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The 6 Ps of Powerful Video Ad Creation

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Whether doing the morning scroll, relaxing with a show on lunch break, or watching an ad while pumping gas, we’re all well aware of how ubiquitous video is. Streaming has changed the way we interact with media and advertisements on a fundamental level. In fact, nearly 2 in every 3 Hulu subscribers have said that they actually like advertisements.

There are nearly 49 million households in the US who stream their media without traditional cable TV. They are part of a new generation: Generation Stream. These streamers have contributed to a 57% increase in streaming TV viewership year-over-year and 3 out of every 4 of them primarily stream. These viewers are important because they have the power to control their viewing experience and are very engaged with what they’re watching. (Find a full breakdown of what makes these viewers tick in our full Advertising Playbook for Streaming TV.)

How can your business get a share of some of that screen time? It’s a lot more doable than you may think. If video ads for TV have felt out-of-reach for your business due to cost or resource limitations, Hulu is here to help. At Hulu, we partner with businesses of all sizes to guide them through everything from providing resources for video ad creation to reaching their customers when they are streaming TV’s biggest shows.

It all starts with the video, and we’ve come up with 6 practices—our “6 Ps”—that will help your business create powerful video ads. Let’s dive right in.

Finding help in the form of a creative partner is often the key to a successful video ad. Video production professionals, who specialize in video production or repurposing your existing content, can help you hone in on your vision and ensure your audience is hooked from the first second. Because they’re professionals, they’ll also be able to walk you through every aspect of your ad.

Not sure where to start? Check out our curated list of partners to find options for businesses of all sizes.

Identifying your purpose by defining your key message should be your top priority. Clarity is king here! This means getting really specific about who you’re speaking to, why they need to hear what you have to say, and what action you want them to take.

It’s important not to overwhelm viewers with too many ideas. Being crystal clear and laser focused on a single message, product feature or punchline will make it easier for your audience to connect with your ad.

Your ad is an opportunity to bring the spirit of your brand to life. You want your message to stick with the viewer for much longer than the 15 or 30-second run time.

Remember the first P? The one that stands for partner? By working together with a creative partner, you can pinpoint the best way to convey your message. This could be anything from a humorous approach or simple text animation and voiceover, to a full-fledged mini movie that tugs on heartstrings.

As we discussed earlier, streaming video is everywhere today—on a variety of channels and platforms (like social media and Streaming TV) as well as across multiple devices (like mobile and the TV in your living room.) Deciding where you want your ad to appear is an important consideration when you are in the creative development stage.

The platform itself can provide insight into the viewers’ state of mind—as well as how they may respond to your ad. For example, someone viewing your ad in a social feed on a phone screen may be on-the-go and not have more than 15 seconds to spare before they swipe away, whereas a TV viewer, who has set themselves up for a lengthy binge session, may be poised to take in lengthier ads as part of their experience.

Tech guidelines also change depending on your viewer’s platform of choice, so you’ll want to be thoughtful about where your ad will live, or if it can be repurposed in different ways to cover more bases.

Project management can be overwhelming, and keeping your A-game up is crucial when producing a video ad. Start with a budget. More money doesn’t automatically equal a better video. Deciding the style of the video (including any video graphics or extra editing required in post) will help you calculate your budget. Aesthetically, you will want to make sure that your ad aligns with your brand guidelines for continuity, and that your idea fits within Hulu’s technical ad specificiations. Again, a good creative partner is critical here because they can provide guidance in terms of what you can afford and can help set realistic timelines.

Speaking of timelines—many videos can be produced in 6-12 weeks, but as with anything, it’s safe to leave some wiggle room for edits. Nailing down the location of the shoot, and vetting acting or voice over talent will help shape the timeline, and dictate when you can shoot.

Actually shooting the video or seeing the animation come to life is the most exciting part of creating a video ad! However, even in this stage it’s important to stay flexible, as you may need to tweak dialogue and copywriting, or make a change based on brand guidelines at the last second.

Finally, editing brings the entire project together with music, voiceover, and other post-production magic. As with all projects, it’s likely that many internal eyes will need to see the project before you call it done to make sure it’s flawless. If you’re working with a tight deadline, streamline those approvals during the planning process.

Pulling It All Together For Launch

When you’re ready to put your new video ad out into the world, Hulu’s self-service solution is there to make the entire process simple and straightforward. With the Hulu Ad Manager, you can easily upload your video ad and then target your ideal audience based on location, interests, or program genre. Once your campaign is running, you can measure the up-to-date performance of your video ads on Hulu.

We’re excited to see what you create! Get more tips and tricks for producing amazing, quality video ads by checking out Getting Started With Streaming Ads: An Advertising Playbook for Streaming TV. Learn more about Hulu’s self-service ad solution platform here.


Source: Generation Stream - Culture Co Op, April 2020.

Source: Source: eMarketer, 2020.

Source: Source: Generation Stream - Culture Co-op, April 2020. Conviva State of Streaming, Q4 2019.

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