Commercials: Could 6 Seconds Be the New 30 Seconds?

Can you tell an entertaining story in just 6 seconds? Brands such as Samsung, NBC, Nestle, Amazon, Gap and Microsoft believe you can. They are among the first prominent companies to switch to short-form messages with a broader and longer exposure.

Non-skippable pre-roll ads

It’s been a year since YouTube debuted the non-skippable pre-roll ads, known in the trade as ‘bumpers’. In their old skippable format they were merely the beginning of a longer format advert, so there was no chance for any narrative or engagement before you could skip onto the video you actually wanted to watch.

But that has changed… Agencies have taken the 6 second format (known as ‘snackable ads’) and are working their creative magic on them. Agencies from around the globe showcased their 6 second finest at the Sundance Film Festival this year, where Theodor Arhio commented:

“They force you to be more focused.”

Bite-sized commercials

In June, Fox announced it would be adopting the new bite-sized commercials too. At TellyJuice, we believe the most important ingredient to any commercial is great storytelling: if it’s a good story people will watch your content no matter what. However, to grab the attention of millenial multitaskers who can’t (or won’t) dedicate time to their viewing, the 6 second ad hits the spot. So watch this space! We’re certain more brands will be sharing quality storytelling in this snack-able format.

Why does it need to be so short?

We live in a mobile world and 6 seconds of advertising is seen as the maximum length consumers will engage with ‘on the go’. If you choose to believe it, Gen Z reportedly has a very short attention span (apparently only 3 seconds longer than a goldfish…?!)

Shorter means cheaper, right?

Well, yes. But also, no. The purpose of 6 second ads is to get in front of a bigger, broader, younger audience over a longer period of time. But what you save in production costs you can spend on placement. Frequency is key. Here is an example of a 6 second Facebook ad we made for McDonalds. Bite-sized indeed!

Didn’t we try 6 second ads, in the form of Vines, a while back?

If this all sounds familiar then you’re right. Three long years ago Vines were the biggest thing in digital advertising. 36% of brands adopted the video platform in their brand marketing and advertising. But struggling with the competition of Instagram and Snapchat, Twitter closed the app in October 2016 an, at the time of publishing, Instagram and Snapchat have taken over as video messaging market leaders and left Vine in the dirt… The length was right, but the platform was wrong.

What can you achieve in 6 seconds?

Creativity thrives on limitations: a time limit forces agencies to come up with strong imagery, concise narration and entertaining and engaging content.

Quite a struggle? Take a look at some of these examples and judge for yourself. Need advice? Get in touch with our creative video agency and we’ll give you some great creative ideas for your 6 second campaign.