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Why Six-Second Ads are Gaining Favor with Advertisers

Earlier this year, we looked at the emergence of the six-second ad, a relatively new creative format gaining attention with more marketers. Since then, these short spots seem to be gaining traction. Fox announced in late October it would start airing more six-second creative elements during broadcasts of the NFL and World Series, and AMC plans to run them in The Walking Dead this season. Why is the six-second format gaining in popularity with advertisers? And why might it be worth considering for your next campaign? Here are some updated thoughts on this rapidly evolving ad format.

They’re a great way to be “part of the action”
Fox plans to air its six-second creative elements as part of their NFL broadcast using a “double-box” format, meaning viewers will be able to view the ad as they watch the action on the field.   While this might not seem like a big change, it’s actually a big bonus for advertisers, who have always sought ways to more seamlessly integrate with TV programming and content without cutting to a commercial pod. Consider the way Fox used its new six-second creative units during this year’s World Series broadcast, when YouTube was able to incorporate a “live video” element into its six-second TV ad.

They’re the perfect link between TV and video
Even though some ad agencies have voiced concern about the creative limits of six-second ads, recent developments suggest the format may ultimately help advertisers better bridge the gap between TV and video campaigns. Consider the example of Duracell batteries, which ran six-second ads during Fox’s World Series broadcast. Not only did Duracell get the awareness boost of advertising during a high-profile live TV event, the brand also saw a boost online. The same creative showed up on YouTube’s “leaderboard” of most-watched six-second “bumpers,” a result that was likely aided by the strong linkage with the campaign’s TV elements.

They’re seeing strong performance
Perhaps the best part about the growth of six-second ads is that the format seems to be gaining traction with consumers and advertisers alike. According to a recent analysis by Business Insider and YouTube, 90% of YouTube advertisers who utilized one of the platform’s six-second “bumpers” saw a lift in brand recall. In a world where consumers’ attention tends to be fragmented and social media feeds are increasingly the norm, that’s good news for marketers in search of better return on investment.

Six-second ads may have started out as a novelty but as an increasing range of ad campaigns have demonstrated, this emerging ad format is gaining favor with both TV and video advertisers alike. Ultimately that’s bound to be good news for brands as they continue to search for more engaging, scalable and creative ways to connect with consumers.