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Video Advertising for a Cord-Cutting Generation

Kelly Giles
Director of Marketing

TV ads have been a staple of brand campaigns since their inception. And, If I asked you to think of the most iconic ad you can imagine, I would bet that you think of a commercial. But times are changing, as they tend to do, and millennials are canceling their cable services at incredible rates. Does that mean the end of video advertising?

Certainly not! Cable is far from the only option for video advertising today! Video still drives increases in brand awareness, ad recall, and purchase consideration. If you can’t reach your target audience on traditional broadcast or cable, though, there are plenty of other options.

Video Advertising and Streaming Services

As cord cutters cancel their cable services, they turn to streaming for their entertainment. While not every video streaming service offers advertising, Hulu is an excellent option that does! Hulu acts like a hybrid of traditional TV and digital advertising, so you have the opportunity to reach a modern audience in a semi-traditional way. Their original content makes the platform particularly appealing, since fans can’t see those shows anywhere else.

Streaming online radio services like Pandora might not be a direct alternative to TV, but they are a fantastic platform for your video ads! Pandora sees a highly engaged audience, so your video ad is likely to have your audience’s full attention.

Social Media – Paid Video Advertising and Organic Posts


YouTube has 1.5 billion logged-in monthly users. People are turning to YouTube for everything from entertainment to DIY home improvement demos, to cooking instructions! Paid video advertising is an excellent way to get in front of viewers who have long-since stopped watching cable. Since Google owns YouTube, advertisers have a wide variety of opportunities to narrow the audience, so that the most relevant viewers see your ads. Retarget to site visitors, target by content, or show to individuals likely to be interested in your products! Another plus.. YouTube pre-roll ads tend to be very affordable!

Don’t forget, though, that viewers will have the opportunity to skip your ad after just three seconds. Grab attention early to keep ‘em watching!

Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat

Social media is key in today’s world. Tailoring your creative for each platform will be key, though, because your audience is looking for something unique in each different platform. Snapchat ads are unique, in that to be effective you truly need a vertical form video that fits the feel the app has worked to create. That unique style tends to be scrapbook-esque, with typography that that looks hand-written, and animation and graphics intertwined with live-action. Check out how Starbucks adjusted one ad about this year’s holiday cup for Facebook and for Snapchat.

Here's to the holidays

Celebrating all the waysyou color in the holidays.

Posted by Starbucks on Thursday, November 2, 2017

Snapchat Video Advertising Screenshot Snapchat Video Advertising Screenshot Snapchat Video Advertising Screenshot

Both versions are simple. The Facebook video includes no text overlay, and appears in a square aspect ratio. The few screenshots I took of the Snapchat video illustrate the vertical format (optimized for a smartphone) and reflect the feel of the platform.

Not Just for Ads

Paid advertising isn’t the only effective way to use video to reach your audience. Utilizing video on your website, landing pages, and in email campaigns will continue to increase your audience’s awareness and understanding of your brand!

Interested in more?

Check out our other posts on why Facebook and Instagram are great ways to reach graduate prospects, how social media advertising is worth the investment, or the huge amounts of time spent in mobile apps.

Nominate an International Brand Master by January 19, 2018

Do you know someone worthy of the most prestigious award in education branding? Do you know someone who has achieved awesome things in education branding this year? How about someone who has much to celebrate in branding their university, college, or school? Have you nominated them yet for the 9th International Brand Master Award? Nominate them by January 19., 2018.

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