Why Six Seconds + Facebook Could…

Facebook announced that six second video ads would be coming to a Smartphone near you.
This could be the biggest advance in video advertising, and here’s why…
YouTube’s pre-roll was the original video ad platform at scale. YouTube did what was easy: encourage advertisers to take their existing TV creative assets (15’s, 30’s) and simply stick them right into YouTube pre-roll.
Then came “Skip this ad in 4,3,2,1 seconds” because the pain of waiting through ads before cat videos became a little too onerous (also relieving advertisers from paying if consumers wanted to ad-skip).
But, making 15’s and 30’s as the tollbooth for online video was always a square peg in a round hole. Stats like 63% of users hitting the mute button during pre-roll ads started surfacing…revealing the knee jerk consumer rejection towards pre-roll.
The hole was always round, but the peg never changed.
C3 Metrics began to see forward-thinking advertisers create content specifically for online video pre-roll that wasn’t a copy of TV commercials. These savvy advertisers essentially created soundless, 15 second animated gifs to run on YouTube.
They performed like gang-busters.
“The first time we measured pre-roll video ads which were soundless, and looked like animated gifs,” said C3 Metrics advertising attribution measurement COO Jeff Greenfield. “the attribution was about 2x better than normal pre-roll ads. The client hadn’t seen traffic to their product page like this in two years. When the creative asset finally fit the context of the video experience…results broke the dam.”
The Good Excellent
Facebook, finally realized that slapping 15’s and 30’s into video doesn’t work.
At C3 Metrics, we always felt Facebook would create a seven second video commercial standard. We were off by one second.
The impact: force agencies and creatives to create content specifically designed for pre-roll video, specifically designed for a small screen, specifically designed to get across a message faster than the thumb can swipe. Creating the round peg. Creating opportunity for 2x better attributed performance.
The Bad
Often, video on Facebook runs, and by the time the user gets to the video, it’s already run and simply white space (happening more on Instagram). The advertiser is charged. It approaches the viewability crisis of programmatic display to some extent.
But Facebook’s walled garden of third party measurement still remains.
YouTube still runs third party research tags. Amazon soon to follow.
Facebook’s six seconds (for now) has claimed it’s fame.