Are 6-second YouTube ads effective?

If done in the right context, the 6-second Bumper Ads can create brand recall and grab the consumer’s attention in a short span, say industry experts

e4m by Shikha Paliwal
Updated: Jul 15, 2019 8:26 AM
YouTube

When they first made their debut in 2016, YouTube’s 6-second ads dubbed ‘Bumper Ads’ were met with both curiosity and disdain. How would a brand cram information in just six seconds? 

 

That question is now history as the industry did rise to the challenge and mastered the art of effectively grabbing the consumer’s attention in the short span. And as this attention span gets shorter, bumper ads are gaining popularity with every passing year.
 

 

 

Traditional wisdom says the longer the engagement of the consumer with the advertisement, the greater the brand recall and greater the chances of optimisation of ROIs. However, bumper ads are game changers or so the industry experts say.

According to Isobar COO Gopa Kumar, “If it’s done in the right context and follows the rule of creation of 6 second ads, it’s enough to create curiosity and make it register in the minds of consumers. There is an opportunity to deliver a functional message or drive emotional associations through these 6 seconders.” He further said the un-skippable bumper ad can even do a good job at brand recall. “If done right creatively, there is huge upside to get the brand registered in the mind of the consumers. It also is a function of right frequency and context to drive recall over a shorter span of time.”
 
Perhaps, it was for having all of the above elements that the Good Night Mosquito Repellent and Gionee Selfiestan A1 ads found themselves on the list of YouTube’s leadership board, when the company first released such a ranking for popular bumper ads.


 

If the fight is for consumer attention, then these bumper ads are the answer for today’s ‘on the move’ generation. The six-second ads have seen creative boundaries being breached and innovative campaigns being rolled out over the years. Take the art of sequential storytelling in a bumper ad. The idea was to break a story into 6-second ads that play out at different times of a video the consumer has been watching, thus piquing curiosity of ‘what next’ and ensuring that the brand message had been delivered.
 

In the advertising lingo, ‘snackable content’ is rewriting the rules.  Brands are having to rethink shorter formats but with greater frequency, typically making bite-sized ads that are quick and satisfying without making the consumer grudge that the ads are encroaching on their time or content.
 

Manish Solanki, Co-founder & COO of TheSmallBigIdea believes that in today’s digital age, reach is critical. “Short, sweet, next please...’ is how I would like to define the 6-sec ads. This format is a great way to create brand recall. It helps the brands to create snippets with different messaging. When it comes to the production budget, in the investment for developing a standard 60-sec ad, you can have up to 10 different message bytes for the same brand. The new-age content is all about scripting expressions – less tell and more show. Three images and three words at best, I feel are enough to create a lasting impression.”
 

If done right, the impact of a 6-seconder can be maximised. Vinod Thadani, Chief Digital Officer, Mindshare South Asia, says, “It is a frequency builder or reminder using long form True View as the first ad exposure, retargeting with a bumper, this is also sequential targeting. It works well for announcement campaigns for established brands like sale/offer campaigns for retail/e-com brands. Also, if planned properly brands can start with 30-sec ads followed by 6-sec bumper frequency builder, highlighting different features or product specs connecting to different audience segments of brand cohorts.” 

 

YouTube has over 260 million monthly users in India alone and a large chunk of this is regional consumption. The recently released Ericsson Mobility Report-2019 stated that the high usage of video streaming in India was driving up internet usage. To quote from the report: “India has the highest average monthly usage, reaching 9.8 gigabytes (GB) by the end of 2018. Increased numbers of LTE subscriptions, attractive data plans being offered by service providers and young people's changing video viewing habits have driven monthly usage growth.” Just another reason for brands to ensure presence on video platforms and given that YouTube is most popular, these bumper ads gain greater significance.

 

However, the demand for an ad-free video watching experience is on the rise too. In this scenario, where consumers are less tolerant towards interruptions to their screen time, perhaps shorter and quicker ads are the advertisers’ best bet.

 

“We are in the age of “Speed Media” where the attention span is getting shorter and forced ads (where users don’t have control) create higher annoyance and ad avoidance, hence this definitely helps. Also, bumpers are closely related to the thumbstopper format of FB, so the same creative will work for both,” Thadani added. 

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