6-Second Ads. Is It Enough?

by Miró Cassetta

As attention spans shorten, so do ads. Facebook has been cutting ad length and YouTube recently made an unpopular change: ditching their unskippable 30-second ads in favor of snackable, 6-second ads. If adapting to an 80% cut in time seems extreme, it is. Some companies, such as Duracell and Mars, are even embracing 6-second ads on live TV. But many advertisers and brands are having trouble with it.

“Change in the ad ecosystem takes time,” said Troy Young, president of Hearst Magazines Digital Media. “Six seconds requires an entirely new storytelling mode. Thirties are still common on TV, so they make their way into the digital ecosystem frequently.”

While we understand Mr. Young’s concerns, here at T3 we say bring it on. Shorter ads forces you to convey one super succinct message. Additionally, 6-second videos can easily be extended and repurposed beyond YouTube ads for other standalone videos across social channels. In fact, 4X as many consumers would prefer to watch a video about a product than to read about it.


Optimize for attention spans. 59% of millennials skip YouTube ads after 5 seconds and we can imagine this is true for many audiences. So cater to attention spans and get them the info as quickly as possible. Here are some tips on how to make your 6-second ads most effective:

  • Front load your messaging
  • Pick one, super clear message per video
  • Cut the crap and cut to the chase
  • Use faces in the first few seconds to grab and keep attention
  • More tips from Google

Here are some great examples to learn from:

Miró Cassetta

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