YouTube’s six-second bumper ads are changing the way we consume content.
As video consumption moves to mobile, advertisers are using YouTube’s six-second bumper ads to create bite sized “unskippable” content for consumers with ever-shortening attention spans.
This June, the Australian department store Myer’s, with help from Google and Clemenger BBDO Melbourne, held a Six Second Sale on YouTube, where viewers were invited to click on the pre-roll ad and receive a discount on over 100 products in store. Those who clicked in time were taken directly to a pre-loaded shopping cart on the Myer’s website.
To encourage immediate interaction, Myers ensured that viewers never saw the same ad twice. “This is an innovative use of YouTube’s six-second bumper format,” said Ross Jauncey, creative agency lead at Google in Campaign Brief. “Turning the six-second bumper into a ‘FOMO-driven’ direct sales device is a clever use of the format.”
YouTube launched the six-second bumper ad format in 2016 as an alternative to skippable TrueView ads, which run for any length of time. This bite-sized format was designed for impatient smartphone users, following the insight that 59% of millennials admit to skipping ads after just five seconds of viewing.
Despite this apparent disinterest, studies show that the attention paid to YouTube ads is still 84% higher than advertising on TV, making it a valuable platform. Atlantic Records was an early adopter of the bumper ad, using it to launch Rudimental’s second album, with Survey Monkey using the format to highlight the simplicity of the tool.
Brands are even using bumper ads alongside TrueView content, with Xbox launching “Halo Wars 2” with both longer-form content and humorous six-second ads that built on existing storylines.
The six-second ad format is also a topic of discussion at Cannes Lions. This week in Cannes, Fox Networks Group announced that they would be adopting the six-second bumper ad format to appeal to their growing online audience, debuting the format on streaming services and eventually moving it to television.
Short-form content is the new status quo for advertisers, and YouTube is leading the way with bumper ads. With human attention span now less than that of a goldfish, according to a Microsoft study, advertisers must work to capture the attention of viewers, creating a compelling story in only six seconds. Brands that are creative within this time limit will capture consumer attention and thrive.