If you’re the type of advertiser that has historically shied away from YouTube TrueView ads because the option to “skip” within the first few seconds seemed too risky, your approach may need to change!
Later this year, you’ll no longer have the option to create unskippable 30-second ads on the platform. While Google made this decision to improve the viewer experience, YouTube advertisers might understandably be a bit worried about how they’re going to capture a viewer’s attention in a matter of seconds.
While advertisers will still have the option to create unskippable 20-second or 6-second ads, TrueView ads might be the better option. According to Google, viewers who do not skip your ad are 10X more likely to share content, subscribe to your brand channel, and/or engage with your brand. The other benefit is that you only pay when viewers do not skip!
So, how can you entice viewers right away, forcing them not to skip? Here are five tips to ensure your YouTube TrueView ads are unskippable, with examples of great ads you won’t be able to stop watching.
Ads are easy to skip because most of them are unremarkable, and don’t actually grab the attention of the viewer. If you start to approach your ad as a two-sided interaction then you might have a chance of keeping your viewers engaged.
Check out this Skittles ad for example:
Even though this was not a TrueView ad, it likely could have been because the ad gets the viewer involved immediately. It captures your direct attention by asking you to actually interact with the ad.
Remember the people who will be watching your ads when you write your script. How can you make them feel like part of the video?
There’s a reason viewers love the skip button. It’s because they don’t want to watch your ad.
Rather they want to watch the movie trailer or cat video that everyone in the office is laughing about.
With this in mind, it can work wonders to acknowledge this fact. Check out this ad by Nail Communications for example:
The puppy wouldn’t actually be electrocuted if you pressed skip, but it did keep you watching, didn’t it? This ad also incorporates point #1, by speaking directly to the viewer.
Google conducted a study in 2015 looking at thousands of YouTube TrueView ads across several verticals and countries and found that humor is the clear indicator that keeps people watching. “Across the board – whether we were looking for a lift in brand metrics or how long the viewer watched – humor took the cake,” says the YouTube Insights Team.
Dollar Shave Club is known for this. Their ads are almost like SNL skits, and don’t take much time to make people laugh about ridiculous day-to-day scenarios:
What I love most about these ads is that they tie directly to their product, and give the viewer a reason to buy (or at least learn more).
Year after year we see the majority of the top Super Bowl ads are heart-string-pulling, tear-jerking commercials. It’s clear to most advertisers that sparking an emotional reaction will not only engage your audience, but it will make your brand memorable to them.
But how can you do this in a short advertisement? I’d recommend telling a human story of love or loss with real humans and classic music. Take the Extra gum ad below (one of my all-time favorites) that actually caused me to cry at my desk the first time I saw it:
Of course, this is an ad for gum, but remember that even B2B audiences respond to emotion!
In order to stand out from your competition, you need to do something outlandishly different from them. The best way to do this is to bring your inner weirdness to light.
This is something the company I currently work at is known for, and let me tell you it works. While this video below is not a YouTube advertisement, it is super weird, and it has therefore gained a lot of traction in promoting one of our newest products.
With these tips, that “skip” button on your TrueView ad will serve absolutely no purpose.
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