Google Ads

Say It in Six: Why marketers and creatives are embracing the newest video ad length

Have you heard the good news about YouTube’s six-second bumper ads? These little wonders have swept the globe for three simple reasons: they provide wide reach, they drive brand results and they’re a great canvas for creativity.

And we’re ready to mark the one year anniversary of bumpers by giving them their star turn – for the 2017-2018 upfront season, we’re making bumpers available for Google Preferred buys. This format is a perfect match to the sought-after content included in Google Preferred and will help advertisers drive reach and build awareness during increasingly mobile viewing moments.

Let’s take a closer look at this little format that could, built to capture attention wherever and whenever it’s available.

Bumpers drive efficient reach

Sold on a simple CPM, bumpers aren’t just an easy way to get your brand in front of a lot of people – they also effectively drive upper funnel results. We looked across 122 bumpers campaigns in the US last year and found that 70% drove a significant lift in brand awareness, with an average lift of 9%.1 On ad recall, they perform even better – over 9 in 10 drove ad recall globally, with an average lift of over 30%.2 Given their high success rate and ease of use, bumpers can be a great building block for your YouTube campaigns.

Bumpers work for brands

Thanks to their efficiency and efficacy, many brands are weaving bumpers into their campaigns. For instance, Busch used bumpers to continue the story from their first-ever Super Bowl ad. Busch worked with their creative agency Deutsch to collect extra footage from their Super Bowl shoot and create bumpers with different themes. This approach resulted in a double-digit lift in both purchase consideration and brand awareness among viewers. Knowing how well its bumpers performed across various brand lift metrics, Busch was also able to optimize its campaign in real-time, tailoring its creatives to audience segments most likely to consider buying the beer after seeing a particular ad. As Anheuser-Busch's Senior Director, Digital Victoria Vaynberg points out, "Capturing consumers’ attention is always a challenge, so short and contextually-relevant content is key to getting over this hurdle. By using YouTube bumpers, we were able to tap into a great product that is built to address this challenge and successfully break through with consumers."

Under Armour also turned to bumpers for a recent product launch. They took a strategic hybrid approach for advertising on YouTube, leading with a TrueView ad, which helped to engage the audience through an emotional narrative, followed by bumpers that highlighted the innovation of the new product.

“Under Armour is committed to making all athletes better through performance and innovation, while inspiring the next generation of athletes with powerful storytelling,” said Jim Mollica, Vice President of Consumer Engagement at Under Armour. “Our forward-thinking strategy guided our athletes through a unique engagement funnel, which was evidenced by double the lift in product interest among people who saw our YouTube bumper ad and our TrueView ad combined, compared to those who only saw our TrueView ad."

We’ve also seen strong results in third party studies when using a comparable approach to Under Armour's – using bumpers to remarket to TrueView views produced a significantly higher lift in ad recall vs TrueView alone, with an average higher lift of 42% for the skipped views and 104% for the paid views.3 We’re excited to see other brands follow a similar playbook, orchestrating their storytelling across ad lengths to maximize results."


Bumpers offer a great canvas for creativity

It’s no surprise that some of bumpers’ earliest fans have come from the creative community. Part of the reason bumpers are such a fertile format for storytelling is that creativity thrives in constraint. At SXSW, we challenged artists, filmmakers and agency creatives to re-imagine classic works of literature in six seconds – effectively re-telling these stories in miniature. The results were by turns evocative, funny, poignant and beautiful, and they showed that six seconds is a natural and adaptable ad length. For more insights into how to build bumpers that work, check out our new article “Success in Six” on Think with Google.

For more information on bumpers, including how to set up a campaign, check out the Help Center and don’t forget to #bumpitup.


1. Google Bumper Ad Brand Lift Meta Analysis, 2016 [US]
2. Google Bumper Ad Brand Lift Meta Analysis, 2016 [Global]
3. Google/Eye Square Experiment 4 ads (n=4000 YouTube weekly users, 18-64 years old). March 2017, U.S.