Sorry, what?

'Short-form’ adverts started to crop up soon after January last year when Google decided to throw a spanner in the advertising works, and unveil that they would be supporting 6 second “bumper ads” on their platforms, most prominently – YouTube. With the online video sharing platform being the biggest of its kind, and the central hub of video content attracting millions of views everyday – it comes as no surprise that big brands such as Facebook, Fox and Michelin (to name a few) decided to jump on the bandwagon soon after.


Why 6 seconds?

In case you hadn’t noticed, most people these days have their eyes glued to technology in some way, shape or form. Over time we have grown accustomed to fast technology and internet services – so much so that if a product is lagging behind the curve, we abandon it.

Don’t believe me? More than 25% of users will abandon a page if it loads slower than 10 seconds.

(Source: )

This sort of impatience is also true when browsing online. Let’s take YouTube for example. They’ve started to put more ads before, during and after the videos uploaded to their platform. Be honest now, do you get annoyed when you have to watch a 10-15 second video ad before the video? Have you abandoned the video because of it? I’ll put it out there – I have. Many times. Rob needs to watch his cute puppy videos and can't be dealing with a random advert about Bud Light beforehand.

It’s because of this growing impatience and our hunger for faster response times that advertisers have been motivated to make sure their message is heard by condensing their entire brand into a mere 6 seconds. The question is – how do you do that?


Step 1: Your core message

First and foremost, it’s essential that you understand what your business or campaigns core message is. If you don’t know what this is, either your video won’t achieve the goals you want it to, or it will bloat the video past 6 seconds.

It’s similar to the famous Albert Einstein quote:

"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough."

Before you say, ‘but I’m the owner, of course I know my business well enough’ – just stop. Don’t be naïve and think you’ve got this step covered because your name is above the door. It’s far better to take a bit of time and work through your thoughts and uncover the core message of your business/campaign. It’s better to be safe, than sorry!


Step 2: Keeping it simple

You have 6 seconds to communicate your core message – and most likely a call-to-action to redirect them to your company website. This means the communication has to be clear and concise - so no M.Night Shyamalan plot twists….please for the love of all good things - no more M.Night Shyamalan plot twists…

When throwing around ideas for your video, always make it link and communicate your core message. If it doesn’t then you don’t have a simple idea – you have a stupid one.


Step 3: Avoid the curse of knowledge

This links very closely to keeping it simple within the context of creating a 6 second advert. Put simply the curse of knowledge is when you (the talker) forgets what it’s like to now know anything about a subject when talking to your audience (the listener).

For example, a scientist is talking to someone who knows nothing about science. The first instinct is for the scientist to use his knowledge and related language to explain their work. All those confusing terminologies and scientific mumbo-jumbo is going to go straight over the listeners head.

A great way to avoid the curse of knowledge is to keep the explanation concrete. For example, the scientist might explain how 100m is just over the length of a standard football pitch. Or that 2.5m litres of water is the same amount used in an olympic swimming pool. This allows the listener to tap into their current pool of knowledge and visualise the data in a way that is familiar to them. It makes it so much easier to understand a new bit of information when it can connect to an already known but of information.


Step 4: Get creative

Now it’s up to you. You know now that the advert has to be simple and communicates your core message while avoiding the curse of knowledge – using concrete language when appropriate. However, remember that some of the most creative ideas are the simple ones. The type of ideas that make you think ‘Why didn’t I think of that?!’

Don’t expect to come up with the million-dollar idea straight away. It will most likely take a bit of time – but stick at it, because the right 6 seconds could change your business/campaign forever.


Step 5: There is always a helping hand

If you’re not feeling particularly creative, or your pulling your hair out trying to come up with the perfect idea – don’t worry…. we’re always here to help. My speciality is in digital content creation, so with digital expertise combined with the Social Change teams collective marketing expertise – we’ve got you covered.

Give us a ring, let’s talk. Who knows, even a quick chat with us might spark a great idea….

Call us on: 01522 775060
Email me at: rob@social-change.test