From TV Commercials to Viral Social Media Campaigns

Promotional videos have come a long way since their inception. What began as traditional TV commercials has now evolved into viral social media campaigns. These campaigns can reach audiences worldwide within seconds. In this blog, we will travel through time, exploring the history and evolution of promotional videos. We will examine how technological advancements and changing consumer behaviours have shaped the format and distribution of these videos. In the digital age, they become captivating, shareable content instead of 30-second television spots.

Promotional video production cost
Promotional video production cost

Early Days of TV Commercials

  • The Birth of TV Advertising: The history of promotional videos comes back from the early days of television. In the 1940s and 1950s, brands started to experiment with TV commercials. These were often straightforward and informative. They aimed to introduce products to a growing TV-watching audience. For instance, Coca-Cola, Band-Aid and Colgate were among the first brands to appear.
  • Lengthy Messages and Limited Targeting: In these early years, TV commercials tended to be longer, sometimes exceeding one minute. They had limited targeting capabilities to a few viewers who had TVs. Advertisers believed they needed more time to convey their message effectively. They also relied on the broad reach of television and getting their message across to a general audience.

The Advent of Shorter, Punchier Ads

  • The Rise of the 30-Second Spot: In the 1960s, a significant shift occurred with the introduction of the 30-second TV commercial. This format became the industry standard and is still widely used today.
  • Creativity Takes Center Stage with Iconic Campaigns: Advertisers realised the need to captivate audiences quickly. Creativity and storytelling became essential tools for crafting memorable ads. This era also gave birth to iconic campaigns. For example, Coca-Cola’s “Hilltop” and Volkswagen’s “Think Small” used humour, emotion, and clever messaging to connect with viewers.

The Digital Revolution and the Internet Age

  • The Emergence of the Internet: With the rise of the Internet in the late 20th century, advertising found a new frontier. Surprisingly, banner ads and pop-ups became the first forms of online advertising.
  • Video Streaming Platforms and Viral Videos: In the mid-2000s, audiences saw the emergence of video-sharing platforms like YouTube. Advertisers quickly realised the potential of online video for reaching a global audience. Additionally, the concept of viral marketing gained prominence. Due to the creation of video designs, brands began to share across social media platforms. As examples, we can include Dove’s “Real Beauty Sketches” and Blendtec’s “Will It Blend?” series.

How companies use Promotional Videos on Social Media Campaigns

  • The Proliferation of Social Media: The widespread adoption of social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram changed the promotional video landscape. Thereupon, brands had the means to engage with their audience directly.
  • Short-Form Content: The popularity of platforms like Vine (now TikTok) and Instagram Stories led to the creation of shorter, more concise promotional videos that could capture attention in just a few seconds.
  • User-Generated Content: Brands began encouraging user-generated content, leveraging the creativity of their customers to promote products and services. In fact, this approach added authenticity to their campaigns.
  • Live Streaming: The rise of live streaming platforms like Periscope (later integrated into Twitter and now into X) and Facebook Live enabled real-time audience interaction. Brands started hosting live events and product launches, bringing immediacy to their promotional efforts.

social media promotion of corporate video

Predicting the future of Promotional Videos

  • Interactive Videos: Due to technological advancements, interactive videos have gained popularity. These videos allow viewers to engage with content, making choices that affect the outcome or provide personalised information.
  • Augmented and Virtual Reality: AR and VR technologies are poised to revolutionise promotional videos. Brands can create immersive experiences that allow consumers to interact with products in virtual environments.
  • Personalisation and AI: Artificial intelligence allows brands to personalise promotional videos based on individual preferences and behaviour. Since this change, these videos have become creative with more relevant and engaging content.
  • Sustainability and Social Responsibility: Consumers are becoming more aware of environmental and social issues. Therefore, brands incorporate these values into their promotional videos to connect with socially responsible audiences.

Our Summary of the Evolution of Promotional Videos

Above all, the evolution of promotional videos reflects the dynamic nature of advertising and the ever-changing preferences of consumers. From the early days of TV commercials to viral social media campaigns today, promotional videos have adapted to the technological advancements and shifting consumer behaviours of each era.

Consequently, as we look into the future, it’s clear that promotional videos will continue to evolve. They will become more interactive, immersive, and personalised, driven by technological innovations and changing consumer expectations. Brands that can harness these developments and create compelling, shareable content will be well-positioned to thrive in the ever-evolving world of promotional video advertising.


Contact Impress Video now

If you would like to do a Corporate Video with video production and marketing professionals, or any other type of video, we can help you at Impress Video. We make video production for businesses, the ones that impress. Don’t hesitate to contact us here!

You can watch more about “Our Promotional Video Examples” HERE.