YouTube announced today it is launching a new 6-second ad unit the user can’t skip. “Bumper” ads have been specifically designed with mobile in mind due to their lightweight nature. In a blog post, video ads product manager Zach Lupei writes: “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.” When trialing the new ad format, brands found that Bumpers work well for serialized ads — short bursts of videos that, over time, tell a story.
Audi Germany, for example, cut up its longer 45-second “True View” spot (TrueView is the ad format that allows the user to skip after five seconds) into several Bumper ads to promote its Q-series SUVs. YouTube says (as you’d imagine it would) that Bumper ads work best when they’re combined with other YouTube ads. Atlantic Records also trialed the format to promote English band Rudimental‘s new album, which features guests including Ed Sheeran, Bobby Womack, and Lianne La Havas. Fiona Byers, senior marketing manager of Atlantic Records and Warner Music Group, said: “[Bumpers] each gave a short sharp insight into a featured artist and individual track on the album, with TrueView providing the fuller story around the album and the band. When used in conjunction, TrueView plus Bumpers really work more effectively than either format on its own.”
The release of Bumper ads may also play to marketers’ increased demand for metrics such as viewability (whether an ad was in-view in the browser for a certain amount of seconds) and completion rates from video platforms in order to measure the effectiveness of their ad campaigns. Earlier this month, Snapchat VP of content Nick Bell said the concept of watching video ads to completion had been over-played by advertisers and video platforms. Speaking at Advertising Week Europe in London, Bell said: “Just because I created a 30-second TV spot doesn’t mean it’s the optimum amount of time to view that content … Research shows attention span on mobile is much lower, getting a message across in two, three, four, five seconds is often more powerful than trying to stretch out a message and build a load of context.”