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Bite-Size Marketing: The 6-Second Video Ad

October 23, 2017

Six-second video ads are poised to become a hot marketing trend in 2018.

They’re not new. Google refers to them as bumper ads. They run as pre-roll ads on YouTube videos.

Some longer pre-roll ads are skippable: you can skip the ad after watching it for 5 seconds. And most people do skip them. If you’re an advertiser, a bumper ad helps you beat this problem: the ad is so short, it’s skip-proof.

For best results, Google Creative Director Ben Jones suggests having a simple message and taking enough time to create context for the viewer.

Here’s a bumper ad for the animated movie Sing.blank vertical space, 32 pixels high

blank vertical space, 32 pixels highSix seconds is a severe constraint. But constraints spur creativity. Most bumper ads are funny– you don’t want to skip them. Humor works.

Instagram Creative Maud Deitch offers this advice:

“Think of your story like a joke. Distill it down to the punchline and then figure out how to build that with whatever tools you have at your disposal.”

That’s great advice for any kind of storytelling.

Here’s one for Old Spice Sweat Defense. Who knew underarm perspiration could be so entertaining?blank vertical space, 32 pixels high

blank vertical space, 32 pixels highBumper ads are a global phenomenon. This one is for a Korean hot sauce called Mom’s Touch. It zeroes in on the product’s USP (unique selling proposition): it’s hot!!blank vertical space, 32 pixels high

blank vertical space, 32 pixels highI’ve always liked constraints: the challenge of making something that fits. So I created my own bumper ad.

I doctored a photo of me and my friend Gus (full name: Sarcophagus), then added some text and blurring. The soundtrack is the wonderfully atmospheric Bump In The Night by composer Kevin MacLeod.blank vertical space, 32 pixels high

blank vertical space, 32 pixels highHere’s the original photo. It was taken on September 22, 2017, in a vintage clothing store called W. Armstrong & Son in Edinburgh, Scotland.blank vertical space, 32 pixels highMark Armstrong sarcophagus photo vintage clothing store Edinburgh Scotland
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What do you think? Do bumper ads take away the pain of watching an ad?

Have you considered making one for your brand?

You might also enjoy How To Make A Video Without Film.

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About Mark: I’m an illustrator specializing in humor, branding, social media, and content marketing. I create images that get content seen and shared.

You can view my portfolio, and connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

Questions? Send me an email.

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