A large number six sits in the middle of a textured blue background.

Do you ever feel like the motto for your industry is Do more with less?

Everyday, the challenge grows ever steeper to achieve maximum impact with messaging, despite lower budgets, less time, and an ever-fragmented, always fleeting, attention span.

But at the same time, under these kinds of constraints a seemingly magical thing often happens – messages get clearer, and ads become even more powerful.

With no time left for lengthy explanations, the only thing left to do is to say what you mean, in the most succinct and compelling way.

Publications like AdWeek believe we’re entering into the age of the 6-second ad. And from Facebook to Fox, major advertising platforms all seem to be getting on board with the idea of these brief and un-skippable ‘bumpers.’

Benefits of 6-Second Ads for Advertisers

Here’s an appropriately succinct list of the benefits of this shorter ad format:

  • Viewers cannot skip these ads
  • The length of this content is perfect for mobile! People on-the-go or commuting are watching videos, news updates and more. These spots pop-up and aren’t overly invasive.
  • The short spot allows brands to plant a seed before building momentum. Since the viewer has already met your brand with your 6 second spot, they’re more inclined to pay attention to a longer story when you launch your 15 or 30 second spots.
  • Google posted that in 70% of cases, bumpers increased brand awareness by 9%.
  • Attention to paid advertising on YouTube’s mobile app is 84% higher than advertising on TV channels.

Key Considerations for Creating a 6-Second Ad Bumper

Keep Your Ad Messaging Simple

The beauty of the bumper is it reaches your audience in next to no time. With just 6 seconds to tell a story, your message should be concise.

If you’re having a hard time boiling your message down, try thinking about how you would explain the point of your ad (or brand) in just one sentence. When messaging is complex or highly technical, sometimes thinking about how you would explain it to someone much younger than you (e.g. a child) can also help.

Format Tells the Story

It may just be a split second, but there will be a sliver of time at the beginning of your ad where your viewer needs to get acquainted with what they’re seeing.

Start your ad off with a visual queue, and then pack the punch with a powerful voice over that delivers your call-to-action.


Don’t Settle on the Voice Over

With such a time constraint, your message is more important than ever before – there’s no room for a poor quality or mismatched voice over.

The voice you choose must effectively embody your brand, and deliver the message in the intended tone and spirit. It should be moving, not jarring.

Watch YouTube Advertisers “Jane’s Err” 6 Second Ad

Make the Most of Each 6-Second Block by Creating a Series of :06s Episodes

You’re already used to creating campaigns that build on a central theme or storyline, so don’t let the 6-second spot intimidate you or feel like you’re limited by it. Instead, turn it into an opportunity to create a series of multiple bumpers that piece together a story over a period of time. Done well, your audience will look forward to each portion of your storyline.

How Will You Find Creativity in the Age of Brevity?

More and more, we’re hearing that advertisers are under pressure to disseminate messages across multiple platforms, conforming to each format while maintaining the integrity of their story.

How are you embracing this age and stage of the evolution of advertising?

What examples are you seeing – from brands, agencies and individuals – that are inspiring you?


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