YouTube ads skipped

How do you get people to watch your entire YouTube advertisement?

What stops someone from clicking “Skip Ad” to jump ahead and fulfill the immediate gratification they desire?

In this hasty, soundbite world, drawing an audience in by appealing to their emotions is absolutely critical. Whether on the computer or watching via a mobile device, millions of heartstrings are waiting to be pulled and thousands upon thousands would welcome an impromptu bout of the giggles to pass the time and get through their day.

Hear from members of the Voices.com team as they share insight on why ads get skipped and what you can do to increase the amount of time your ad is viewed in today’s Vox Daily.

Ads Worth Watching

One of the most effective ads I’ve ever watched on YouTube, and purposefully not skipped it, was Dove campaign called “Choose Beautiful” where women chose between walking through a door that said “Beautiful” or a door that said “Average.”

This ad was so good that I watched the spot whenever it rolled because its message tugged at my heart.

Regardless of what you might think of the Dove ad or how it was produced, the core of the piece hit home and encourages all women to see themselves as beautiful, inside and out. Seeing other people make the choice between which door to go in was interesting, and at times, wrenching. I just wanted to reach out to those women and tell them that no matter what they’ve been told or what they think of themselves, they have innate value and beauty that no one can diminish.

When an ad makes you want to do something, you know it has struck a nerve and achieved its goal.

That said, what makes some ads so skippable?

We’ve narrowed it down to 3 reasons why viewers may skip YouTube ads.

1. Content Fail

Good storytelling is key. Making emotional connections is paramount. Having a sense of humor helps. Not everyone achieves this level of excellence, but we’re confident that you can!

Take these observations to heart before you make your next YouTube ad.

“YouTube, especially, is an entertainment space, and if the message hammers home the ‘buy’ message, it’s missing an opportunity to build awareness, or at least, make people laugh.”

-Marc Raffa, Digital Content Producer

“From my experience, ads that are ‘story driven’ or ‘aim to inspire’ usually take my full attention and I will watch to the end. For sales driven ones, even though it may catch my eyes for a couple seconds with its vivid opening, I will usually get bored and hit ‘Skip Ad.'”

-Sam Park, Strategic Development Manager, Asia Pacific

“I would say one of the bigger issues as well is that {they} don’t try and engage right off the bat (no sound/voiceover/interesting imagery). You get 5 seconds to make a first impression and a lot of it isn’t cool enough to watch.”

-Cornelia Klimek, Social Media Manager

2. Poor Planning

Sometimes, it just comes down to not understanding the medium or the rules of engagement. You’ve got to know the platform and who you’re aiming to reach. Otherwise, your YouTube ad may be skipped.

“Trying to place a TV spot on a platform with it’s own content expectations, like YouTube, won’t translate well. You’ll also want to consider if your ads are directed toward the right audience for better segmentation.”

-Marc Raffa, Digital Content Producer

Not only is it important to consider the platform, but also sound levels. This might seem to be elementary, but you’d be surprised by how many people neglect this aspect of audio production in the final mix.

“One of the big reasons I skip over ads is because I am usually on YouTube playing a created playlist, it is really disruptive when the ad comes on because it is usually 20 times louder than the music. If the producers made the ad easy to listen to, with a similar music genre to what the viewer is listening to I think they would most likely not be skipped as much. However sometimes I don’t even give it a chance, my finger is hovering over the ‘skip this’ button until the 3-6 seconds is over.”

-Alahna Macfarlane, Commercial Account Manager

3. Technical Hurdles

Do you remember a time before YouTube monetized their platform?

Some of the reasons why ad-skipping and ad-blocking add-ons are so popular is because YouTube used to never have ads. From 2005-2007 we all knew YouTube to be content-only. When ads started popping up before your favourite videos, it felt like an invasion, and even now, ads on YouTube have retained the stigma of commercialism having invading a creative space.

YouTube ads are successful when they are just as entertaining (or more so) than the video you are about to watch. That’s why I never skip ads from companies like Old Spice and Geico – they are often more entertaining than the content itself!”

-Evan Wiebe, Account Manager

Even so, if the ads are placed strategically throughout a video, you might actually stand more of a chance.

“One thing I’ve noticed that Youtube has done recently is actually embed ads within the video content instead of right at the beginning. So if you’re watching a video of something half way through it might stop so that an ad can play for 30 seconds and then Youtube returns to the video content (sort of like a TV commercial structure). Not sure if this increases the amount of watched ads, but I’ve noticed that I’m much more likely to sit through an advertisement if it plays AFTER I’ve started watching something rather than right before it starts.”

-Todd MacLean, Commercial Account Manager

Making the Most of an Ad Skip

Even if your ad is skipped, there are still ways for you to get your brand name in there.

“Consider including your logo and/or website on your video from the beginning. Small, bottom right – but then you can at least guarantee yourself a brand impression which also has some value, if you can’t get your entire intended message across. Or, start your script with your brand name if it fits your messaging, so your audience will know right off the top who is addressing them.”

-Alina Morkin, Director of Marketing

“One of the best examples of getting around the ad-skip I’ve ever seen came from Geico and it was done by having a really short and sweet ad. The ad was essentially a static shot of a family in a kitchen with a voiceover that said, “You can’t skip this ad, because it’s already over. Geico, [blah blah blah]”. The whole ad was maybe 7 seconds long. I thought it was funny and clever.”

– Michael Di Lullo, Commercial Account Manager

Do You Advertise on YouTube?

What have you done to make your ads more effective? Are you finding that people watch them all the way through?

Share your feedback by commenting below!

Take care,
Stephanie

mirtmirt / Shutterstock.com

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Stephanie Ciccarelli is the Co-Founder and Chief Brand Officer of Voices.com. Classically trained in voice, piano, violin and musical theatre, as well as a respected mentor and industry speaker, Stephanie graduated with a Bachelor of Musical Arts from the Don Wright Faculty of Music at the University of Western Ontario. Possessing a great love for imparting knowledge and empowering others, her podcast Sound Stories serves an audience that wants to achieve excellence in storytelling. Stephanie is found on the PROFIT Magazine W100 list three times (2013, 2015 and 2016), a ranking of Canada's top female entrepreneurs, and is the author of Voice Acting for Dummies®.

1 COMMENT

  1. Some smart-suit put a raucous YouTube ad to follow the first movement of a Mozart piano concerto, ahead of its tender and well-loved adagio. With such an intrusion, am I going to feel well disposed to the advertiser? No thankyou.
    If there has to be an embedded message (particularly on very short YouTubes) let’s heed Geico. Keep it very short and relate it in tone and treatment to the surrounding material. Then it might not get skipped.

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