I’m going to let you in on a secret… more often than not, I prefer to search for answers to my questions on Youtube before Google. I know I’m not alone in this – it is estimated that the average person will spend 100 minutes each day watching online videos in 2021, up from 84 minutes in 2020. That is the equivalent of watching around 25 days of video.

Our brains perform about a thousand basic operations per second, and combined with the ever-increasing availability of information and the desire for our patronage by multiple organizations, our attention spans are shrinking while we try to navigate this data overload. The use of video in our marketing efforts thus presents as a unique tool for us to leverage, using creativity and psychology in order to capture the hearts and minds of those we care about.

Google’s expert and straightforward video design advice recommend that marketers use the ABCDs of effective video creative to drive awareness, consideration, and action among our target audiences. The ABCDs are:

  • ATTRACT – Hook your audiences
  • BRAND – Make your brand identity known
  • CONNECT – Inspire an emotion or feeling about your brand
  • DIRECT – Get consumers to take action

In this blog post, I have curated examples of each video design element for you to apply to your next advertising campaign. With these tips, you’ll learn to design highly effective ads, regardless of your budget or company size.


In the above ad example by Brazilian skincare line Natura Chronos for their campaign #2Old4This, the first four seconds of the video includes five quick frames of an older woman covered in tattoos, followed by a sixth longer frame of an up-close, tightly framed shot of her face. In these few seconds, a viewer becomes curious about her story and continues watching to hear what she, and the other women, have to say. 

Use visuals, faces, and quick pacing within the first few seconds of a video advertisement to capture a viewer’s attention from the onset and keep them engaged as they watch the rest of the video. 


Deloitte, a multinational corporation that provides consulting and auditory services to independent firms and big brands, redesigned its brand identity in 2016. In this video advertisement, they literally showcase every aspect of their new identity and their digital brand, which emphasizes their sophistication and professionalism, all to communicate they are a brand that consistently delivers impact for their clients. Using the period or circle shape in their logo throughout the video as a focal point helps the viewer to remain focused and ultimately be able to recall the brand by the shape and its colors.

Visual cues such as your logo and symbols, similar to how Deloitte utilized their logo in the first frame of their advertisement and a circle throughout, work best for advertisement recall and consideration.


Now that your audience is hooked, use the power of storytelling to build a connection with them. In case you missed it, check out my previous article on the ethos, logos, and pathos of persuasion to fine-tune your communication skills. In this 2014 Chevy Commercial, the brand plays on the heartstrings of its viewers, or ethos, comparing an animal companion who joins you on life’s biggest adventures to a family car that also does the same.

Telling a relatable story while delivering a functional message provides the best of both worlds, letting your audiences know you are just like them.


Finally, end your ad by telling your customer exactly what it is you want them to do. This famous GoDaddy advertisement captures attention with a relatable story, reinforces the brand with its name and example of the main actor using its services, connects with the viewer using humor to tell a story, and finishes by clearly asking the viewer to get their domain and website all in one place with their platform. 

Making this call to action visible with text and reinforced by a narrator helps establish a key takeaway for the viewer and understand your intentions clearly so that they may make their own decisions.

Now that you know your ABCDs, keep in mind that this framework is not one-size-fits-all. Test this guidance and experiment with what works best for your company and objectives and you’ll be well on your way towards building strong and effective ads for your marketing goals.

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