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Holiday hits: The top Video ads of the season

January 17, 2023
Three young women watching videos together on a tablet.

At times of uncertainty in the economy and feeling pressure to do more with less, brands often face the dilemma of how to focus on performance without compromising other goals such as brand building and driving emotional connections with their audiences.

We analyzed Video ads that were running across the Black Friday weekend to identify the top performers.1 These brands show us that well thought-out media and creative strategies combined can achieve both: Leveraging the unique consumer intent data from Microsoft to drive performance and engagement while using video to show to their customers what their brands are all about.

1. Subaru Canada

Agency: Search Engine People, Canada.

2. Foot Locker

Agency: Merkle.

3. Bombas


5. GhostBed

6. GotPrint

7. LeafGuard

Agency: Reprise Digital.

So what made these ads so successful?

Most ads celebrate their audiences, showing people experiencing emotions like joy, and representing how their products play a role in bringing these sentiments to their life. Others focused on portraying offers while making the product benefits very clear, reinforcing the problem they solve for customers.

But let's not forget, these videos didn’t just drive deep emotional connections with their audiences—they also led to great results. With the power of unique data from search intent, these videos drove excellent engagement and click-through-rates. They followed these best practices:

  • Make an impact quickly: Aim to grab your audience's attention within the first 10 seconds.
  • Prioritize your main message: Showcase your product or brand as soon as possible to increase recall.
  • Incorporate your brand elements: Make sure your Video Ad includes elements like your logo, brand colors, and font to help establish brand recognition.
  • Highlight any offers or discounts: Be sure to mention any special deals or discounts you’re offering to encourage action.
  • Use visuals effectively: Since Video ads will be played without sound, use text and graphics to convey your message.
  • Personalize your approach: Tailor your message to the customer journey to encourage actions like sign-ups or purchases.
  • Test and optimize: Try different video lengths, intro text, headlines, and landing pages to find what resonates most with your audience and what drives the best results.

Now that you’ve seen how it’s done and have some creative inspiration, why not add Video ads on the Microsoft Audience Network to your marketing mix?

For more information, check out our step-by-step guide on how to get started with video ads. Video ads on the Microsoft Audience Network are currently available in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Australia, and New Zealand.

Closed captions were added to some of these ads by Microsoft for accessibility purposes for publishing this blog.

Help us improve Microsoft Advertising

Your comments and feedback are integral to shape and improve our product. You can use the Microsoft Advertising Feedback portal, in-product feedback, Twitter, or Instagram. You can also email us at or contact Support.

[1] Data for analysis: Highest performing Video Ads in terms of CTR from November 25 to 28, 2022, with video impressions greater than 100,000.


  • Liam Mackessy


    Liam Mackessy
  • Mallory Harwood


    Mallory Harwood

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