Joel Ackerman

JOEL ACKERMAN is an American director that created some of the most viral ads on YouTube (for instance OraBrush Poo-Pourri). His videos have an average count of over a million views and the Poo-Pourri campaign has enabled the brand to increase its income from $10M to $30M, multiplying the site traffic by 130. As for the film "Girls don't Poop" it has been shared more that most of the Super Bowl commercials.

How did you end up making 100M views ? There are two main reasons my videos have earned so many views. First, is that they don’t shy away from trying to actually convince viewers to buy the product. Marketers worry that if they come right out and ask people to buy they will somehow offend or scare off potential customers, but the opposite is true. People aren’t stupid. They know ads are made to get people to buy, so it actually feels more authentic if you don’t try to hide that you’re trying to sell. My videos have actually produced sales for the brands, so the brand can afford to purchase views, because they see an immediate return on that investment. Second, my videos tend to be highly entertaining and include « elements of virality » that make it more shareable.

What is the key, you think, to making an efficient viral ad today ? The key to making an efficient viral ad is by doing two things: make it entertaining using the proven « elements of virality » while being persuasive enough to convince people to buy (or take some action that moves them closer to being a customer) so you see a return on your investment. Of course, being incredibly entertaining while also being persuasive is no easy task. I recommend that brands focus on discovering what messaging makes customers buy their product. In other words, what product info (features, benefits, important education or powerful claims) convince people to buy. Then, find an expert entertainer and video creator to incorporate all that information into an entertaining video. If it doesn’t sound like an easy task, that’s because it’s not.

How do you think online advertising will evolve in the next years ? Online video advertising will continue to become more and more important as marketers realize nothing is more powerful to convince people buy than video. And using video online makes it possible to test multiple variations of an ad and track results. This will mean more and more ad dollars are spent in « viral advertising. » This will drive the prices of promoting the video up. So the time to begin using video is now when you can still establish yourself as the market leader online (even if you’re not offline). Additionally, smart big brands and small brands will look to create longer and longer content such as branded web series and even full-length films.

Why do you want to work in France ?Why wouldn’t I want to work in France? The city is beautiful. The people are beautiful (and contrary to stereotype, have been nothing but friendly to me). The language is beautiful. And the people have a strong appreciation for high quality art and entertainment. That’s what I want to create in the end. Entertainment is now becoming the most important element in advertising, so a culture with artistic integrity is very attractive to me. France is in position to undergo an online advertising revolution just as we have undergone in the states over the past few years. Additionally, I have often been told by fellow artists all over the world that my creative sensibilities are very French.

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