Today, the consumer landscape and content consumption habits continue to change drastically. Skipping ads is the norm and unskippable ads are hastily ignored. Mid-stream ads are worse as they disturb the viewing experience, leaving a bad taste for consumers. Ads are intrusive in nature, but when they also intrude on Instagram and YouTube, brands need to think of softer approaches.
The power of creative sits in truly understanding the space and making the first 5 seconds work harder and smarter than ever before.
Two Ads I Like
The first I like is the Geico Crushed series. It starts with smartly managing the viewer’s attention with an intriguing line, “The following ad is being condensed for your viewing convenience.”
This immediately shifts the consumers’ mindset to accept and tolerate the intrusion. It basically says, “We know you hate pre-roll ads so we’re doing you a favour by making this short and entertaining.” A quick dialogue ensues to deliver a clear message of saving money on car insurance.
What’s not to like? The brand logo (as big as clients usually want them) crushed the entire ad to make it feel shorter than it was. The dialogues were hard sell, but the fact that they were rushed to finish the ad makes them soft and watchable. You don’t feel like you’re being interrupted at all.
The understanding of the platform, quirky delivery of the message, and being unobtrusive makes this series memorable.
Loving “IT” by Burger King
Technically this is not an ad, but I love how it was carefully placed, with immaculate timing. Burger King found the perfect opportunity to take ‘trolling’ to the next level, without even mentioning its competitor.
This is a marketing stunt done right. They turned “IT”, the horror film of the year, into their longest ad ever. It didn’t matter if they did it in just one cinema. It generated worldwide buzz and was widely discussed on social media because it resonated with their target audience: young online natives with an interest in pop-culture. This is a prime example of relevancy.
I can still feel the burn on Ronald’s behalf, even though he’s invisible these days.
One I don’t like
I have a profound hate for mid-roll ads. I’m sure everyone does. I remember watching a NatGeo video on Facebook and it was about how stealthy leopards can be before pouncing on its prey. As it was about to gloriously pounce in slo-mo, a mid-roll ad popped up, completely ruining the viewing experience for me. The silly countdown before the ad didn’t help either. I don’t remember what ad it was, and I didn’t bother finishing the video as I scrolled down to other content.
Most consumers are impatient and will most likely end up hating your brand for the unnecessary intrusion. The first 5 seconds can still matter depending on what you show or say, but it needs to be contextualized. Yes, it’s expensive to do it all the time but it’s also very costly when the brand becomes irrelevant.
There used to be a saying that ‘content is king’. But in this day and age, ‘context‘ is king.