The 30 seconds it takes to get through a video ad can seem like a lifetime in a world where most viral videos barely last that long. But a new ad format from YouTube may bring ads into a range that our ever-shortening attention spans can handle.
The video streaming giant announced today that companies can now insert six-second ads before videos as a way to get more users engaged with a product or service.
“We like to think of Bumper ads as little haikus of video ads,” said video ad project manager Zach Lupei, “and we’re excited to see what the creative community will do with them.”
The new ad format comes as mobile usage grows. YouTube points to research saying more than half of 18–49 year olds turn to mobile first, and long ads don’t perform as well as the new “snackable” format on smaller screens.
However, YouTube is urging companies to use the bumper ads as a supplement to traditional ads, and a way to keep a product in users’ minds without the fatigue that comes with longer ads. So instead of seeing the same 30-second ad half-a-dozen times in longer viewing sessions, expect to see it twice along with a dozen of the new bumper ads.
For example, Atlantic records ran the above bumper ad and others promoting guest musicians alongside a longer spot advertising the full album from Rudimental. Audi Germany took one of its longer ads and split it into bite-sized chunks as well.
YouTube is also seeing increasing competition from Facebook for video views, and the lucrative ad dollars that come with it. A year ago, Facebook surpassed YouTube as the top spot for video ads and that trend likely continued as the social network rolled out live video and more inline playback options.