Faaez Samadi
Apr 7, 2017

How to create winning 6-second YouTube ads

Brands that are clear, concise and creative are seeing the best returns.

How to create winning 6-second YouTube ads

Following the news that Google is ending its 30-second unskippable YouTube ads, brands and agencies are having to up their games to make the most of the video sharing service’s six-second ‘Bumper Ad’ format.

For Asia-Pacific consumers, the mobile market is the battleground. According to statistics that YouTube provided Campaign Asia-Pacific, more than 70 percent of time spent on YouTube is spent on mobile devices and users routinely watch videos longer than five minutes. 

Furthermore, attention to paid advertising on YouTube’s mobile app is reportedly 84 percent higher than advertising on TV.

“Marketers need to think mobile-first by bringing the things they want to focus on forward and making it as visual as possible,” said Joanna Flint, country director of Google Singapore.

She's quick to point to Vogon, a new time and money-saving tool from Google that creates thousands of variations of a single video while targeting specific audiences on YouTube. 

Flint claims brands like Netflix are reporting strong ad recall and brand awareness from bumper ads created with it. 

Flint highlights the Netflix six-second ad for The Crown. Netflix used Vogon in its bumper ad campaign and has seen a 29 percent lift in ad recall amongst APAC consumers so far, according to Netflix marketing director James Rothwell.

“The short-form video is certainly the ultimate creative challenge for a marketer who is creating with today’s consumer in mind,” Rothwell told Campaign Asia-Pacific. “The six-second elevator pitch is a good example of a forcing function that helps us deliver a compelling brand value proposition to consumers; and this is something that we are constantly fine-tuning.”

The Crown ad was piloted in Singapore and the Philippines, Rothwell said, and helped Netflix deliver “significant local relevance and social conversation”.

“Today, our brand awareness in these markets is at its highest since we launched in early 2016,” he said.

When asked about concerns over viewability or how it is measured regarding six-second YouTube ads, Rothwell responded: “This really comes down to creative development, and sharpening the message to be delivered in the six-second window.”

Other brands in APAC making waves in the six-second format include Indonesian online marketplace Tokopedia. It reminded customers to visit its site with a quick tagline "Sudah Cek Tokopedia Belum?" ("Have You Checked Tokopedia Yet?”). Quick to produce and mobile-friendly, the campaign saw more than 22 million impressions, drove a 47 percent lift in ad recall and 10 percent lift in brand awareness.

Japanese internet service provider Nuro, created a series of 13 deliberately absurd, pun-filled ads. Nearly 75 percent of the 5.7 million viewers were reached on mobile devices, and the ads delivered a 273 percent hike in ad recall and 334 percent lift in brand search terms.

To that end, three key tips for successful bumper ads are

  1. Frame it mobile
    Tell your story in three frames: opening, hook, and landing. Think mobile-first by bringing the things you want to focus on forward and making it as visual as possible. In Netflix’s ad for The Crown, the brand told its story in three attention-grabbing frames.
  2. Make your brand essential
    Think of fun and original ways to weave your brand in the story. Don’t be shy, show yourself.
  3. Be focused, build in series
    Each ad should relay just one message. If you need, build series of ads that can be inspired from, or echo, a bigger campaign, like Nuro. 

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