Subaru 'Long Stick' Ad Is Top Dog In 2019
‘You know what’s great when surfing the web; unsolicited, unskippable, video ads’.
Said no one ever.
One of the biggest challenges for marketers today is in being able to translate traditional, above the line, ad creative to the web.
Particularly with video content.
And, even more so, on mobile devices.
Given a chance, most consumers simply scroll past, or skip through, online video ads, hence in recent years many of the major players have rolled out non-skippable varieties.
YouTube pioneered its non-skippable variety, Bumper Ads, in 2016.
However, as YouTube’s latest leaderboard suggests, just because an ad is non-skippable doesn’t mean it needs to feel like pulling teeth for viewers.
Six Seconds To Bring The Ruccus
Subaru’s ‘Long Stick’ bumper ad for the 2019 Subaru Forester is the numero uno in the top ten performing bumper ads from the U.S. in the past year.
According to YouTube, the top ten bumper ads were initially weighted algorithmically, factoring in total views and engagements.
Campaigns were then ranked by a user creative ratings survey, run by Ipsos. Considering four parameters: likeability, memorability, emotion and brand linkage, before Subaru’s stick-wielding pup came out tops.
Aside, from Subaru and one or two others, there’s a distinct whiff of root canal surgery about many of the top ten, but that could also be argued for the majority of TV ads.
The rest of the top spots are taken out by FMCG (Fast-Moving Consumer Goods) brands, although in previous leaderboards tech players have fared well, see Groupon in 2018 and Samsung in 2017. Likewise, in the UK, Maltesers took out the top spot, alongside other FMCGs.
When To Use YouTube Bumper Ads?
Bumper ads are mostly a branding vehicle, and alone are questionably effective.
First introduced three years ago, bumper ads are designed to be add-ons to skippable YouTube TrueView ad campaigns. Popular with start-ups like Grammarly.
As more marketers investigate ‘full-funnel’ digital marketing strategies, branding tactics, like bumper ads, are growing in relevancy.
Hence, although they were more geared towards brands initially, performance advertisers are increasingly tying into their ad funnels.
That said, nailing an effective ad in six seconds is challenging.
There is no secret sauce for creative success, however, YouTube does suggest a creative decision making framework snappily referred to as ABCD below:
- Attract: Draw attention from the beginning
- Frontload your story arc
- Use familiar faces
- Build for sound on
- Brand: Integrate your brand naturally & meaningfully
- Get branding in early for recall or later for consideration
- Try to show your brand or product in natural usage
- Audio mentions of a brand are associated with increased brand lift
- Connect: Connect with the viewer through emotion & storytelling
- Increased Watchtime correlates with consideration
- Humour and suspense are associated with higher ad recall
- 95% of YouTube ads are watched with sound on
- Direct: Clearly state what you want the viewer to do
- Clear calls to action drive brand lift, even if no action is taken
- Use YouTube’s interactive platform features
YouTube: Best Underexploited Digital Marketing Opportunity in 2019
YouTube video ads are highly effective if implemented correctly.
It’s TrueView video ads set the standard in online video advertising, with even Facebook drawing ‘inspiration’ from the feature in 2018, with the launch of Facebook ThruPlay.
TrueView for Action video ads have been revelationary for direct marketers. While improvements on YouTube targeting via Custom Intent audiences, now allow advertisers to tie in Google search behaviour to video campaigns.
On top of this, cross-over with Google Maps and location tracking, has helped close the loop between watching a YouTube ad and physical footfall for organisations wanting to drive human traffic. Not just clicks.
While adjusting video creative to suit YouTube’s mobile ad formats can be challenging, its smart new features mean it doesn’t have to a be a dog’s life.