Corporate videos and ads are often described by varying terms that confuse their differences. The essential difference is that commercials, or ads, are promotional videos focussing on the sale of a product or service.

Corporate videos focus on a company itself, and work towards shaping and sharing the company’s identity.

Let’s look at some ways commercials can differ in style, and how they can be used to stimulate demand for a product or service or increase customer recognition of a brand.


Testimonial Videos

A testimonial video is a great tool to connect with potential customers. It allows them to hear about the brand from someone who has already experienced their products or services.

This could be someone of good reputation in a particular field, or regular customers from all walks of life, the key being the personal connection.

The testimonial video is anchored by a guided interview or a talking head style testimonial, and can use b-roll footage to cut to for context, such as for demonstration purposes.

A effective testimonial video will include, for example, a powerful statement about the product delivered by the subject into the camera, along with supporting documentary-style visuals of them enjoying the product or service, and audio clips of additional comments.

This comes together into a much more dynamic call to action for your desired future client than an impersonal ad.


Cinematic Commercial/Fiction Pieces

Probably the most effective way to create a desire for a product or service is to give it a great story, or put it in one.

This is the world of commercials that don’t simply talk about a product or service, but instead try show you something you won’t forget, and then associate a product or service with the experience. In the internet age, the most successful of these videos are called viral videos.

These do not have to be shown, distributed, or aired on purchased time, like traditional commercials had been for years.

These viral commercial videos truly succeed as self-propelling, self-distributing attention grabbers for their creators, directing an enormous audience their way.

There are many storytelling tools good commercial filmmakers use in their videos. Nostalgia is always effective, making the customer remember childhood, or just a happy past.

A good creation story for a product makes you feel like this is something from a special place, something not everyone has, and sets off your own imagination to advertise the product.

A lot of the most successful commercials are very loosely tied to the product or service they are speaking for, and rely on being memorable or shocking in some way.

All commercials are different and there are many approaches that can speak to a customer base and get them excited.

What’s important is a commercial filmmaker’s understanding of their target market, their mastery of the many tools of filmmaking and promotion, and the creativity to use a unique combination of these tools, to find what brings their client the results they want