Short but Unskippable: YouTube’s new 6-second ads

Coming soon to your smartphone: six-second YouTube video ads you can’t skip.

Called “bumper ads”, Google says they are targeted at the 50% of 18 to 49-year-olds that its US research shows use mobile devices to watch videos.

Bumper ads, available to AdWords advertisers in May, complement but do not replace existing YouTube ad formats. They will only be shown on mobile devices and are sold on a CPM basis.

In a blog post announcing the new ad format, Zach Lupei, product manager for video ads at Google, said that these “snackable videos…work best when combined with a TrueView or Google Preferred campaign (where ads are shown on top performing channels).

Why should you care?

Brevity is no excuse: bumper ads still need to entertain, inform and delight consumers who have to watch them before they can see the video they selected.

But what can you say in six seconds? Google says that bumper ads expand reach and should be used to complement other (longer) video campaigns.

We especially like the example Lupei cites: Audi Germany cut up its longer TrueView ad (introducing the Q-series SUVs) into six-second serialised snippets.

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About the Author Jeremy Templer

Jeremy is a Partner and Senior Consultant at SureFire. Jeremy has been working in search since 1996, when he joined the Australian search engine, LookSmart. After relocating to San Francisco, he was instrumental in the development of the company’s paid search ad platform. At analytics company Coremetrics (now owned by IBM) he established an in-house search agency managing campaigns for Coremetrics clients such as Macy’s, Bass Pro and Lands End. At Acxiom he managed members of the pioneering SEO firm Marketleap and worked with clients such as Capital One, American General Finance and Kaiser Health. Joining SureFire in 2009, he is the head of Paid Search Advertising and oversees the delivery of AdWords and other PPC campaigns. He also helps clients make sense of their website data.