Most people watch an average of 19 hours of online video content a week.

As people flick through countless TikToks, Reels, and YouTube videos, how do you make sure they stop for your video ads?

That’s the question at the center of every modern marketing strategy and the one this article will be focusing on.

We’re not just here to explain how to create video ads, but how to make ones that grab the attention of your target audience.

We’ll go through everything from the core purpose of video ads to real-life examples, as well as a step-by-step guide on planning and making social media ads for every major platform.

With the right tools, like Pictory’s AI-powered editing software, crafting powerful video ads has never been easier or quicker.

Convert Customers with Video

Get Started For Free!
No Credit Card Required


  • A video ad has to juggle a few things but chief among them is to sell your product, brand, or service while still being entertaining.

  • Real-world examples prove how impactful creating a unique template for your video ads can be, and the power of simply combining great footage with a casual, yet informative voice-over.

  • Different social media sites have different formatting and styling guidelines to keep in mind when creating a video ad suited for multiple platforms.

  • Plan your videos according to your target market and central goals. Then it’s all about putting it into a script and organizing your shoot.

  • Whether you have lots of footage to grapple with or want to rely mostly on stock footage, Pictory has the tools for you. We also offer customization options throughout including auto-captions, AI voiceovers, a branding kit, etc.

  • Try to keep your video ads short, sweet, and surprising. A great hook and an unexpected take on something can make a simple ad that much more memorable.

What is the Purpose of Video Ads?

With so many video ads online, it’s easy to get lost in the noise.

Here’s a recap of the main purpose of advertising videos and where to cast your focus:

To Engage People

The purpose of a video ad is, first and foremost, to sell something.

But you need people to pause and watch your content before they’ll be convinced to make a purchase.

In other words, engagement usually comes before sales.

One of the best ways to hook people’s attention is to position a relevant pain point at the start of your video ad, and then show how your product or service can ease it.

To Get Your Product Out There

Most video advertisements are product-heavy and for good reason.

Video ads are a far more dynamic way to show products in action than static posts.

For truly good, conversion-driven content, however, all that product needs to be matched with a clear call to action at the end and links to relevant landing pages.

To Balance Sales and Entertainment

If solving problems is what draws customers in, then entertainment value is usually what makes your video ad stick in their minds.

Think about it: if something makes us laugh, cry, or feel motivated, we tend to remember it better.

A good video ad can balance a great sales pitch with entertainment value.

Real-World Examples of Great Video Ads

While certain video ad templates exist, like the problem-solution framework, there’s almost no end to what the format can look like.

Here’s a taste of the variety that video advertising can cover, and what we can learn from them:

Old Spice

This example has gone down in history as one of the most compelling video ads to date.

But what makes it so good?

old spice youtube

Firstly, instead of addressing the men this product would traditionally have been aimed at, it addresses their partners.

This unexpected twist is highly engaging and used brilliantly for comedic effect.

It’s also an approach that any business, no matter their video advertisement budget, could mimic.

Much of the sharpness of the ad is also down to the editing.

Quick cuts that shift the video seamlessly from scene to scene help set the comedic pace.

Again, that’s something anyone can do with the right online video ad maker or editor.

Finally, it’s worth noting that the fun, fantasy-like setting this ad uses became a signature video ad template of the brand.

Old Spice re-used the same approach, and lead character, in ads for years and proved that rather than copying someone else’s video templates, the best way to do things is to create your own.

It helps reinforce brand identity and allows brands to maximize the success of a certain format.

Phillips Aifryer

This is one of the best examples we’ve seen of creating video ads around a problem that your product can solve.

Phillips Aifryer commercial on youtube

The video opens immediately with the audience’s point and in a few seconds, makes their air fryer seem like a no-brainer solution to the problem.

It’s also not an impossible video to recreate as it’s essentially video footage combined with voiceover, subtle sound effects, and text overlays.

Small businesses could make a very similar video by using a mix of stock footage and their own recorded product visuals.

At Pictory, we offer hyper-realistic voice-overs so that you get to save time and money on the audio side of things too.

Speaking of voiceovers, we also love how simple the language is in this video advertisement.

There was no confusing terminology – just simple, to-the-point messaging that anyone could understand.

Making Ads for Different Social Media Platforms

Each social media platform has a particular video format that it favors.

Keep reading as we break down the leading styles of the most popular social platforms and the practicalities your video ads need to fit each:

YouTube Ads

YouTube Ads

YouTube advertisement videos are essential to large-scale Google Ads strategies.

In terms of style, this platform is dense with big, corporate ads and tends to favor a slicker, more polished look than most.

Length: 3 minutes or less.

Aspect Ratio: 16:9

Meta Ads

Meta Ads

Because Meta encompasses banner ads, Facebook video ads, and Instagram ads, there’s probably more variety there than anywhere else with both small and large brands trying to grab attention.

The best way to stand out in that context is to create a video ad that places your unique perspective at the forefront.

Length: Keep under 15 seconds to qualify for Instagram stories.

Aspect Ratio: Square ads and anything in a 4:5 ratio is the most versatile across Meta’s platforms but 9:16 works best for Instagram ads that are Reels.

TikTok Ads

TikTok Ads

The great thing about making video ads for TikTok is that they don’t need to be as polished as the ads for other platforms.

Quirky, off-the-cuff content tends to do the best.

Length: 5-15 seconds but TikTok recommends keeping them under 15 seconds.

Aspect Ratio: 9:16

How to Plan Your Video Advert

Taking time to plan your video content can make all the difference.

Here’s how to approach things to produce the most successful video ad:

Conduct Audience and Competitor Research

As Old Spice proved, an effective video ad is often defined by how well it manages to reach its target market, and how creatively.

Start your planning with research into your ideal audience, be they new customers or old, and get a sense of what their pain points are, their interests, etc.

An important part of this phase is also competitor research.

What are others in your industry doing with their own videos?

You may be able to catch a pattern that you can subvert or contrast against to grab viewers’ attention.

Define Your Goal and Video Type

Once you have an idea of who you want to watch your video ad, the next questions to consider are what action you want them to take because of the ad, and the best format to reach them through.

For example, if you want to introduce existing customers to a new product, you could create a video to show how the new launch enhances their existing purchases from your brand.

Write a Video Outline and Script

This is when you put pen to paper on the actual plan for the video.

An outline is usually a quick bullet list of what needs to be covered whilst a script details how any dialogue, text, etc. will fit alongside video clips and images.

If you’re not a wordsmith, AI writers like ChatGPT can help you write video scripts too.

Plan Your Shoot

Finally, plan your shoot according to the script.

Deciding certain aspects in advance, such as where it’s worth recording your own footage and where you’ll be able to rely on stock b-roll, can make the entire process cheaper and quicker

How to Create and Edit Video Adverts with Pictory

Whether you’re setting out to create your very first video ad, or you’re a seasoned pro, Pictory has all the features you need.

Here’s how to use our editing platform as an advertisement maker for videos that hit targets and engage audiences:

Script to Video Ad

Our script-to-video tool is the best video ad creator for anyone looking to create something mostly from stock visuals.

Here’s how to make video ads in just seconds with only a script as your input:

a script uploaded into the Pictory script to video tool

1. Upload your script and highlight keywords.

click visuals

2. That’s it – we’ll add stock footage to match the text and edit together a seamless video for you. If you have footage of your own that you want to intersperse into the video, you can still add it in.

click audio

3. Now it’s time for audio. You can record a voiceover or use one of our many, hyper-realistic AI voiceovers from Elevenlabs. We also have a library of royalty-free music available to enhance your video ad even further.

click branding

4. Use our brand kit to add a branded intro and outro with all your brand colors etc. You can even save a personalized brand template to be used again in future videos.

Visuals to Video Ad

Stuck with loads of clips and no time to edit them into a cohesive ad?

The visuals-to-video feature at Pictory is here to help:

visuals video

1. Upload all your footage. This can be a mix of still and moving visuals.

arrange clips

2. We’ll edit it into a video for you but you can easily shift scenes around by dragging them where they need to be. You can also add new scenes and stock footage at any point.

click visuals

3. If your videos have dialogue, you can write into the scene storyboard, and these will be turned into auto-captions for added clarity. These captions can also be turned into an AI voiceover. You can also just add text boxes to emphasize key points.

4. Add audio with our AI voiceovers and royalty-free music.

royalty-free music.

5. Besides creating branded intros and outros, our brand kit also makes it easier than ever to include a strong CTA.

click branding

The great thing with Pictory is that no matter whether you use our script-to-video feature or start with your own visuals, you never lose out on customization tools.

Our AI-powered software may do some of the editing for you, but you’re still able to play and adjust as you see fit.

You can access auto-captions, music, voiceovers, and even add emojis for comic effect, regardless of which Pictory tool was used to first create the video.

With our free trial option, it’s why Pictory is one of the best free ad maker tools online.

Top Tips for Making a Great Video Ad

3 top tips make great ad videos

Even with a highly effective free video ad maker, there are a few points creators should keep in mind:

A Great Hook Is Everything

The opening few seconds of a video ad will determine whether consumers not only watch the whole thing but whether they click on your product links by the end.

Make it count with a great hook.

Surprise Your Viewer

Approach a problem from an unexpected angle, like Old Spice did, to surprise and intrigue your viewer.

It’s what makes content truly memorable.

Keep it Short and Sweet

It makes more sense to go shorter rather than longer in today’s digital landscape.

Short-form video content is what we’re watching the most so keep your videos, and messaging, to the point.

Put Your Best Video Ad Forward

We wish that making engaging video ads came down to just one thing but as we’ve hopefully shown, it’s about paying attention to all aspects – from the planning, to how it addresses your target market, the audio, editing, etc.

Thankfully, at Pictory, we can help with all of it.

Sign up for a free trial today and give our range of AI-powered editing and video ad-making tools a try.


What is the Ideal Length of a Video Ad?

It depends on the platform you’re planning to upload to but 15 seconds and under usually works across all social channels.

Can I make a Video Ad on a tight Budget?

Just sign up for a free trial with Pictory and you can make three free videos on us.

Once you have a subscription, we’ll still help you save by providing access to editing tools, like AI voiceovers, stock footage, and royalty-free music, all in one place.

Share your thoughts

Your email address will not be published.

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}
Harness the Power of Pictory AI to Generate and Edit Video Content

Harness the power of AI and amazing video creation tools to grow your audience while saving you time!

No Credit Card Required