Bumper Ads: The Haikus of Video Advertising

It has been reported that nearly half of all Internet video is watched on mobile devices, and Youtube now reaches more 18-to-34-olds and 18-to-49-year-olds than any single TV network – broadcast or cable, on mobile devices.

News, comedy, documentary, web series and educational video content is now being tailored to fit the attention span that comes with mobile and social media viewing behavior. Videos are cut to be shorter and creators break longer content into shorter episodes. The move toward bite-sized videos prompts advertisers to create even shorter ads to accompany this content. In other words: It doesn’t make sense to run a 1 minute ad before a 30 second video.

Six Second Bumper ad example
Screenshot from a six second bumper ad for Twisties snacks.

Earlier this summer,  YouTube Product Manager Zach Lupei revealed that the company has been exploring video advertising formats better-suited for smartphone video audiences, and officially introduced a shorter video ad format: The “Bumper Ad.”  A non-skippable pre-roll video up to 6 seconds in length.

As a quick and fun format, Bumpers lend themselves well to serialized content. Audi Germany cut up their longer TrueView ad to introduce their Q-series SUVs with evocative German “q” words like querpass (cross kick) and quantensprung (quantum leap)…We like to think of Bumper ads as little haikus of video ads – and we’re excited to see what the creative community will do with them. – Zach Lupei – YouTube Product Manager

What can you get across? Here is a bumper ad created by YouTube to promote bumper ads:

Can you craft a video that can deliver an effective message in under 6 seconds?  It might take the discipline of a 13th century Japanese poet to pull it off, but it is possible.  Whether it is a 17 syllable haiku, an 8 word billboard, or a 6 second bumper ad, working creatively within restrictions often leads to better ideas.

Six Second Bumper Ad Examples