Filmmakers: Best Video Ads To Share With Your Clients

Today, we're going to take a quick look at the best of the best video ads and other stirring short pieces of digital celluloid (imho... as they say) that you can share with your video prospects and/or clients. If you're a budding filmmaker, you have to have some samples that you can share when you pitch people. After all, "Everybody, including coaches, dentists, household executives, ministers, builders, etc., sells and everything is selling," as the good Zig Ziglar once said. 

These are my favorites right now!


And if you stick around, I'll send you a list of ten more ace videos that you can share with a prospect, a coworker, a subcontractor, a mentee, or your mom based on the mood and theme you are going for. Plus, I'll give you a bonus template you can use to get those cold pitches started.

Let's get crackin'!

1. GE

This one was directed by Diego Contreras. It's gritty, interesting, and jam-packed with production value. Better yet, it proves you can be creative and tell a story even with the most corporate or the most cut-and-dry groups in the world.   

Every group has a creative, engaging story that can be told.

I send this one to prospects in an industrial field, not that I have a $2,000,000 windfall like GE does to drop on an ad (and neither do my prospects). I send it because I hope they have a big vision for their company.

If they don't, I don't want to work for them. 

2. Purina

With how many views this one nabbed, I wouldn't be surprised if you've already seen it.

I love this ad, and I use it almost every working day to pitch prospects.

This one, and much like the next one, recognizes that you can't connect with 20 different onscreen people in a 2-minute window. But if you have two persons (or in this case, a man and his pup), you can identify with *someone* in the story.

And after watching it, you can't help but think of Purina when it comes time to buy puppy chow. 


3. Zappos

This is my favorite ad right now, and it's not because their HQ is in my backyard. This ad simply does everything right:

  • has at most two real persons of interest (sure there are others in the ad, but they're super minor)
  • tugs on our desire to be giving
  • reminds us old farts to have faith like a child
  • not in-your-face with the Zappos branding

Next time you see a homeless person, you're going to think just how cool it would be to bless him or her with a pair of brand new shoes. 

Honestly - when was the last time a homeless person had a brand new pair of shoes? You'll think of Zappos next time.

Just like the Purina video, these kinds of 2-person videos do well because they focus on a particular bond, and in no particular order, here are a handful you can build on and use when you're pitching your prospects:

  • child and animal
  • adult and puppy
  • child and elderly person
  • mom and child
  • mom and baby
  • dad and baby
  • wife and husband
  • man and his family**

Everyone knows cats are indifferent, and their bonding looks a lot different than their canine counterparts, and Buzzfeed embraced that.

**man and his family - you can use this one in a lot of situations. I pitched a prospect last month who is in the occupational health field, and the concept was simple: connect with breadwinners who are out of work and earning only 2/3 of their income by speaking to their innate desire to be healthy and in a place to be able to provide for their family. 

4. Barbie

Credit my wife with this one:

She knows I'm always looking for ads that go for the emotional connection. This one does it really well, even though there are multiple subjects. I'm a fan of 1-3 persons of interest, but my hat's off to Barbie for wrangling so many people into one cohesive story. 

Again, faith like a child - we get so callused as adults, we forget what it means to ask, to be forgiving, to believe, to persist, etc. Guy or girl, this one's good and you need to watch it.

5. Permaculture

I never knew what that word meant 'til I learned of Justin Rhodes.

Who's Justin Rhodes? 

A Carolina entrepreneur, that's who. He's carved a NICHE with chickens. They vlog, almost daily, about chickens and farming.

Now, I'm a city boy and I have been my whole life, but there's a few things going for this video that I love, and that's why I share this one with prospects:

  • it's not for everyone (this is a good thing!)
  • it lets small business owners know they can still share their vision without having a 5-figure+ budget to do something like videos #2 - #4
  • he explains exactly what he's offering (this was a Kickstarter pitch video)
  • it lets small business owners know their story can reach thousands, as evidenced by this video, and Justin's not even bringing it in this video


I know what you're thinking.

How am I going to reference these as painlessly as possible? Easy → text expanders

For example, if I have a text expander app running on my machine, and I have the following string for the zappos video:

then I need a quick way to reference that. In my text expander, I'll save a custom string to reference that awful-looking text.



Then whenever I type "zapposvid" in ANY text field, out comes the aforementioned string for the YouTube URL. 

Boom. It's like saving a shortcut.

So, here are two apps you can use:

App 1: (Chrome plugin - free) Auto Text Expander


I have this one set up on my wife's Chromebook. It works, but it feels too clunky to me with its layout. 

Free is free, ja?

App 2: aText (mac users)


This guy costs about $4.99 flat.

And I love it - been using it for almost 12 months, and I have hundreds of shortcuts saved in it. 


Ready to get a jumpstart? 

Here are 10 more videos you can use (you need a library - a swipe file - something!) when you're selling your services as a budding microbudget filmmaker. 

AND I'm throwing in a simple sheet you can use to get started with emails you can send a prospect - cold (if you need more on cold-pitching video prospects, click here). They're short (to the point), and they use these aforementioned videos to break the ice.


Dig in.

What are your favorite (branded) video ads? Share one below!

Jake the film guy

I want to encourage others and bring honor to the Almighty in everything that I do with film and video. My goal is to take the first 11 minutes of my tv pilot and seek out decision-makers who can further the conversation about developing it into a show. If my team and I can do that, then we can teach 100,000 other microbudget filmmakers how to do the same thing so that we might tell stories of hope to millions. In the meantime, I'm a son of the King, a family man, a lifelong student of film, and the author of two microbudget filmmaking books.