At WVA, we should encourage you to tell your story into great length – an action-packed or emotionally-charged story that would unravel over a 3 or 4-minute video ad. Now that would be quite lucrative for us… but for you? Maybe not so much so.
But because we are nice people and put your interests first, we’ve been recommending over and over again – are you bored yet? – that as far as video ads are concerned, less can be more. Punchy words, striking visuals, your brand story told in no more than 6 seconds… that’s the essence of bumper ads.
“Bumper ads are a short video ad format, designed to allow you to reach more customers and increase awareness about your brand by using a short, memorable message. With videos of just six seconds or less, bumper ads let you reach people with bite-sized messages, while providing a minimal impact on their viewing experience.” – Google.
A study of 122 bumper campaigns revealed that in 70% of cases, bumper ads have caused a ‘significant lift’ in awareness of the brand. What’s more, it also found that nine in 10 drove ad recall, with an average lift of over 30%.
==> Short on time, long on impact!
Why bumpers ads?
“They provide wide reach, they drive brand results and they’re a great canvas for creativity.” – Google
Many large brands are using bumpers ads to drive top of the funnel goals like ad recall and awareness. Among them Netflix, Amazon, Airbnb, Old Spice and many more, as well as countless movies.
As for the practical benefits, think that shorter and more condensed ads are less intrusive and give users less incentive to permanently block. They are also faster to load and cheaper to make. You’re guaranteed to love, love, love ’em! However, if this isn’t enough to convince you, feel free to read or re-read our post on 5-second ads here.
One message per video
Every video should relay one unique message as packing in loads of different content would confuse viewers. The key is to start from your core message instead of taking a longer ad and trying to cut it down to 6 seconds.
Focus on a single emotion for the most impact. Comedy is an efficient tool to convey a message and an emotion, however viewers should also be able to relate to the video.
We can find here similar elements than in print ad. The example below is a good illustration of that – combining humour and a scenario/situation viewers can empathise with. There is no information about the product itself as the ad relies on the assumption that viewers will understand the message.
Make the most of viewer context
Content is one (big) thing, however think about the context in which the ad will be viewed. Most ads are now being watched on mobile (in short burst) and with the sound off. This is why bumper ads do not necessarily need to be so complex. While more traditional ads aim at keeping the viewers watching (pleeease, not the “skip” button!) or at having the viewer engage with your ad (the sacrosanct Call To Action), bumper ads should create an impact and trigger an instant desire for the product.
In the below example, Krispy Kreme use a simplistic approach to promote its star product.
For more examples, click here.
Create episodic content
Why not create a series of “snackable” separate spots over a period of time as opposed to a long indigestible one? Bumpers ads are a cost-effective way to reach your target audience, ensuring your message is seen and heard and keep you top of mind over a period of time (as opposed to a one-off campaign). It also totally works with viewers’ short attention span.
Case study – Duracell’s “Slamtone” campaign
Megan Haller (thinkwithgoogle) – Video, Content Marketing, Experience & Design – had a chat with the team behind the bumper ad. Here’s a condensed version of the full post about the video ad strategy behind the successful campaign.
Use creative elements that are unique to your brand
Ramon Velutini, VP of marketing, Duracell
“The challenge was how to champion the product and convey a message of trust in a short amount of time. ’Slamtone’ (…) paired iconic features – our copper-top imagery and audible ‘slamtone’ – with a clear brand message. It is unquestionably Duracell.”
Make your product the focus and celebrate it
Eric Helin, creative director, Wieden+Kennedy
“It wasn’t a matter of cutting an existing 30-second story down – it was telling a different story altogether. (…) The time constraint gives you freedom to do things you wouldn’t necessarily do in a longer spot. A key (…) is to ‘hero’ the product.”
Test and learn to optimize for your campaign goals
Erin Breen, director of connections, Spark Foundry
“Our media strategy was to reach viewers with these longer stories, then reinforce them with quick, hard-hitting six-second ads to keep Duracell top of mind.”
Bumper ads – Best practices to improve brand metrics
Full article by Varum Sharma, Head of Brand, Google APAC
Frame it mobile
Tell your story in three frames: opening, hook, and landing. Think mobile-first by bringing forward the things you want to focus on and making it as visual as possible.
e.g. Netflix’s ad for The Crown
Make your brand essential
Think of fun and original ways to weave your brand in the story. Don’t be shy, show yourself!
Be focused, build in series
Each ad should relay just one message. If you have multiple messages to get across, you can build series of ads.
Short storytelling is large on results
Using six-second bumpers and longer TrueView ads together allows a brand to tailor its story to an audience’s context, yielding better results.