In this week’s post, we’re going to learn lessons on how to build high performing YouTube ads that scale to cold traffic, from one of the best performing direct response YouTube ads of the past couple years.
We’ll dive in in just a moment. But first, some context...
Scaling on YouTube is a 2-Step Process
When you come down to it, scaling on YouTube is a 2-step process:
- Step 1: Discover Your Winning (a.k.a “Control”) Creative
- Step 2: Overcome creative fatigue
The most crucial key to scaling has nothing to do with targeting, optimization, or campaign structure.
These definitely help - but only if you have a great creative.
We see this over and over again at our agency Inceptly, where we build creatives and manage over $5 million/month in YouTube adspend.
So what does a great cold traffic YouTube ad creative look like, you ask?
Let’s take a look at one of the best and learn some lessons you can apply to your own ads:
Breaking down a high performance Cold Traffic YouTube ad
According to our estimates in VidTao software, Organifi has spent at least $8 million on this “vegans vs. vegetarians” YouTube ad:
Campaign Timing: According to our data in VidTao, spend started to taper off in October 2020. The ad saw another period of significant spend (around $300k) in March and April 2021, before tapering off again and not seeing significant spend. (Remember scaling step 2 about overcoming creative fatigue? We're going to circle back on that in a bit…)
So why did this ad work so well?
Organifi’s Control Ad: Keys to Success
Let’s crack open the video transcript tab inside of VidTao to take a look at the timestampted script & some of the powerful elements that made this ad perform so well.
1. Poke fun at the right person, in the right way.
The primary audience Organifi reaches is your average 45+ “Middle America” female.
This person is interested in increasing their health and wellbeing, but most likely has lived their entire life eating meat and potatoes, and probably eats a fair amount of fast food.
They’re very far from the “health nut” who’s been exercising at 6 AM after throwing back a couple wheat grass shots.
THIS is an important FRAME for understanding why the first 5 seconds of the video is so captivating.
This type of person has heard about veganism and vegetarianism. And they think it’s STUPID!
That’s why when they’re posed with the question:
“Are vegans healthy?” and “Are vegetarians healthy?”
-Their internal response is most likely a snide:
“Haha yeah, those silly vegans, ARE they really healthy? They’re probably going through all this trouble for nothing.”
The “joke” on vegans is played out further with a great punchline:
“French fries and beer are vegan! … so you tell me…”
This lands well because it further affirms the audience’s BELIEF that vegans are silly, they’re going through all this trouble to be vegan, and even after all the hassle, they can still easily cheat with junk food and still be “on diet”.
This AFFIRMS an underlying suspicion the audience has that fad diets like veganism don’t actually increase your health or help you lose weight.
Next, the idea of “micronutrients” is presented as a quasi unique mechanism and actual solution to living a healthy lifestyle.
By 15 seconds in, the audience is hooked and wants more.
The viewer has been successfully interrupted with a prompt that makes them wonder - what is he gonna say next.
Why does this work so well?
The key here is bringing an underlying belief to light in the form of a question, getting the viewer to laugh, and getting them to wonder - all in the first 5 to 15 seconds.
The power beneath this is KNOWING your audience on a deep level. The execution is secondary.
Please don’t “swipe” this and start writing ads that say:
“Are weight lifters healthy?”, “Are yoga people healthy?”
Instead, use the PRINCIPLES behind this coupled with your own genius and creativity to create original marketing.
2. Relatable Personality:
Never underestimate the power of a charismatic face to deliver any marketing message.
Especially on YouTube.
Copy can be funny and great, but in our experience, the ACTOR can have a major impact on the success of the ad.
Do you have a charismatic personality to deliver your message? If not, find one.
Think about it the environment of YouTube.
The prospect is watching videos of other PERSONALITIES and influencers.
If you hit them with an ad that’s congruent with this experience, you’re much more likely to captivate them.
This is one reason this ad is so successful.
Let’s pick apart some of the elements Organifi founder, Drew Canole, uses to captivate and persuade this audience.
In the second part of the ad Drew introduces himself and quickly positions himself as a RELATABLE authority.
And if you watch carefully you’ll notice a few things:
- Way of Speaking
Drew almost has a twinge of a mid-west accent and speaks very casually. He lives in California and is ultra “woo woo” spiritual.
But he doesn’t sound like it AT ALL in the video.
Drew positions himself as relatable, by continually poking fun at vegan-health-nut-yoga types.
The first thing he says is “I’m obsessed with superfoods” and “I’m that weird dude who smells like patchouli”.
Later, he makes fun of Ashwagandha.
He says: “sounds like a yogi, but it’s much easier to understand.”
Again, positioning himself as a relatable ally and friend who also thinks this whole vegan yoga thing is silly and ultimately, NOT the solution to a healthier lifestyle - which is a relief for the prospect.
- Relatability over Authority
Notice his appearance.
His work shirt is untucked and his hair is a bit messy. He has a beard.
He looks like your average Joe after a day at work.
Also notice Drew actually spends more time being relatable and sharing his personality than he does being an authority.
He doesn’t really state any credentials (other than being “obsessed” with superfoods).
He doesn’t talk about how fit he is, and doesn’t even show his amazing transformation from 40 pounds overweight to ridiculously shredded and muscular.
Instead, he focuses on being relatable and funny while delivering useful information. To be clear, we're not telling you to omit credentials and authority from your script.
Dr. Gundry spends a full 30 seconds in his ads talking about his success as a doctor, author, and doing a heart transplant on a chimpanzee (or whatever he’s famous for). So definitely mix in “authority” into your ad copy.
However, in this ad - Drew’s knowledge of superfoods in the next section does more than enough to fulfill this requirement.
3. Edutainment: Education + Entertainment
This is such a powerful way to deliver an ad on YouTube, because that’s why people go to YouTube.
When people go to YouTube, they’re either watching to learn something, to be entertained, or both. Drew pulls this off gloriously in this ad.
Each of the 11 superfoods he presents has:
- a joke or a silly personality flare
- an interesting health fact
- relevant and application information for the audience
The audience is extremely concerned with the potential for diabetes. Drew mentions this twice in the ad.
The target demographic is also literally terrified of getting Alzheimers disease. Drew mentions this early on.
By the time he reaches the final superfood ingredient, the audience likes him, trusts him, and is receptive for what’s next.
4. Simple, Irresistible Offer
After discovering these new incredible superfoods from a relatable person who has successfully injected happy juice into your reptile brain for 4 minutes…
How could you not want to listen to them more?
Now, the viewer is OPEN and RECEPTIVE to suggestion and it’s time to present the offer.
Drew whacks it outta the park, covering every base he can for a killer offer. Here’s are some points to note:
Simple: Organifi green juice has all 11 super foods. The prospect can get all the benefits they just got excited about in one glass.
Quick and Easy: 30 seconds per day. No shopping, no chopping, no clean up.
Affordable: Less then $2 per day. Less expensive than ANY juice.
Dramatic Demonstration: Drew mixes is without a spoon by swirling it in the glass, on camera.
Tastes Good: This is actually one of the primary concerns of the audience, so it’s important to bring this up. Drew addresses the objection that green drinks taste like dirt, or are thick and chalky.
Obviously, you can’t taste the juice through the screen, but Drew does an excellent job making it seem like he’s enjoying it.
If, Then Statement:
“If you’re looking for more health and longevity, more energy, more vitality and more mental focus.
...Then add in these 11 superfoods into your diet.”
Did you catch the clever nuance with the way this is phrased? He could have said “want this, then buy our product”.
Instead, he let the viewer make the decision with a quick internal debate around getting the superfoods, but realizing it will be much faster, easier, and more affordable to get all 11 by simply trying Organifi Green Juice.
We know this particular audience isn’t likely to own a juicer or invest in one, so this is a safe bet they’re just going to decide to buy the product and avoid the hassle.
This is subtle, but effective.
We give the prospect the sense that they’re in control of the decision and they’re not being pressured to buy, which is, ultimately, more persuasive.
5. Call to Action
If the viewer watched this far, there aren’t a lot of reasons to say no (other than price) which they’ll discover on the next page.
Sometimes copywriters get lazy at the end of a script to just get to the Call to Action. Resist this temptation.
Make sure you’ve addressed all the main objections quickly and seamlessly.
By the time you get to the Call to Action, the prospect should have zero reasons to say no.
On the order page there’s a 60 Day “send it back empty” guarantee which helps remove any perceived risk.
The estimated adspend data in VidTao on this ad strongly suggests conversions on this ad are through the roof and it’s been one of the most powerful and stress-free customer acquisition tools for the company.
Just imagine producing ONE ad and running it at scale for years and years.
Sounds like a marketer’s wildest fantasy, but if you have the skills and patience to dissect successful ads like this one & apply it to your own ads, you can make it a reality.
But no matter how successful your ads may be, here's a quick gut check...
Guaranteed: Death, Taxes, and Creative Fatigue
Remember one thing: Even the best ads die.
Creative fatigue affects all ads running at scale. Notice how Organifi isn't currently running this ad:
Adspend has been flatlined since around April / May 2021?
This shows that even this amazing ad stopped working at some point.
Creative fatigue affects even the best ads.
So how to you beat creative fatigue and maintain scale, month after month?
Stay tuned for our next post…
What are your YouTube ad questions?
In the meantime though, what questions do YOU have about YouTube ads?
Let us know in the Comments section below, and we’ll make sure to cover your question in an upcoming post.
Have a great week!
The VidTao Team
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