Six Seconds to Shine

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The six-second video is undoubtedly one of the fastest growing trends in modern advertising, but how should advertisers use it to best capture consumer attention? The possibilities are endless, but through the proper combination of focus, relevance and simplicity brands are learning to create the most effective six-second videos to complement their marketing mixes.

This discussion was led by Tanya Dua, Business Insider senior advertising reporter, and featured video advertising leaders Rachel Bien, senior vice president of Blue 449 USA; Stacy Minero, Twitter’s head of content creation; Adam Singolda, founder and chief executive officer of Taboola; and Kaitlin McGirl, Snap’s creative strategy lead.

All speakers quickly shared their support of six-second videos as an effective way to cut through the clutter and grab consumer attention. However, to begin the talk, Singolda offered his belief that six-second advertisements are impactful but have many potential pitfalls for advertisers. If the ultimate goal is to enlighten consumers, Singolda said six-second videos can easily become too simplistic and fail to inform viewers of the product or service.

“I still think there’s a gap in the industry. It’s a better proxy to success, but it’s shorter. How do we not just go for what’s easy, but actually try to educate?” Singolda said.

When asked if there is one platform better than others for implementing six-second videos, Singolda urged advertisers to think about the ultimate goal of the campaign. For instance, while some may opt for skippable videos to prevent consumer frustration, others may choose “unskippable” content to help initiate consumer connection.

As the conversation then turned towards tips and tricks for advertisers, both Minero and McGirl advocated for simplicity. With only six seconds to transmit a message, advertisers have no choice but to deliver immediate action. To help ease this challenge, Bien suggested that brands include a signature element, such as a color or a mascot to aid in rapid consumer recognition.

But while simplicity can be a strong selling point, Singolda warned that the brevity of six-second advertisements does not make consumers more forgiving of mistakes. Consumers tend to expect perfection and must always feel an advertisement’s relevance. According to Bien, this means advertisers using six-second videos need to consider consumers’ emotions and beliefs.

“Do your homework. You have to know your audience, you have to know their behavior and you have to know the context that they live in in that moment,” Bien said.

In terms of actually developing six-second video content, all panelists agreed that creators must use a variety of sources. Relying solely on an in-house agency, for instance, could mean advertisers fail to recognize crucial insights. For example, Minero said Twitter has utilized input from famous Vine users in the past because they offer ideal creator experiences that go unnoticed by most advertisers.

All video advertising experts on the panel gave the audience a clear look at what to do and what to avoid when creating six-second advertisements. But in the end, all agreed that this trend is here to stay in the current age of fragmented consumer attention.

“It’s never been harder to earn attention versus just generate reach, and so simplifying your message in a creative and impactful way is more important than it’s ever been,” Bien said.

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