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One of the oldest private schools in Middle Georgia, Mount de Sales Academy, has been educating the youth of Macon and surrounding communities since 1876. The school offers rigorous academic programs focusing on college readiness, a wide variety of athletic programs, a focus on service leadership, and a diverse student body.

Since 2016, Mount de Sales has partnered with M&R to help them communicate their unique value propositions to their audiences in Middle Georgia and beyond. For the past eight years, M&R has provided Mount de Sales with marketing strategies and digital marketing services, including search engine marketing, geofencing, landing pages, social media services, and more.

Their Needs

Most of Mount de Sales’ marketing efforts were heavily focused on appealing to families – parents and guardians of school-aged children – and featured a more traditional, scholarly voice. These marketing efforts always play exceptionally well for adults who are looking for a quality education for their kids. The maturity and traditionalism create a brand voice that’s reassuring for parents wanting to find a place that will help their kids thrive.

That kind of voice doesn’t play as well with the kids themselves.

Mount de Sales approached M&R in 2020 with a desire to create a more lighthearted, student-friendly promotional video that abandoned the traditional vibe and presented Mount de Sales as a fun, exciting place to learn, play, and develop as a person. The intent of this video was to target potential students themselves, getting them excited about the value propositions the school has to offer.

They wanted the piece to be lighthearted, tongue-in-cheek, and even a little irreverent. They were inspired by an international school that had seen some success with funny, borderline sarcastic promotional videos.

The Solution

To help Mount de Sales engage with a younger audience, we wrote a script that inverted their value propositions – using a Mount de Sales student to explain every value prop and then making a statement such as “…but academic excellence is so uncool,” or “…but who wants to be a part of history?”

The ad was designed primarily to be used as a skippable in-stream ad on YouTube.

What Is a Skippable In-Stream Ad?

If you’ve ever watched a video on YouTube, you’ve probably seen a skippable in-stream ad. These ads appear before, in the middle of, or at the end of YouTube videos and can be skipped after the first five seconds of the ad have played.

Skippable in-stream ads have a few benefits over other types of digital video ads:

  • Being skippable, they’re less likely to irritate viewers who may not have a need for or an interest in the product or service being advertised.
  • Skippability means that the promotional video can be longer than the standard 15 or 30 seconds, allowing more time to explain value props or highlight features.
  • But best of all, advertisers only pay for skippable ad plays when the viewer watches at least 30 seconds of the ad – so you’re not paying to advertise to people who aren’t interested in your products and services.

Running the ad as a skippable in-stream meant that the video had to “hook” viewers within the first five seconds. To accomplish that, we led off with a surprising line:

“Interested in Mount de Sales?” asks a student, pulling up in a golf cart driven by the school’s Cavalier mascot. “Are you sure?!”

After the script was finalized, we guided the school’s marketing team through selecting students to participate in the ad, identifying filming locations around the school, and scheduling all of the production dates. After filming was complete, we handled all of the editing and post-production – the final product ended up looking like this:

The Results

The introductory hook worked. In terms of both engagements and views, the Mount de Sales “You Wouldn’t Want to Go Here” video has performed exceptionally well. The two metrics we primarily use to gauge a YouTube ad’s success are its engagement and view rates.

For YouTube ads, an “engagement” is defined as someone watching at least ten seconds of a video or ad before moving on to something else. Most users who are going to skip an ad do so almost as soon as the “skip” button appears at the five-second mark. So, the engagement metric is an excellent way to tell how effective your hook is.

A “view” is someone watching at least thirty seconds of the video, clicking on a link, or otherwise engaging with the ad. This number gives you an excellent idea of how effectively your ad is connecting with your audience. As many video campaigns are focused more on building brand recognition and audience engagement (this one included), your view count is critical.

Billing for a skippable ad is also based on the video’s view count, so this number is doubly important.

The video campaign has been highly successful at encouraging engagement among Mount de Sales’ target audiences. Even after almost three years, the video still shows incredible performance. During the past twelve months, the video saw:

  • More than 126,000 impressions
  • More than 102,000 engagements
  • More than 83,000 views
  • That’s an overall engagement rate of more than 80% and a view rate of more than 66%!

Need Help Engaging an Audience? Sounds Like a Job for the Video Marketing Experts at M&R! Give Us a Call and Learn More: 478-220-4788

Nothing – and we mean nothing – engages an audience quite like a quality video. When you’re ready to learn more about how M&R can put your video content in front of an audience that wants to see it, call and speak to one of our friendly Sales team members.

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