Way back in the Fall of 2013, Dunkin’ Donuts made a 6 video ad, created on the Vine for a Monday Night Football spot on ESPN television.

It was not taken particularly seriously.

Fast Forward To Faster Times

Then, at the beginning of this year, Google publicly defended YouTube’s sales and support of the 6-second “bumper” video advertising format, but it seemed like it an older brother keeping his siblings from being bullied. However, as the months rolled by, we have seen brands ranging from Michelin to Burger King, and Netflix even used adaptive and responsive “pre-roll” ads to relaunch Friends back into popularity.

Then, near the end of August, Fox Sports announced that they were going to incorporate 6 seconds ads into broadcasts of NFL, MLB, and MLS games. While there have always been short ads running from time to time on broadcast television, this was a breakthrough for such a large network to incorporate what others have seen as still a theoretical advertising concept.

The Briskly Moving Dead

If an argument had been made that the platforms on the internet that have been utilizing 6-second ads and broadcast sports viewers are more easily converted than traditional broadcast viewers through marketing, October’s announcement by AMC, should have ended it.

AMC announced it was creating a new, isolated slot for a single 6-second ad, exactly at 9 PM, just in time to catch all the DVRs and streaming viewers. This marked the first time 6-second ads will appear on a regular series, regular being a bit of an understatement regarding the popularity of AMC’s The Walking Dead. To reiterate the value that these short ads hold, the buyer of the ad spots was Microsoft. The Walking Dead is one of TV’s most expensive for advertisers. Reportedly, a package of ads that runs across an evening’s worth of broadcasts on AMC is valued at about $415,000.

Not Just A Guessing Game

Andrew Keller, global creative director of Facebook’s Creative Shop, recently was interviewed on November 3rd about the upcoming trends for advertising and its ties with social media. Here are some takeaways from the Q&A:

  1. Instagram Stories is going to be the thing we will see a lot of. Facebook talks broadly about a framework for work across Facebook platforms: 70-20-10. Focus 70 percent of your efforts into short on-the-go mobile, 20 percent into interactive pieces, and 10 percent into immersive, lean-back spaces.
  2. Advertisers can be more idea-first rather than asset-first.
    Facebook is seeing critical mass build around six seconds. There are other media spaces that are doing six seconds, as well. The industry is looking for a little bit of consistency and six seconds is that opportunity.
  3. Keller encourages brands to find the best mediums and to look for the best places for content, and leverage content across platforms as necessary.
  4. Small businesses that don’t necessarily have creative agencies and feel challenged making ads. Facebook is working on the ability to build ads on mobile for small businesses and brands.
  5. The common theme Keller said he hears from agencies and brands is “six seconds”. They understand people are processing images in 30 milliseconds and that they’re getting a lot out of these pieces of content.

But Keller also brings up the need for very clear briefs. Unlike longer pieces of content, shorter video is generally all about trying to be clear about saying one thing. The need to drive clarity is one of the things that comes up.

How do creatives make sure they get simple enough briefs to develop the kind of work they need in the mobile space?

They need to make sure they are talking mobile from the beginning.

What Does This Mean For Your Business?

Publications ranging from AdWeek to AdAge, The Verge, Business Insider, Forbes and Fortune Magazine all expect 6 second or short form ads, to be the next “big push” in media marketing for 2018.

But, as with most successful popular products, you want to be ahead of the curve when it comes to advertising and marketing. Often, due to time, budget or even platform constraints, being early adapters isn’t always feasible. Fortunately, this short form branding trend is not one of those times. With the affordability and accessibility of high-quality video production that we have today, developing content is easily within your brand’s reach.

That being said, successful advertising comes from intentionality towards branding and representing your brand authentically. With just 6 seconds to tell a story, draw attention, and generate interest, it is more important than ever to have all the elements of your brand and customer journey align. From logo to lettering, colors to collateral, your website, your brand voice, your social media, your re-marketing efforts, everything should have a cohesive feel with intentionality behind its creation.

If you aren’t sure why the elements of your brand are the way they are, or you inherited branding that nobody can explain the heart behind, or you just simply have been putting off investing into your brand for a while, now is the time for a change.

At Revere, we work on the “why”. We work with you to tell a story that engages your customers, your industry, and your own team. Our process will help your brand show the best version of itself to the right audience and through the right channels. Our branding team has the B2B and B2C experience in a wide spectrum of industries and can help your message be heard above the crowd when it comes to cutting-edge marketing initiatives like 6-second videos.