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How do you capture someone’s attention in a matter of seconds? It might sound like a complex creative challenge, but the brands on the latest YouTube Bumpers Leaderboard — which features this year’s most-watched six-second bumper ads from across the globe — have it figured out.

So what’s the secret to their success, and how can other marketers learn from them? To find out, we spoke with three industry leaders who helped create some of the six-second bumper ads featured in the leaderboard.

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Don’t think of bumper ads in isolation

“We used to have 90 seconds to tell layered stories, so the challenge of doing that in six seconds initially scared many in the industry. The turning point came when we realized that the key to effective bumper ads was to stop thinking of them as a cutdown and instead see them as part of a larger campaign.

How did we transfer that thinking to the creative process for our four winning bumpers? Rather than being afterthoughts, our six-second ads had clear briefs that outlined how they added another dimension to the campaign stories. But we also considered the context in which they would be viewed. As a result, we were able to ensure that whether someone saw all elements of the campaign or just the six-second ad, it would be an entertaining and meaningful experience.”

Watch AMV BBDO’s winning six-second ad.

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Keep your story simple

“The Gorilla Glue story is simple. Something is broken and needs to be fixed. Then Gorilla shows up with the solution. This moment of consumer need is relatable, common, and visual, so we really don’t need a long format to set it up. I think that’s why we’ve seen so much success with bumpers, which have generated as much brand lift as our longer format ads.

Think about the problem consumers are facing and how you can help them tackle it. Then tell that story as simply as possible.

So my message to other marketers looking to see success with six-second ads is this: Think about the problem consumers are facing and how you can help them tackle it. Then tell that story as simply as possible.”

Watch Gorilla Glue’s winning six-second ad.

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Be contextually relevant

“You might think it would be hard to grab someone’s attention in six seconds, but we’ve found that when our bumper ads are contextually relevant, we can break through the noise.

For example, in the lead up to the holiday season last year, we released festive-themed mini Rice Krispies Treats. Our goal was to raise awareness of this new product and highlight how great it would be as a stocking stuffer. Because we’d had previous successes with bumper ads, we decided to dedicate 90% of our online video spend to creating and serving up six-second ads to people who had already shown an interest in topics like Christmas shopping, cooking, toys, and travel. This format is now a critical part of our plan to reach consumers with the right message at the right time.”

Watch Rice Krispies Treats’ winning six-second ad.

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