The difference between a successful ad campaign and a flop can be as particular as whether the ad is set indoors or outside, where a model directs her gaze, or if the video features text in its first 2 seconds.

In a new study of video ads on LinkedIn, VidMob examined more than 265,000 ads generating a combined 1.6 billion impressions. By leveraging our Creative Intelligence technology, we analyzed the specific visual elements of each ad — from the colors used to the facial expressions on the models. We then compared these results with the performance metrics for each campaign to determine which techniques had the greatest effect on consumers.

We analyzed technology and financial-services industry-specific creative, informing video best practices that customers can use to immediately apply more strategic actions to improve performance.

Here’s what works:

Have a heart.

Consumers respond to emotion. The view rate, defined as viewing a video for at least 2 seconds, was 74% higher for ads in which models had particularly animated, emotive facial expressions (compared to models who had muted, neutral affects). When models conveyed happy emotions, the conversion rate was 22% higher.

Get straight to the point.

Consumers seem to prefer ads that address them directly. When the talent pointed their gaze squarely at the consumer, view rate was 6% higher than the industry average and conversion rate was 11.5% higher.

Bring the bold and beautiful.

Consumers respond well to compelling visuals, especially for technology ads. Opening with an image of a smartphone or different kind of electronic device raised conversion rates by upwards of 17% and lifted view rate by 2.7 times the industry average.

For more detailed findings and specific insights to improve your creative engagement, download the full report. Check out the FinServ insights and Technology insights on our Resources page.