How to Make a Video Ad Campaign from Only One Video

by Kent Lloyd March 2, 2018

There’s a lot that goes into planning just one video ad. From creative conceptualization, to scripting, shooting and editing it can turn into hundreds of hours of work very quickly. But, what if I told you that there could be an easy way for you to turn your one video ad into an entire campaign?

In this article I’m going to show you how my team and I took one ad that I wrote and turned it into multiple variations. If you follow these guidelines you’ll be able to get your clients a bigger bang for their buck, more money in your pocket, all for only a few more hours of work.

Creating a Video Ad Campaign

To give you an idea of what I wrote as a basic script, here’s the completed first iteration:

Using this video as a baseline, we can then dive into our process of what it took to film 14 video ads and a photo shoot in a 12 hour period in order to make our video ad campaign.

Pick a Strategy with Multiple Options

There’s always that one ad that pops into your mind that would be absolutely killer. You’ve combined your advertising goals with the benefit of the product and the needs of the consumer in such a hilarious way that it very well could go viral. There’s only one problem, though. There’s only one executable variation.

Some ideas are simply very limited. There’s either no way to make another video ad equally funny without it feeling like it’s just a lesser quality remake, or it falls flat on it’s face. Take Kmart’s “I Shipped My Pants” ad for instance.

Kmart tried to follow up that ad with “Big Gas Savings,” but it didn’t do nearly as well, because it felt like the weaker little brother of “Shipped My Pants.”

Almost swearing isn’t a campaign concept, it’s a gimmick. That’s why it failed. You need a larger concept to be able to have multiple variations.

Our second, 45-second ad did just that. It took the concept of falling in love with your ad agency and applied it just to the aspect of using Tinder (or in our case “Kindling”).

If you find yourself trying to use the same gimmick every time for your campaign, that’s a warning sign that you might need to go back to the drawing board. Campaigns work like umbrellas. Each spoke touches on the core concept, but brings the viewer to a new insight.

Understanding how YouTube’s ad service works.

YouTube can be a powerful tool in your PPC campaigns, but if you don’t utilize all of the options available to you, then you’ll be stuck trying to make huge video ads with each execution. There are 3 different options available to you.

1) TrueView Ads.

TrueView ads can play before or during another video on YouTube. Viewers see five seconds of your video and then have the option to skip it. You are charged when a viewer watches for at least 30 seconds or to the end of the video (whichever is shorter) or clicks on a card or other elements of your in-stream creative.

2) Non-Skippable Ads

Non-skippable ads can be between 15-20 seconds long and you are charged every time that someone views it as an ad. The disadvantage about this one is that not everyone wants to watch it. So, unlike TrueView ads, you’ll pay to put your ad in front of a lot more people that don’t care about your product or service

3) Bumper Ads

Bumper ads are your gold mine! Bumper ads are 6 second, non-skippable ads that play before someone else’s video. 6 seconds isn’t a very long time, but you can use them as effective reminders of your campaigns messaging. Plus, you can pull them off with one takes.

Bumper ads work the best when you sequence them in Adwords. You can start your main campaign off by hitting your audience with your main commercial, and then branch it out so that they see you other videos only after they’ve seen your first video ad so many times.

We did this with our “Tinder Campaign” and it has been wildly successful. Here’s a handful of the other ads that we executed on.

Bumper ad 1

Bumper ad 2

Bumper ad 3

We specifically chose these ads because they did not repeat content from our main two videos. They kept the main strategy and characters from our first two ads, but continued the story. This is exactly the kind of multiple executions that you want that I referenced in tip number one.

Plan Extra Room in Your Film Schedule to Allow for Additional Ads

Planning extra room in your shoot actually starts with two things: your location and the script. If you are hoping to maximize your time on set, then limit the amount of location changes that you have and then script around the set that you know you’ll have.

We maximized our time with our “Tinder Campaign” by setting up the shoot in a $2 million home. This allowed us to have more rooms than we needed for the first ad. This also allowed us to travel feet instead of miles between the gym and the girl’s apartment. That’s a double win.

I acted as a location scout and took photos of each room that had enough space to film in and then I brought it back to my team and asked “what scenarios in a dating relationship could play out here?” Those answers became our 6-Second bumper ads.

For our campaign, we also had to include a photoshoot for our second ad because it was so heavy dependant on the images in the “Kindling” app. So we had to map out our shoot according to the guidelines that I talk about in “How to Set Up a Smooth, Efficient Video Ad Filming Schedule.”


There’s an easier way to create the look of a high budget video ad campaign than actually spending all the money. The answer lies in your ability to create a strategy with multiple executions, taking advantage of YouTube’s video ad option, and planning your shoot carefully ahead of time.

These tips and tricks should give you more income, your clients a better value, and only slightly more work for your creative team. Please comment below with your results from trying this, or questions about how to make this work for your own campaign.

  • Video Advertising

Kent Lloyd

Kent Lloyd

Kent is a true action hero. He's our resident stunt coordinator, director, and editor for video, but he also enjoys being active through martial arts, hiking, canyoneering, skydiving, and contemporary dance. He claims plaid is his favorite color.

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