How to come up with an idea for a promotional video

Nobody would argue that the idea is the key to a successful and effective video. It should be original, have a non-standard plot, unusual angles, and creative presentation.

However, few people know that creating ideas is a purely sequential process and not just the generation of cool topics that may interest viewers.

Coming up with great ideas is the job of creative agencies. But they have to do it on a massive scale, not out of a stroke of genius. So they have developed methodologies and practices which help ideas to emerge. And these ideas are not only bright and eye-catching but also effective in achieving the goal.

Start with a strategy

Before you start coming up with video ideas, you need to create a little strategy. It includes several points:

  • Purpose

There is no sense in coming up with an idea just for fun. As well as making videos that just have to be done. Every video should have a purpose. Do you want to increase the number of your subscribers or inform your audience about a product launch? Do you want to collect the maximum views or reduce business costs?

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  • Platforms

Before coming up with an idea, you need to understand where the video will be uploaded since the approach to different websites can vary significantly.

The best video length for YouTube is 10-15 minutes, and for TikTok – 10-15 seconds.

It’s also important for YouTube to think over the preview because this is half of the video’s success.

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  • Audience

Next, you need to understand who the audience of the video is. The biggest mistake is deciding that the audience is all people. The wider the audience, the harder it is to come up with a bright, catchy idea.

  • Insight

When the audience is clear, you need to start crawling into its head to better understand fears and desires. This will help to create an idea that will resonate.

Let’s be honest: nobody needs your advertisement, in general nobody likes it. Therefore, it is important to create an interesting story and reveal insight.

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So when you have a video target and audience, think about which soul strings you need to touch to engage a person.

  • Message

When the insight and audience problem are clear, then you need to offer something. Your video is just about the solution. You need to have a short message that you need to convey.

  • Style

When you understand what needs to be said, you need to understand how to say it. Because one idea can be expressed in a funny or serious way, using easy script templates, being a well-thought-out story, or a text above the video backgrounds.

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First of all, the style is determined by your global strategy. If you have a bright, positive channel, then the style of any other video should be the same.

Now that we have determined the strategy, it’s time to think about HOW to get the very idea that will hook the viewer.

Methods how to pitch a commercial idea

  1. Mind map

The main essence of the method lies in associations. For example, if you are creating a promotional video for perfume, then the association may be luxury, beauty, flowers, oil, or romance.

Further, for each word, you also come up with another association. Thus, we have a huge map of nouns.

Now we need to take ideas from distant “branches” and combine them with our perfume. So a brilliant script for a video can appear.

  1. Brainstorming

How can you come up with an idea for cool ads without brainstorming? No way. Just gather a group of people and write down absolutely everything that comes to everyone’s head.

If you are alone, go to Google pictures or a photo stock and enter your word, for example, a car (if your video is meant to be about a car). If an interesting idea or association comes to your mind, write it down on paper.

  1. List of 100

Your task is to come up with and write down 100 ideas for a commercial on paper. After the first 15 points, it will seem to you that all the ideas are over, but in reality, they are not. After 20-30, everything is just beginning, and this is where the most creative ideas appear. Write everything that comes to mind, even if it seems to you that something is a mess – you will evaluate it later, now you shouldn’t bother about it.

  1. Development of other people’s ideas

Ideas are around us: in films, books, and everyday life. Just look around. Take an idea and rework it by adding something of your own. But not in such a way that complete plagiarism came out.

Any idea must be illustrated in order to see the result. Let it be a rough draft with very simple execution, but you will imagine if you are moving in the right direction. For making a draft promotional video, use free video editing software like DaVinci Resolve 17, Filmora, or Movavi’s best subtitle editors for free.

How do you make your video idea effective?

  • Solve consumer problems. Define the problem and show how the product or service can solve it.
  • Use humor. Humor often grabs attention and also generates brand loyalty. People watch funny videos to the end, which means they get all the information the advertiser wanted to give.
  • Create memorable images. Would M&M’s be so popular if it weren’t for the bright candies in their commercials?
  • Keep your ad as short as possible. Cut off all scenes, timing, dialogues, and monologues. The decision to watch your video is made by the viewer in the first three seconds. Get him hooked.
  • Avoid video sterility. A child playing outside in a perfectly white T-shirt, a mom with evening make-up at breakfast, a housewife looking like a supermodel, people on the run who always like fitness trainers – none of this has anything to do with reality. Imperfections are beautiful.
  • Decide on your brand archetype. For example, Levi’s archetype is the Rebel, who symbolizes freedom, lack of rules, and independence. Nike’s archetype is Hero, reflecting professionalism, and victory. Knowing the archetype helps to eliminate intuition and guesswork about your brand’s communications with people and to make your videos as accurate as possible.

This is true not only for commercials but for engaging website videos as well.


As you can see, marketing video production is a fun process. And its rational organization will allow you to achieve maximum results. If you feel you lack creative resources, never mind! Contact professionals with extensive experience and cool working cases. Good luck!