Online business

New Video Ad Formats and Trends for 2021

6 min read
Mar 30, 2021

In 2020, the world that was gradually moving towards the online environment took an even bigger leap than expected, with more businesses moving their operations to the internet and more people turning to e-commerce than ever before.

As the past couple of years have already shown, video content wins both in terms of content marketing and online advertising. People spend over 3 hours on their phones every day, and forecasts predict that their online video consumption will take up as much as 100 minutes of this in 2021. It is clear what an immense potential the video format has for marketers, however, in the time when people are surrounded by multimedia content on all sides, getting and holding their attention is harder than ever.

You need to adjust your approaches to this rapidly developing environment to create ads that will deliver the desired results. Here is what 2021 has in store for us in terms of online video advertising trends.

Why you should consider investing in video ad production

According to surveys, the number of businesses using video as a marketing tool grew by an impressive 24% over the past 4 years. Most businesses say that they will continue to leverage video content thanks to its effectiveness. But why is video content so effective?

Obviously, it is eye-catching. The human gaze is naturally drawn towards movement, so your audience’s eyes will linger on your video ad a tad longer than a static picture. Video also caters to a wider audience than any other form of media. Most people would simply scroll past a paragraph of text or hardly pay attention to an audio recording.

Since videos combine all of these elements, retaining the information communicated by them becomes manyfold easier. In addition, even just a few seconds of video can create an emotional response, and you can tell a whole story without any words. Video ads are therefore a great way to both get in front of your audience and leave a lasting impression – if done right.

Here are the trends to watch out for in 2021.

Keeping up with social media

Social media sites are the perfect platform for advertising. However, they are also some of the most rapidly developing environments. New features appear and disappear regularly, and algorithms change by the day. What this means is that you constantly need to be up-to-date to stay relevant.

In 2021, Instagram and Facebook stories continue to provide a lucrative advertising opportunity. Story ads are hardly distinguishable from normal story posts, so the chance that the viewer will actually watch your ad is higher. Instagram also allows businesses to insert call-to-actions, making your ads interactive. However, you need to tailor your videos to their dimension and length requirements for the best effect.

Shooting vertical videos is thus going to gain more traction. With social media, you also need to constantly be on the lookout for “the next big thing.” Stories might be the hottest right now, but tomorrow, it might be Instagram’s new “reel” feature or shoppable videos.

Play it silently

Another video ad trend that is becoming more and more relevant is making your content suitable for silent playing. No one wants to be that obnoxious person on the train that blasts videos on full volume. People prefer to scroll through their feeds without sound, and keeping this in mind when planning your video ads can be very helpful.

One emerging trend that we can observe on social media giant TikTok is adding captions to videos. This is not only a great way to convey your message even without sound; it also makes your video more accessible.

Outstream videos everywhere

Social media is not the only place where silent videos rule. In fact, “outstream” video ads are another emerging format worth taking into account, and they are not exclusive to Facebook.

This relatively new format started to gain attention in 2020, and its main advantage is that these videos can be placed anywhere, on any website, and they don’t need video content in order to be integrated. While your target audience is reading an article, for example, your ad can appear in the corner and catch their attention.


Showing your dedication to a cause

The new decade brought forth a change in attitude that had been the general direction of new generations for a couple of years now. Instead of shame, the keyword today is empowerment, and instead of filters, people want to see real humans and their real experiences.

In 2021, videos that send the right message and resonate with today’s audience will have the widest organic reach, so it’s worth hopping onto this trend. More and more brands are putting aside appearances and are focusing on showing their dedication to their values.

This is what, for instance, feminine hygiene brand Always aimed for with their #LikeAGirl campaign. This approach not only raises your customers’ awareness of your product but also sparks conversation about an issue and can be very impactful.

Make it short but sweet

Marketers need to keep in mind that nowadays, no one has time to sit through a 2-minute long ad. Most people simply swipe through their Instagram stories and skip Youtube ads. This is why short, so-called micro-videos are becoming popular in advertising.

These are defined as being between 5-30 seconds long. Take, for instance, Kleenex’s adorable 16-second ad called “Recital.” Compressed to a 6-second Facebook ad, it’s over before the viewer knows it, but it still manages to evoke an emotional response.

Creating such a concise but effective ad certainly requires skill, so you should turn to professional video production if you want the best results.

Online games as a great platform

Online games are a huge industry today and marketers are taking note of this, too. This is why another growing video advertising trend is targeting mobile games. And while no one likes to be interrupted while playing, many people do not hesitate to watch rewarded ads.

Rewarded ads are a type of ad that the player willingly chooses to watch in return for some kind of in-game rewards – for instance, premium in-game currency. This is a great opportunity for marketers as this means that their ad is certainly not going to be skipped.

However, in this situation, the relevance of your ad for the target audience is ever so important. In any case, in-game advertising will continue to stay relevant as online games keep us occupied during work breaks.

If a picture is worth a thousand words, imagine what you can achieve with a video. However, you need to stay on top of the current trends so that your video ad campaign doesn’t end up as wasted potential. The abovementioned tips are all worth looking into in 2021.