Q: How do you get a generation of content consumers who demand immediacy, relevance, and bite-sized information to remember your 30-second commercial? A: You can’t.
At least that’s what YouTube was betting on last year when it rolled out Bumper Ads – “A six-second video format ideal for driving brand reach and frequency.” As it turns out, YouTube was almost right. While there is no replacement for great creative and precision audience targeting, YouTube did find in a test of 300 bumper campaigns that 9 out of 10 drove a significant lift in ad recall. In a specific campaign test, :06 ads delivered a 6.8-point lift in ad recall and a 30% higher recall than a :30 ad.
The Birth of The Bumper Ad
The “Bumper” isn’t a new idea. TV and radio have been using these short 2-10 second promotions for years. Ever heard “and we’ll return to the program after these short messages”? Yep. You guessed it. Bumper! This format has traditionally served as a way to transition an audience into and out of a program with ease. Traditional media have found this tactic useful for creating awareness and branding themselves with a specific program or idea.
The Benefits of Bumper Ads
Probably the biggest benefit of YouTube Bumper Ads is that the user cannot skip the advertisement video. If you consider your own viewing habits, outside of binge-watching entire Netflix series, there are many times where you’re on the go and just need to watch one video for information or an update from someone. A long ad really can really be intrusive and frustrating in that situation. However, a six-second spot barely interrupts your day. Not surprisingly, after much complaint of the terrible user-experience of nonskippable ads, YouTube announced that the 30-second nonskippable ads will be removed from the platform entirely in January 2018. Additionally, there is mounting evidence that these short ads can reach more people and drive more awareness and traffic to your campaign because the format fits social media and mobile devices like a glove.
The Future of Short Ads
As more brands embrace audience-specific advertising on platforms like Facebook, YouTube and Snapchat catering to short attention spans, we’ll continue to see shorter formats, and hopefully more creative ways to be pitched a product or service. On the other hand, we’re still consumers who will lock in for long periods of time when we want to be engaged and entertained. Effective advertising is still about understanding who your audience is, where they are, and how they respond to certain messaging. Because we all consume media in many different ways and many different methods, it’s important that advertisers consider a good mix of advertising tactics, then test, test, test.
Check out these popular YouTube Bumper Ads: