“Ugh, I’m sick of seeing that.”
These are all common reactions to video ads on a user’s Facebook feed.
But sometimes, every so often, an ad is so brilliant that it grabs the user’s attention and they take notice.
They watch all the way to the end. And maybe they even share it with their friends!
Why is that?
What is the magic ingredient that compels people to click the ‘Share’ button instead of the ‘Skip’ button?
We thought we’d take a look at 7 of the best Facebook video ads of all time and see if we could find out!
Quickfire tips for making a “best” Facebook video ad
- Grab attention from the first second
- Keep it short and sweet
- Optimise for mobile
- Deliver with the sound off & delight with the sound on
- Have fun!
- Take advantage of branding opportunities
- A great call-to-action
Now let’s take a look at the best Facebook video ads of all time…
1. Apple – #TAYLORvsTREADMILL
Apple is a company that knows how to market their products. Their marketing campaigns usually get people talking, but this ad for Apple Music exploded.
When this ad came out in 2016, everyone was talking about it – because there was SO much to talk about.
It’s got Taylor Swift rapping along to Drake. It’s got slapstick comedy. It came out a couple of months after some controversy between Taylor Swift and Apple. And it was posted on April Fool’s day (no one knows whether that was intentional or not).
All of these ingredients make this the perfect recipe for an iconic video ad that is going to set tongues wagging.
The impact of the ad, as you’ve probably guessed, was astronomical. Not only was it featured everywhere from Forbes to The Guardian, sales of the song featured in the ad jumped an incredible 431% on iTunes.
A few months later, Apple followed up with a “response video” featuring Drake. While this didn’t gain the same traction as the first video, it was still wildly popular:
What we can learn:
Okay, so Apple made an incredible ad that featured Taylor Swift rapping. Of course it went viral. But we can’t all call in a favour from a-list celebrities when we need to create our next video ad.
So, what can we learn from this?
The main takeaway from this ad is that you don’t need to focus on what your product is, but what it can do for your customers and how it can make them feel.
The actual product itself is on screen for a couple of seconds – and that’s okay! Video ads, especially those posted on social media, should be about creating intrigue and enticing potential customers to find out more.
If Apple had simply posted a dry 2 minute demonstration of how Apple Music works, do you think the ad – and the platform itself – would have gotten as much attention as it did?
Hollywood superstar Ryan Reynolds has added “marketer” as another string to his bow, and he seems to have quite a talent for it.
This hilarious ad, made by his agency Maximum Effort, for Match allowed viewers to stop for a moment and laugh at the hellish year that 2020 has been.
In an interview with Ad Age, Reynolds said: “We just imagined what a ‘2020 match’ would look like and this video was the natural, slightly warped result.”
While he doesn’t star in the ad, Reynolds did write the story. It features the devil finally meeting his dream-girl on Match. She’s called 2020.
The ad pokes fun at some very 2020-like scenarios, including a socially-distanced date at the gym and the devil and 2020 laughing as they steal toilet rolls from public places.
The ad was wildly popular on Facebook, with the campaign’s hashtags #matchmadeinhell and #yearfromhell being shared thousands of times.
What we can learn:
Match is an established company that’s been around for just over 25 years, and in that time they’ve gone in many different directions with their marketing.
What made this video so great – apart from the wicked humour – is that it showed the company doesn’t take itself too seriously.
Customers appreciate it when you’re able to let go and have some fun. That’s especially true for consumers today who are constantly bombarded with ads. They don’t want to see the same old stuff, and that’s proven by how positively people react when an ad is truly great.
According to Edison Research, 81% of US mothers are on Facebook, making it the perfect place for Chatbooks to post this video ad!
This snarky parenting ad went viral very quickly – according to one source it has over 100 million views! – and that’s atypical for a video that’s over 3 minutes long.
So, what’s so special about Chatbooks?
The reason this 3 minute video captured the attention of so many is not because Chatbooks is a revolutionary product, it’s because it tells a story that the audience of Chatbooks (mothers) can relate to.
And it does so in a way that’s the complete opposite to what we’ve come to expect. Products that are aimed at parents typically focus on the lovey-dovey, most rewarding aspects of parenting.
But Chatbooks throws us in at the deep-end of the day-to-day tasks of a modern mother, and represents what parenting is really like – including the ugly bits!
What we can learn:
Human minds are hard-wired for a good story. According to research from Princeton University, the brain activity from a storyteller is often mirrored by the listeners – showing that we go through all of the same emotional responses when listening to a story that we would if we actually lived the story.
From cavemen telling campfire stories, all the way to a modern day Netflix binge, stories make our brains happy. And the same applies to video ads!
When a video ad tells a story, it’s easier for viewers to digest and can also be over 20 times more memorable!
In addition to that, if viewers see a character they can relate to within that story, their emotional response is likely to be even stronger.
Okay, so we all know and love Oreo. But it may surprise you to learn that the beloved sandwich cookie only hit the shelves in Pakistan in 2017.
And when it did, Oreo knew they’d need an impressive Facebook video ad campaign to make an impact!
The 60 second video above is the first episode in a series of ads targeted towards children and their parents. The series was viewed on Facebook over 13 million times and helped Oreo to achieve a 5% increase in sales.
According to the senior brand manager for Oreo, “[The videos] captivated the audience and created a stronger and more meaningful bond with consumers, resulting in greater loyalty.”
What we can learn:
There’s nothing particularly spectacular about the way this video looks or the story it tells. But the reason we have this video on our best Facebook video ads of all time list is because of what was done before they hit the record button.
This is a well-thought out campaign – which is why it got such incredible results! The team behind this ad knew they wanted to target children and that they wanted to foster a sense of brand loyalty.
By showing a story that centres around a little boy who is late for school, and through the use of fun reusable animated characters, they were able to do exactly that.
Be sure to focus on your goals before you put pen to paper, and then once you know what you want you can work on achieving those goals through the script, design, production, and promotion of your video ad.
From pupcakes to pawdicures, the pet market is booming. According to a 2020 study by Ameritrade, dog owners spend around $1,201 on their pets annually.
Social media is also a great place for dog lovers, with owners taking to platforms like Facebook to share photos and videos of their happy pooches.
And this is how BarkBox struck gold with their Facebook video ad.
This video is made entirely of user-generated content, meaning it hardly cost the company anything to make.
This low-budget – yet genius – video ad earned BarkBox a 16% higher conversion rate and an 8% reduction in cost per conversion.
What we can learn:
There’s a lot to be learned from this seemingly “no-frills” video ad. For starters, it proves the value of user-generated content.
If you have customers that are creating videos about your brand and products – make use of them! Not only is it cost-effective, it can help you build a stronger connection with those customers.
In addition to that, a Shopify study found that ads based on user-generated content receive 4 times higher click-through rates.
The BarkBox video is also very practical. It was uploaded in a square format and, thanks to engaging text on screen, can be understood without audio. This makes it user-friendly for people who may be viewing on their phone with the sound turned off.
Originally made for one of the coveted Super Bowl ad slots, this Tide ad also blew up on Facebook. Of course, it could be argued that one of the main reasons for this was its star, David Harbour. But there are many other aspects that make this video ad great.
It’s interesting to watch an ad that makes fun of all of the other ad tropes that everyone is sick and tired of seeing.
Tide pokes fun at the suaveness of car commercials, the mock-joviality of beer commercials, and the ever-confounding perfume ads – which, in turn, makes this a really relatable and shareable piece of video content.
The ad did so well that Tide continued this theme for other video ads later in the year, like this Valentine’s Day ad:
What we can learn:
One of the things that makes this ad really work is the humour. When you look at the ads that stand the test of time – Dollar Shave Club, for example – they’re usually funny, or they make viewers feel in some kind of way.
According to our 2020 video marketing survey, people are twice as likely to share video content with their friends than any other type of content – using humour makes this even more likely to happen as it gives people a reason to share the video.
7. Burger King
Burger King are marketing kings (pun intended, of course) and this Facebook video ad is one of their latest triumphs.
Not many fast food companies could get away with showing their products going mouldy – it’s not exactly appetising!
But when you compare this video ad with the information collected on their main competitor, McDonalds, it’s pretty genius.
The last McDonalds meal ever bought in Iceland is still on display over ten years later and it hasn’t shown any signs of decomposition, leading many to question the quality and the content of the food.
This isn’t a freak incident. In fact, many people have kept McDonalds food over the years to see if anything happened to it.
And this recent video ad by Burger King shows them getting in on the action, proving that their food actually does mould.
There’s a wonderful simplicity to this timelapse video, which ends with a phrase that could definitely be considered a jibe at McDonalds: “the beauty of no artificial preservatives.”
And it caused quite a stir on Facebook. It currently has just under 6,000 comments, with people sharing different opinions on the ad.
What we can learn:
This Burger King video reminds us of KISS – keep it simple, stupid.
Sometimes it’s best to get your point across in the most simple and straight-forward way possible.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t be bold. This video definitely checks that box, too. There may have been some trepidation by Burger King’s video marketing team before they hit the ‘Post’ button on this video, but ultimately, taking a risk and being bold is a great way to spread the word about your brand.
Videos like this divide opinion, but that’s what creates conversation and pushes brands and products into the limelight.
Watching the best ever Facebook video ads can be a great exercise for gathering inspiration, but it can also be pretty daunting.