The Nike Ad Paradox: Why Big Brand Video Ads don’t work for SMBs

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The Nike Ad Paradox: Why Big Brand Video Ads don’t work for SMBs

We’ve seen them all before. Nike, Coca Cola, Louis Vuitton, you name it. Putting out high-quality video ads that are probably worth more than a Tesla. With these multi-billion dollar companies basically running the world with their norm-setting products, it seems like a given to copy their marketing strategies.

And yes, it may work… 1-2 decades ago. The thing is, because these corporations have become so huge, their advertising direction has gone and left the conventional route and is now focused on other aspects that will most likely only work for them.

Alright, enough introduction. Straight to the point, in this post, we’ll explain everything you need to know about video ads, what to look out for, and how you can create them to generate better ROAS or ROI

The Nike Video Ad Paradox

Even if you’re not a Nike fan, it’s still undeniable how massively successful the brand is. So much actually that it stomps Adidas and Puma in terms of brand value, engulfing both their revenue plus some tip. 

So the question we’re eager to answer is: Why shouldn’t we copy their video ads?

If you’ve ever seen Nike ads lately, you’ll notice how gorgeous their videos are with captivating angles and superstar models. But if you look closely, you’ll notice that there’s something missing. In fact, there are a lot missing compared to the usual ads you see on Facebook.

Take this ad:

Play New | Nike Video Ad

It looks amazing. With awesome shots, excellent narration and a wild variety of sports all in one video. But where’s the product? What are its benefits? Where’s the CTA? None of that, right? Why?

This my friends, is the Nike Paradox.

So what do you think they’re promoting here? Motivation? A good cause? Maybe they’re enhancing their brand’s reputation? Nope. The one word that explains this is… feeling. Since Nike is already known to (almost) every country in the world, they don’t need to promote each and every product. People would go to their stores nonetheless.

What Nike has done here is imprint a feeling onto its viewers. In the clip, you’ll notice that the message is about not giving up, to keep trying even when you fail. By showcasing this thought, they are essentially telling the audience “Hey, be strong. You’ll fail — but don’t give up. Nike stands for persistence, and so should you”.

The next level marketing Nike’s doing is all about “association”. By correlating themselves with “struggling and someday succeeding” the viewer’s deep emotions and longing-ness are triggered, that’s why these video ads are effective… for them, not SMBs and SMEs.

Portland Business Journal’s article summed it up perfectly by saying, “Nike don’t advertise like it used to, because it doesn’t have to”

To sum this up, Nike and other big brands use video advertising methods that scale with widely different marketing factors from the one’s we’re used to. It works for them because of how largely known their products or services are, but it will flop when used by small to medium sizes businesses who are still trying to announce themselves to locals or foreign countries.

The Benefits of Using Video Ads For SMBs

It’s a given that, despite the Nike Paradox, video advertisements are still very much profitable for promoting brands. But what exactly are its advantages to your business? Without further ado, let’s jump into it.

1. Better Conversions — Sales, Leads, Community Expansion

Without even batting an eyelash, it’s pretty clear that video ads are more engaging than image ads. Videos have a much wider range of possible customer attractors such as — conveying a message, demonstrating a product or service, triggering an emotion, and much more.

By having more engagement potential, video ads are able to push prospects to click through a website. With an average CTR of 1.84%, videos have the highest percentage out of any digital ad format. 

2. Cost-effective

This may sound wrong, but actually, it isn’t. Yes, video ads may cost more than image ads, but in terms of video projection, it’s much much cheaper than trying to promote a product or brand through commercials.

3. Malleable / Flexible

Creating a video ad means that you’re essentially creating a dozen. By cutting, adding, and repositioning scenes, you can try out different variations for A/B testing or fit into a particular requirement on an advertising platform.

Snapchat for example only accepts videos that are 3 minutes long. Instagram stories on the other hand do just 15. Edit the video ads accordingly and you’re good to go.

4. Optimised for both desktop and mobile

Matter of fact: videos fit perfectly for both a laptop screen and a phone screen.

Unlike image ads that can be difficult to see when sized wrong, videos are fully optimised to be viewed at full screen on any device.

Video Ad Statistics For Nerds

Sometimes, explaining isn’t enough. That’s why we collected 7 Curated Video Ad Statistics found all over for your convenience.

  1. 64% — of consumers purchase a product / procure a service after seeing a branded social platform video ad
  2. 61% — of marketers see video as a “very important or extremely important” part of their marketing strategy.
  3. 68% — of marketers say video has a better return on investment than Google.
  4. 51% — of digital marketers worldwide dub video ads as the best promotional tool for achieving positive ROI.
  5. 9% — is the percentage of small businesses that use Youtube Advertising, meaning less competition
  6. 8 out of 10 — people have purchased or downloaded an app after watching a sponsored video.
  7. 95% — of the message conveyed in a video ad is retained by users who watched it fully.

And these statistics are not dropping soon. Statista forecasts that video ads will rise by $1.6 billion in terms of revenue from 2021 to 2024 and will continue to grow because of our ever-growing technological environment.

The Components Of An Effective Video Ad

So we learned about the dangers of the Nike Paradox for SMBs. What do we do now? How do we mould our videos for it to become an effective tool in our marketing campaigns?

Listed below are the tips you can use to create profitable video ads:

1. Make the first 3 seconds count

The most important part of a video ad is the first 3 seconds. Why? Because that’s the amount of time it takes for viewers to determine whether a video is worthy of being watched further or not.

Think of it as the headline of your video. You must make it as eye-catching and appealing as possible, either through visuals, audio or copy.

2. Use A.I.D.A.

The most popular acronym for marketers all over the world, AIDA stands for Attention, Interest, Desire and Action.

Get their attention for the first 3 seconds, give them something they like (benefits), smother with more attractive offers (discounts/offers), and finish up with a call to action.

3. Tell a story

Since the dawn of time, humans are attracted to stories. And the same can be said in today’s world. Use that to your advantage and create a captivating video that tells a story of how a product or service can improve the consumer’s life.

4. Make it funny (if possible)

What do you remember more, a boring lecture or your recent out of town vacation? People love fun. And adding a sense of light-heartedness to your video can be a game-changer. Not only will the viewers remember the ad, but also your brand and product.

5. Tell benefits, not features

When a potential customer views your video, that person doesn’t want to know the intricacies of the product. To put it bluntly, they don’t care.

What they do care about is… well, themselves. What’s in it for them? How will this product/service make my life — easier, better, more productive, etc.

Final Thoughts

While it may seem like a good idea at first to copy the advertising strategies of big brands, when taken a closer look, we can determine that it will only work for corporations that already have millions of followers worldwide.

However, this does not define video advertising as a whole. SMBs and SMEs can still take advantage of this type of content when done right. Statistics show us that there is a multitude of benefits that videos can bring to the table and that it’s not just a trend waiting to die out soon. 

Remember that a universal advertising method doesn’t exist. Every niche, business size, business type, business platform has its own way of promoting products and services.

For those who don’t have the time to create video ads, the best way to take advantage of this is through a partnership with reputable digital advertising agencies such as Contevo.

Some of our recent results.

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