How often should you change out your creative?

Are you ready for new video creative?

One question that comes up a lot when discussing production is how often a client should change their video ads.

To be honest, there isn’t a simple answer to this. As a general rule of thumb, I recommend having at least one new ad per quarter to avoid campaign fatigue, although two or three is even better, especially if you are promoting your videos on multiple platforms. But within that little rule, there are a couple of other factors. Below are four main reasons for new video creative:

1. Your goal/ need changes

When beginning the concepting and script-writing process, I always ask what is the purpose of the video. Does a client want to drive people to the website, create brand recognition, tell the audience about a sale or special offer, recruit new employees? Whatever it might be, a well-produced video can help get that message across succinctly. Once you have a new goal, it is time for a new video, simple as that.

2. Your message isn’t timely anymore

You may have an ad that is trendy, perhaps inspired by a favorite TV show or the sports season. The problem with trendy ads is that they very quickly become not-so-cool. Make sure that what you are promoting is not dated in any way. It needs to be relevant to what your ideal customer is experiencing.

When you are planning out your production, make sure you keep this in mind. If you are going to do something with a shorter shelf-life, ask if there is a way to edit it to a little more out of it. This could, perhaps, be done by getting a few extra shots to replace the time-sensitive material or changing the voice-over to something more generic. If you can’t do that, just budget for another video that can be rotated in once the first one becomes a little “un-hip.”

3. Someone or something needs to be featured

Ah, the age-old problem: you just had a beautiful video produced featuring all your main staff, everyone loves it, it’s on the air looking great… and then you hire someone new, or you add some fancy services. Or sometimes it’s the opposite; someone leaves, you decide some services don’t need to be mentioned in your ad... you get the picture.

Most of the time this is a relatively straightforward fix, particularly if there is little animation in your spot. Just make sure to have it changed as quickly as possible. After all, branding is all about creating a sense of trust between you and your ideal customer. If you are promoting something that isn’t an accurate reflection of your company, it may hurt you more than help you.

4. You are showing off your ad a lot.

So you have some videos you love, and you are promoting them all over the place- Facebook, Youtube, Instagram, TV, Pandora… awesome! Just remember, the more you saturate the market, the quicker you may need to consider having backup creative. I often suggest tweaking ads slightly for the various platforms. Varying your video content slightly while still making sure that all the elements complement each other is an excellent way to help avoid premature ad burnout… and take your campaign up a notch.

But before you scurry off to order some new ads, to dream up new scripts, or practice your lines in the mirror, here is one last, critical piece of advice for you:

Whether it is a 15-second ad or a 3-minute longform, interview or animation, a video can do so much to tell the audience, your potential customers, who you are and what makes you special. Videos are a vital part of many advertising campaigns and it is thrilling to see the results they deliver. But just as with any other collateral, it is crucial that the videos you promote continue to be on-brand and on-message. Even though you will use multiple videos throughout a year, make sure they all have the same overall tone and feel.

Think of some of the most famous brands; they roll out a lot of video campaigns every couple of months. Although the purpose of each of the ads is slightly different, the videos feel unified. Take these two ads for Coca-Cola, for example. The first is for the Olympics season while the other is a general summer branding campaign. They cover different topics, have different music and people, but the brand experience is still the same.

Before you launch into the exciting video production process, ask yourself: what are three words you want people to be left with after encountering your brand? Is it fun, refreshing, exciting or classic, traditional, stable? Make sure every aspect of your creative, especially the video, reflects those ideas, that your video content is not only appealing but also truthful to your offering and how you want to position yourself… Or better yet, hire a very clever creative team to take care of that for you ☺

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