As video consumption moves to mobile, advertisers are using YouTube’s six-second bumper ads to create bite sized “unskippable” content for consumers with ever-shortening attention spans.

This June, the Australian department store Myer’s, with help from Google and Clemenger BBDO Melbourne, held a Six Second Sale on YouTube, where viewers were invited to click on the pre-roll ad and receive a discount on over 100 products in store. Those who clicked in time were taken directly to a pre-loaded shopping cart on the Myer’s website.

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To encourage immediate interaction, Myers ensured that viewers never saw the same ad twice. “This is an innovative use of YouTube’s six-second bumper format,” said Ross Jauncey, creative agency lead at Google in Campaign Brief. “Turning the six-second bumper into a ‘FOMO-driven’ direct sales device is a clever use of the format.”

YouTube launched the six-second bumper ad format in 2016 as an alternative to skippable TrueView ads, which run for any length of time. This bite-sized format was designed for impatient smartphone users, following the insight that 59% of millennials admit to skipping ads after just five seconds of viewing.

Despite this apparent disinterest, studies show that the attention paid to YouTube ads is still 84% higher than advertising on TV, making it a valuable platform. Atlantic Records was an early adopter of the bumper ad, using it to launch

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, with Survey Monkey using the format to highlight the

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.

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Brands are even using bumper ads alongside TrueView content, with Xbox launching “Halo Wars 2” with both longer-form content and

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that built on existing storylines.

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The six-second ad format is also a topic of discussion at Cannes Lions. This week in Cannes, Fox Networks Group announced that they would be adopting the six-second bumper ad format to appeal to their growing online audience, debuting the format on streaming services and eventually moving it to television.

Short-form content is the new status quo for advertisers, and YouTube is leading the way with bumper ads. With human attention span now less than that of a goldfish, according to a Microsoft study, advertisers must work to capture the attention of viewers, creating a compelling story in only six seconds. Brands that are creative within this time limit will capture consumer attention and thrive.

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