little more concerned for them.

3. The Indifferent

Finally we have an example of an indifferent video…

 

Now, I’m not going to go through the all 7 points this time – you can do that at your own leisure. But, I’d just like to make a few comments about what makes this video neither particularly good or bad – just a bit meh, really.

From homemade Buratta to fried chicken, Chef Cédric Vongerichten shows us what he’s cooking up at Perry Street Restaurant

Posted by NYC Restaurant Week on Monday, March 2, 2015

So, everything is pretty clear – this is a classy restaurant which serves some great, seasonal food. We get to meet the chef – and this is great for engagement with the intended audience – and we get to see the food.

The video is high quality, nicely edited, perfectly pleasant soundtrack. It certainly ticks all the boxes – but that’s about all  it does, and by this I mean it doesn’t wow us. It doesn’t make me think, yeah I have to go to that restaurant because I’m going to experience something different. For me, this video tells me that if I visited the restaurant, I would have perfectly decent time, would enjoy my meal, experience some polite service, and I’d be home again by 9:30 with my feet up in front of the fire. That is to say that the video isn’t particularly bad – it’s just that it’s not particularly good either, and so I naturally assume that my experience in the establishment will be much the same – meh.

I may be wrong of course, and I’m sure I am – Perry St Restaurant actually has outstanding reviews. So it just goes to show that if your Facebook video isn’t up to scratch, then it’s far too easy to assume that your product and/or service will be the same. Do you have any examples of good or bad Facebook videos? Let us know in the comment section!


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John Waldron is a writer with markITwrite who regularly writes on lifestyle and technology.