Word-of-Mouth and Referral Marketing Blog

How Purple Creates Viral Video Ads That Rake In Millions In Sales

If you spend any time on Facebook or Youtube, you’ve probably seen one of their ads.

Their distinctive purple colors, their eye-catching visuals, and the insane amounts of engagement they get with their ads.

Long story short, Purple’s ads are some of the best in the world.

And not because they are “cute” or “funny”, but because they rake in millions of sales.

Not only that, they are so good that their ads literally go viral, delivering them thousands of sales without any extra ad spend.

In other words, if you’re currently looking to grow your ecommerce business even if you’re just starting out, it’s in your best interest to study them.

And to help you get off on the right foot, I’ll be breaking down one of my favorite Purple ad’s for you, their Sasquatch mattress protector ad.

So with that said, let’s get started.

Tip #1: The “Continuous Pattern Interrupt” Secret That Grabs Your Viewers By The Eyeballs And Keeps Them Glued To The Screen

Right from the start, Purple does an amazing job to capture and keep your attention with something called a pattern interrupt.

What’s that?

A pattern interrupt is an advertising technique designed to basically shock you just enough to make you stop whatever it is you’re doing at the moment and practically force you to pay attention out of pure curiosity.

And Purple does that by starting from a wide-angled forest shot to a zoom-in shot with a talking happy female sasquatch smashing a squirrel to a rock that’s asking a question.

That’s guaranteed to get your attention even if you’re swiping on your phone at 100mph.

Here’s the key though…

While it might work to get their attention, you can’t just expect one pattern interrupt to get someone to KEEP watching an entire 3-minute ad, you have to keep their interest by continuously grabbing their attention.

That’s why Purple uses shocking imagery throughout their ads to reel you back in.

Tip #2: The “Brand Mascot” Strategy Used By Mad Men Era Agencies That Transformed Logos Into Relatable And Influential Brands

During the golden age of advertising, it was one of most used and effective strategies around.

Tony the Tiger, Kool-Aid Man, Pillsbury Doughboy, Chester Cheetah, Mr. Clean…etc

All of the names I mentioned above where and still are mascots of their respective brands even decades after they first appeared on TV. Their job is to essentially be a very friendly, creative, and entertaining representative of the brand.

Purple uses this strategy in almost every ad they’ve made, but with regular people dressed up as fictional characters.

The Goldilocks girl, the Purple Scientist, The Purple Announcer….

And yes, the Sasquatch.

They become the “Billy Mays” of the ad itself. So instead of a hardcore pitchman like the actual Billy Mays, you get a fun mascot making the pitch.

It’s not just the pitch man though.

In many of their ads, they use multiple branded characters.

For example, in their sasquatch ad, it’s not just the female sasquatch. Instead, it’s a whole family of sasquatches. This includes the mom, the dad, and the son.

This is done on purpose because it reflects back to who they’re selling too… mom’s with a family.

Tip #3: The “Unspoken Truth” Trick That Instantly Builds The Know, Like, And Trust Factor With Your Viewers

One of the most important rules in marketing is to do everything you can to have your prospect feel understood. Doing this builds rock-solid rapport, which leads to trust, which leads to a sale.

And you do this by explaining your prospects problem’s better than they can.

That or by explaining what they are saying and thinking to themselves about their problem, but don’t really talk about it.

Purple executes on this trick with style.

They do it very early on the ad as well. In fact, the second line of the Sasquatch script is, “Hi, I’m a mom. One of the hardest jobs out there”.

The second line?

“This is junior. Junior is a sweetheart, but he can wreak havoc on our mattresses. “

Here are some other rapport-building lines from their script.

“And as any parent knows, the most important part of a mattress protector is it’s protecting against stains and moisture. My little guy is pretty good when he’s awake, but night time is a toss up. And that’s OK.”

“So when junior gets scared and joins me in bed, I can rest easy knowing my mattress is protected.”

“Being a mom can be so fulfilling and the Purple protector gives me one less thing to worry about.”

These are script lines that you could only get when you understand your target market’s values, emotions, and experiences.

Tip #4: The “Goldilocks Comparison” Technique That Differentiates Your Product And Turns It Into The Only Obvious Choice

When you’re selling a unique solution to a problem, by definition that means the alternative solution just aren’t good enough.

So one of the best ways to differentiate your product is use the Goldilocks Comparison technique.

What’s that?

Essentially, what you do is highlight the popular alternatives out there and show how they do not solve all of their prospect’s problem. Then take your product and show that it’s the first product to solve all of their problems.

In Purple’s Goldilocks ad, they show that the soft, hard, and medium bed options just flat out do not work. Then they follow that up with the Purple bed, which does solve all the problems the alternative solutions couldn’t.

In Purple’s Sasquatch ad, the comparison was much shorter, but just as effective.

“Other protectors make your bed crinkly or stiff and they make your mattress noisy, hot and uncomfortable. A mattress protector that ruins the feel of your mattress makes about as much sense as my husband’s conspiracy theories.”

They then follow that up with the features and benefits of the Purple mattress protector.

This is an effective strategy to use when you really need your product to stand out in highly competitive markets.

Tip #5: The “Advantage/Benefit + Benefit/Alternative” Bullet Point Sequences That Gives Your Product Premium Value

One of the hallmarks of a direct response ad is the dedicated focus on describing each of the product’s features and benefits as much as possible.

You don’t see that happen a lot in video ads.

However, Purple not only takes the time to do it, but they do it well. Depending on the product, they pretty much use 50% of the ad to just focus on the product itself.

Here’s what they do though that’s different…

For most of their bullets, they don’t use concrete features followed up by a benefit. Instead, they use 2 types of bullet formats. The Advantage/Benefit sequence and the Benefit/Alternative sequence.

Check out these 3 Advantage/Benefit bullets from Purple’s Sasquatch ad:

“The Purple protector is waterproof and water absorbent, which will keep your mattress dry and clean. ”

“The Purple protector enhances your Purple bed or any bed.”

“It’s soft and flexible, so it doesn’t take away from the supporting power of your mattress.”

Now check out these 3 Benefit/Alternative bullets from the same ad:

“It cradles your pressure points when you lay down, instead of making your mattress hard and uncomfortable. Like watching Transformers 4 through the window of an RV.”

“And the stretchiness means it’s super durable, which is nice because Junior has vivid nightmares about deforestation.”

“It’s cool and breathable, which means no more waking up sweaty and damp like a wookies armpit.”

So why the change?

Because when it comes to physical products, the technical stuff is almost always too complicated for prospects to understand, especially for tech-driven products. Combine that with the fact that bullets for a video ad can’t be too long because they become confusing fast…

And you get 2 streamlined bullet sequences that tell your prospect exactly what they need to know in the most natural way possible.

Tip #6: The “Silent Movie” Technique That Transforms Boring Ad Scripts Into Award Winning Shows That Sell

Believe it or not, there was once a time when movies did not have audio.

Without audio, they had to rely on visual representations of what was being “said”. They had to be so good, even if you did not know read the scene cards, you would know what was going on.

This is why many silent movies look quirky.

They had to dramatize everything to extremes so the audience could see and feel what was going on without the help of audio of any kind.

This same technique is used by Purple in all of their video ads.

This includes visualizing pain points & benefits in eye-grabbing ways.

Again, video is a very visual medium. And if you don’t engage with your audience on a visual level, then it becomes really hard to grab and keep their attention, let alone go viral.

Purple make it habit to never let a piece of copy to go without a very exaggerated visual representation.

For example, in the Sasquatch ad, when the mother sasquatch is explaining how the Purple mattress protector can easily be washed even after being stained and dirtied, they show an extreme representation of what she meant.

Junior actually runs to the mattress, jumps on it, and covers it with mud footprints everywhere.

This type of visual representation was done multiple times throughout the ad, because words alone cannot tell the whole story.

Tip #7: The “Funny Metaphor” Technique That Makes Your Prospect LOL As They Take Out Their Wallets

There are more “viral infomercials” now than in any time in history and all of them have one thing in common.

They are all funny.

Purple is no different.

Now, don’t get me wrong. Purple ads are not masterclasses in comedy. The goal is to sell, not to make people laugh.

However, to make the ad consumable, Purple uses humor to make funny and relevant connections sparingly throughout their ads.

Here are some examples:

“Other protectors make your bed crinkly or stiff and they make your mattress noisy, hot and uncomfortable, like a Nickleback concert or the first year of my marriage.”

“It cradles your pressure points when you lay down, instead of making your mattress hard and uncomfortable. Like watching Transformers 4 through the window of an RV.”

“It’s stain resistant, so I can just throw the protector in the wash and it’s good as new. I wish I could do that to my husband.”

Humorous connections like the ones you see above are used about 3-5 times in an ad, give or take a joke or two. As long as the jokes are used sparingly, are understandable, and are mainly there to lighten the mood of well structured sales pitch, then you’re doing a good job in using this technique.

People are always more ready to buy after you’ve made them chuckle a little.

Tip #8: The “Extended Call To Action” Strategy That Squeezes Out Lost Sales From Your Warmest Prospects

The Call To Action is the most important part of any ad.

If you screw up the call to action, then you’ve essentially screwed up the entire ad. And one of the biggest mistakes marketers screw up on their video ads is that they are over way too quickly, especially when the prospect has seen the entire video ad.

This is probably the easiest, but also most entertaining part of a Purple ad.

In the Sasquatch ad, there is only 1 call to action at the very end of the video.

However, that ad takes up a full 45 seconds of the entire video itself.

That’s A LOT more than most call to actions, hence why I called this the “Extended Call To Action” sequence.

How do they do that?

They do it by creating a funny sequence that happens in the background of the CTA button. It’s not a part of the sales pitch and it doesn’t have anything to do with the product itself.

It’s only purpose is to keep people on the video long enough to finally make the decision to clickthrough. And by adding in a bit more humour at the end, it can make that happen while making viewers feel GOOD about it.

It’s a powerful strategy to really squeeze out what would have been “lost” sales from people who’ve watched the entire ad, but haven’t gone to your landing page yet.

Aka your warmest prospects.

The Key Takeaways

I firmly believe that Purple creates some of the best video ads in the world.

And now you know exactly how they do it for an ad that has over 70 MILLION views on Youtube and millions more on Facebook.

All that’s left is to execute on these tips like Purple does.

So with that said, here are the 8 takeaways we discussed today.

  1. If you want viewers to stop scrolling on their phones and see your ad, you need a pattern interrupt. However, if you want them to also keep watching the ad all the way through, you need to continuously using shocking imagery every so often.
  1. Old school infomercials used hardcore salesmen to be their pitchman. The Purple way is to use actors dressed as a character to be your pitchman. Make sure that character is a representative of the theme you’re trying to go after.
  1. It’s critical for you to make your audience feel understood. Do this by explaining your prospects problems, thoughts, or experiences better than they can explain it. You only need a few lines of copy to get the job done.
  1. Take the alternative solutions in your market and show how none of them solve the core problem they supposedly fix. Then, follow that up with how your solution does the one thing that no one else can.
  1. Don’t use the standard feature + benefit formula in video ads. Instead, start with the advantage, followed by the benefit. The benefit + alternative formula also works extremely well in video ads.
  1. Use the visual power of video to your advantage. Whenever possible, SHOW what the sales pitch is saying. The more exaggerated, pronounced, and eye-catching, the better.
  1. People are more likely to give you money after you’ve made them laugh. So add funny connections and jokes 3-5 times in a video ad to lighten the mood. However, do not try to be the next Jerry Seinfield. Short, sparingly, and light works best.
  1. Extend your final call to action so that it lasts around 45 seconds. Do this by keeping your CTA up on the screen, but allow for a funny scene in the background. Doing so keeps people glued to the screen. It also allows for them to have more time to decide whether or not to actually clickthrough.

Danavir Sarria

Danavir Sarria is an entrepreneur with almost 10 years of direct response marketing and copywriting experience. You can now follow him as he documents how he’s building a $1,000,000 premium men’s activewear brand from scratch over on his Youtube channel.