What Makes a Good 30 Second Video Advertisement

by Mike Tyler | December 22, 2014

Blake Synder in his famous Save-The-Cat scriptwriting book listed out page-by-page guidelines to make a story work. As much as people hated it for killing creativity and being far too structured, it held a lot of truths in what it was trying to convey.

Here’s a go at trying to break down what makes a good 30 seconds video advertisement.

Second 1 – 5: 

Have a visually good-looking shot and premise.

The saying goes that you have a 5 second window to attract your viewer. If you fail to do so in these 500 milliseconds, they’ll be teetering off to do something else. So how do you attract someone is 5 seconds? Well firstly, you need to make sure your ad visually looks compelling. That means no over-exposed shots, or poorly composed one. No blurriness, or boringness. Unless of course, you’re doing those things on purpose. After the shot looks nice, that it looks at least possibly beautiful, you’ll need to work on the premise.

What is this advertisement about? No shot should be wasted so don’t just use the first shot to film something pretty. Make it pretty AND meaningful.

Second 6-12:

Ah, we’re a little curious now. Keep it going. As my brother would say, “let me keep that high going!” (Just kidding).

But whatever made that first 5 seconds fun, expand on it a little. Continue to bring us down that street. Show us what happens next. Where are you taking me? What’s this adventure about?

Second 13-25: 

Okay, okay. I’m in. Tell me what you have to say now. What is your single sales pitch? What is your value proposition? The viewer at this point, if they’re still paying attention, will grant you that brief moment to pitch them what you’ve got. So take it. Tell them what you are selling and why they should buy it.

Second 25-30:

Okay, you’ve said what you wanted to say so now let’s wrap it up. Conclude it. Show us the brand again and like the first shot of this whole thing, make the last shot beautiful too. Let us ride off into the sunset together. Make me feel good. Connect the viewer between that positive feeling and your logo.


Agree? Disagree? Let me know what you think makes a good 30-second corporate video.


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