Congratulations! We’re Now Creating Video for Goldfish: Mastering the Art of the 6 Second Video Ad

Kevin asks: I’m hearing so much about six-second video ads becoming a standard length for social media. Is this type of video production even possible? Some people I work with find it hard to even create a 30 second video ad. What does this kind of production consist of?

Answer: Great question, Kevin. Unfortunately, the 30 second video ad sucks in many ways. It’s not performing well in a digital age and advertisers know it.

Small businesses, big companies and larger brands want a return on their advertising dollars after realizing way too many mobile users are skipping the videos they invested time and money on. Thirty second video ads are for TV not for mobile devices and no one is watching or even cares.

The industry-standard minimum threshold for a “viewable” video ad impression is 2 seconds – advertisers will not pay for an ad that appears on the screen for anything less than that length of time. Recent test results from video giants Youtube and Facebook found the sweet spot – 6 seconds. Which will put smiles back on the faces of advertisers and video makers once again.

One-fifth of a 30-second commercial? A daunting assignment for both traditional creatives (“Wait, the production budget is zero?”) and new-age content creators (“Wait, how can I execute my particular nuanced brand of storytelling?”).

Congratulations, you are now in the business of creating video for a viewing audience with the attention span of a gold fish.

Think of the six second video ad is basically a bumper ad – created only to drive brand reach and frequency. Bumper ads extend the reach of an existing campaign and complement broader messaging. No storytelling, no fancy video editing or music is necessary, in fact you’re going to be creating video with no sound at all. This type of video is snackable. You’re forced to edit a client’s three-paragraph, 10-bullet-point message down to a real key message.

What can you say in six seconds? Most likely, more than you think.

For this article we took a look at the YouTube bumper ads leaderboard. This is top-20 list compiled from an algorithm that factors in organic views, click-throughs and user creative ratings. Most of the videos are boring as burlap.

Here are a the only two that stood out:

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That’s it. Just two.

Which means this space is so wide open for new business!

  • Many large brands can use bumper video ads to drive upper-funnel goals like ad recall and awareness
  • Bumper video ads are a cost-effective way for your client to reach their target audience, ensure their message is seen and heard and most importantly keep them on top of mind.
  • Short on time, long on impact
  • They only take one cup of coffee to produce

So what the hell are you waiting for? Go make some awesome 6 second video ads!

More resources:

Creativity in constraint: Unlock new forms of video storytelling with 6-second YouTube bumper ads
The Most Creative 6-Second Ads Revealed By YouTube Advertisers

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