Best advertisement video practices we learned from Cannes Lions 2019

Table of content
  1. Introduction
  2. Love for long-form advertisement
  3. People love a familiar face
  4. A good laugh (or cry) does the trick
  5. Ready to create your own advertisement masterpiece?
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5 years ago・3 min read

The 2019 edition of the Cannes Lions awards, which rewards the best talent in creative communications, advertisement, and marketing, honored brands experiment with video length, format and style for their story-telling efforts.

YouTube released a special leaderboard highlighting video ads that garnered considerable attention from global audiences for their creative, delightful, and emotional takes. From ingenious narratives to the clever use of familiar faces, here’s what we can learn from the top ten most-viewed video advertisements:

Love for long-form advertisement

Long-form ads are here to stay. Brands that dared to woo audiences with video content averaging around two minutes in length have seen success. Even when presented with the option to skip the ad, people chose not to interrupt the flow of the story.

That’s how engrossing the content was – especially for brands such as Turkish Airlines, whose ad lengths exceeded four minutes and three minutes, respectively.

Turkish Airlines

It is possible to woo audiences with ad content that far exceeds conventional time-frames. But only with the right story and a compelling narrative.

To pull this off, you must have your audiences hooked within the first few seconds of the video. Otherwise, they will not be convinced to stay on for the rest.

People love a familiar face

Celebrity cameos have the potential to make or break video ads. If done wrong, it can come off as disingenuous or an attention-grabbing ploy. But when done right, celebrities can delight audiences with their presence.

Shopee’s “12.12 Birthday sale” campaign featured the members of K-pop quartet BLACKPINK. In the advertisement video, they performed a version of their hit song “Ddu-du Ddu-du”. The song was altered to include the e-commerce giant’s name, vaulting Shopee’s online profile to new heights. 

Whereas Amazon leveraged the presence of classic names in Western entertainment, such as Harrison Ford, whose cameo role saw him essay the role of a disgruntled dog owner.

However, celebrity cameos don’t always have to be human. Turkish Airlines featured characters from the hit LEGO movie series to present a safety video.



A good laugh (or cry) does the trick

Advertisement that evokes some sort of emotional response is usually always a hit with viewers, and this year was no different.

Amongst the top 10 YouTube ads were the inspirational stories put out by LG Vietnam and Nike, which saw their respective protagonists overcome a series of challenging obstacles and achieve glory.

Meanwhile, Bosch and Orange tickled their audience’s funny bones with their humorous presentation. Bosch told audiences the story of an ordinary man who outsourced all of his daily tasks to his Bosch gadgets through a comically-timed rap number, while Orange’s video ad saw a pet shop owner perform a musical number along with the rest of the animals in the store.

The lessons learned from the success of the videos compiled by YouTube in honor of Cannes Lions provide great insights into consumer behavior, as well as the type of content they are interested in watching.

Other brands should emulate the work of these creators if they too want to experience the same sort of adulation from consumers.

Ready to create your own advertisement masterpiece?

Want to build video ads that will compel people to watch until the very end? We can help brands craft a content strategy with a narrative so strong that audiences won’t even think of hitting the “skip” button.