It’s no secret that attention spans are shortening, for the most part. Younger audiences just aren’t willing to hand their focus over to anything that doesn’t immediately pique their interest and then continue to do so at a rapid pace. That’s what makes video production such a good fit for them. It asks the least of them yet has the power to hook them in and keep them interested.
It can do all that very fast as well, which is a good thing because now, those younger audiences’ ever-shrinking attention spans have spawned the 6-second video ad, aka the bumper. Yes, you read that right: six seconds. It seems that we’ve reached a point at which thirty seconds is simply way too much time to ask of some people.
Actually, we’ve reached a point at which six seconds can be too much to ask for if you don’t spend it wisely. So, read on to learn a little more about the 6-second commercial and for a few tips for creating good ones for yourself.
Why do 6-second commercials work?
The reason behind the birth of these “mini” bumper ads isn’t just that they appeal to the shorter attention spans of younger audiences. Make no mistake, that’s a big part of it, just not all of it. For instance, those same audiences also want content they can engage with on multiple devices multiple times per day and these shorter videos work beautifully across multiple devices.
The same goes for multiple platforms, too. Just as these shorter bumper ads are perfect for viewers using all kind of devices, they’re also perfect for pretty much any platform those viewers may be using on those devices. Think about it, some platforms have length limits and other such parameters, but six seconds is six seconds.
Again, that’s a big pro in today’s landscape. That is, of course, if the videos are made well, which still means producing creative, impressive visuals as well as telling stories that focus on themes and experiences the viewers will find interesting, entertaining, and relatable. That doesn’t change, no matter if the video’s six seconds or sixty minutes.
There’s also just something sexy and suggestive about doing so much in so little time. For a great example, check out the Corona bumper below, but the point is that if you can make a “splash” like this Corona ad and manage to give viewers an idea or feeling about who you are in six seconds, then that alone says something.
Think repurpose and episodic.
While you can never go wrong creating completely original 6-second videos, especially as they continue to grow in purpose and popularity, one of the best parts about this format is the repurposing possibilities it presents. If you’ve got longer videos or you’re making them, then chances are that there will be some opportunities to pull some bumpers out of them.
So, take a close look at the content you have and keep that in mind when creating longer videos moving forward. It can make things a lot easier, and cheaper, and from there, you also need to think carefully about how any of the content you’re creating could possibly function as a series rather than a one-and-done piece.
Again, today’s younger audiences sometimes want content with which they can engage multiple times daily and taking an episodic approach to your 6-second ads could provide them with just that. That way, they won’t ever have to invest a huge amount of their time and attention in your story yet you can still tell them it.
It’s a great way to create buzz and generate some anticipation, too, whether it’s for a new product or service or for an upcoming video, but the point is that taking an episodic approach to your 6-second video ads allows you to tell a continuous story and keep audiences immersed in it the way they prefer.
Some things never change.
Whether it’s crafting stunning visuals or telling compelling stories, some things always need to be present in order for a video to find real success, no matter its length. Another one of those things is originality, which is why it’s so important to try to find your own ways to tell stories within these short parameters.
No one’s saying that you shouldn’t look at the competition and at what’s working in terms of 6-second commercials in general, like the Corona video above, but that doesn’t mean that once you determine what makes those videos work you should simply try to copycat the formula for your own content.
The better bet is to try to weave what works into your own unique concept. Allow those successful, original videos to inspire your own creativity rather than dictate it, because trust us, if you don’t and you simply copy and paste, then viewers will know the difference. Even if they don’t recognize who or what you’re copying, they’ll feel the lack of originality.
And when asking for six seconds of attention from someone is too much, then you better believe that those same people won’t sit around for one millisecond more once they perceive the content they’re watching to be unoriginal. They’ll simply bail and move on to something else.
So many possibilities, so little time…
The bottom line is that more and more of the major platforms and brands are investing in 6-second commercials for a reason, for a lot of reasons actually, and whenever the big boys start rallying around something like that, it’s usually a good idea to follow suit.
The good news is that while six seconds isn’t a lot of time to grab your target audience’s attention and tell your story, it’s also not a lot of time in terms of video production, and less time means less money. See, less time isn’t always a bad thing.
About Us: KVibe Productions, one of the top NJ & NYC video production companies creating video content of all kinds, can handle every aspect of the process. And whether it’s a commercial, a corporate video production, or a feature film, at KVibe, we always create to inspire.