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The Power of 6-Second Video Ads: Types, Tips, and Inspiring Examples

Updated: Feb 13

Learn how 6-second video ads can boost your brand's impact. Explore short form video advertising effectiveness, types, and inspiring examples!

In the age of video marketing, 6-second video ads, often referred to as short-form video advertising, have emerged as one of the most efficient and creative ways for brands to connect with new audiences and maintain consumer engagement. These concise 6-second video ads are not just a trend but a powerful marketing tool that reacts swiftly to capture attention and drive results. If your brand wants to reach its target market effectively and creatively, then 6-second video ads are the way to go.

In this blog, we'll uncover how using videos on social media can be cost-effective and make your brand more popular.

What Is Pre-Roll Video?

Pre-roll video refers to short video clips that play automatically before the main content, such as online videos, streaming services, or social media. It's a potent tool for engaging your target audience and delivering your message effectively. The primary goal of a pre-roll video is to capture the viewer's attention and convey your brand's message succinctly.

Pre-roll video typically lasts from 5 to 15 seconds, making it concise yet impactful. It offer a golden opportunity for businesses to grab the viewer's attention right from the start and convey their message swiftly.

This format is a part of the broader concept of in-stream advertising, and it's an influential way to reach a specific audience and raise brand awareness. Pre-roll videos offer businesses and brands the opportunity to leverage their creative storytelling and visual content to connect with potential customers before they watch their intended video content.

They can introduce a product, service, or brand in a visually appealing and concise manner. In a world where audience attention spans are increasingly limited, pre-roll videos are a potent tool to make your message heard and seen.

What are 6-second Ads Called?

Six-second ads, often referred to as "bumper ads," are a fast advertising format that has gained popularity in recent years. These brief but impactful video ads are designed to convey your message in just six seconds, making them perfect for the fast ever-decreasing attention spans in the digital era. Bumper ads are typically non-skippable, which means viewers must watch the entire six seconds.

In these short ads, businesses and brands need to be creative and clear. You must get the viewer's attention and leave a lasting impression. They are an excellent way to tease a product, highlight a brand's unique features, or build brand recognition.

6-second video ads or bumper ads are particularly well-suited for mobile users who are often on the go and may not have the patience to watch longer ads. They’re so short ensuring that viewers can quickly consume the content without feeling interrupted. These small but powerful ads can be a great part of your advertising plan.

Are 6-Second Video Ads Effective?

Absolutely! Short-form video advertising is a fantastic choice for businesses and brands looking to get their message across quickly and effectively. Here are eight compelling reasons why they're highly effective:

1. High Engagement

People are often too busy to take the time out of their day to watch a full-length video. This is when 6-second videos are so effective, as the format allows the brand to keep people engaged and interested. The ad formats are concise and easy to digest, and they allow viewers to react or approve of your message with a simple click.

2. Cost-Efficiency

Shorter ads cost less to produce, and the platform charges for a shorter ad duration. This means you can produce and run more ads, increasing your reach and brand exposure. This can save your brand money while delivering results. This short form of video advertising is a great choice for smaller businesses.

3. Increased Retention

While you might assume shorter ads have lower retention rates, 6-second ads often surprise by keeping viewers engaged until the end. These 6-second video ads leave a strong impression, which can lead to improved recall and a greater chance of the viewer remembering your brand or message.

4. Mobile-First Advertising

Most social media and YouTube traffic comes from mobile devices and mobile users often have shorter attention spans, making 6-second ads perfect for capturing their attention. 6-second ads are perfectly suited for mobile screens, ensuring a seamless viewing experience. Also, it is ideal for on-the-go marketing.

5. Boosts Brand Awareness

Short ads can effectively boost brand awareness. A well-crafted 6-second ad can deliver a memorable message, helping your brand stick in viewers' minds. Consistency and repetition in these short ads can reinforce your brand image.

6. Reaching a Larger Audience

The 6-second ads quickly hit social media and YouTube users, exposing the brand to millions of potential customers who want their attention span fulfilled. These videos are a great way to connect with an audience that is actively using social media and YouTube.

7. Reaching the Right Audience

Platforms like social media and YouTube offer advanced targeting options, ensuring that your 6-second ads reach the right audience. This targeting capability maximizes the effectiveness of your ad campaigns.

8. High Response Rates

6-second video ads are an effective way to get your content noticed. Because viewers are more likely to watch the entire 6-second ad, you have a better chance of getting a response or engagement, such as clicks or conversions.

Are Social Media Ads Effective?

Yes, social media ads are incredibly effective. Here's why:

In today's digital age, social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn are where people spend a significant portion of their online time. These platforms offer a treasure trove of data on user preferences, demographics, and behaviors. This allows businesses to target their audience with precision. This targeted approach ensures that your short-form video ads are seen by the right people at the right time.

Moreover, the nature of short-form video content fits perfectly with the fast-scrolling habits of social media users. The auto-play feature on many platforms ensures that your video ads start playing as users scroll through their feeds, increasing visibility. The power of social media lies in its reach, engagement, and shareability – your ads can go viral, significantly increasing your brand's exposure.

By employing short-form video advertising on social media, you can tap into the benefits of both mediums. The combination of short-form video advertising and social media platforms forms a potent alliance that can skyrocket your brand's success.

In addition to the compelling advantages of video ads, there's exciting news that underlines their effectiveness in modern marketing. According to Social Media Today, a recent study has revealed a rising trend in response rates to 6-second video advertisements, aligning with current consumption trends. This is a game-changer for businesses and brands looking to connect with their target audience.

If you're hungry for knowledge and eager to boost your brand's online presence, read our blog post "10 Facebook Video Tips and Tricks for Maximum Engagement" and "12 Tips for Successful Video Marketing That Drives Results." These informative blog posts will equip you with the know-how to captivate your audience on Facebook and harness the full potential of video marketing.

What are Skippable Video Ads?

Skippable video ads are a type of online advertising format that allows viewers to skip the ad after a certain number of seconds, usually five seconds. These ads are designed to respect the viewer's time and choice. It offers them the flexibility to engage with the content they want to watch or skip the ad to proceed immediately. For businesses and brands, skippable video ads can be a cost-effective way to reach a wide audience. This ensures that the ad's full duration is only viewed by those who find it engaging or relevant. This approach enables businesses to target their audience effectively, as they are more likely to interact with content they voluntarily watch.

What is Unskippable Ads?

Unskippable ads, also known as non-skippable video ads, are online video advertisements that viewers cannot skip. They are played in their entirety before the viewer can access the intended video content. Unskippable ads typically range from 15 to 30 seconds in duration, and sometimes longer. These ads are a way for businesses and brands to ensure their message reaches the audience without interruption. While unskippable ads can be effective for brand awareness, they need to be carefully crafted to maintain viewer engagement, as viewers have no option but to skip them.

How Long Are Unskippable Video Ads?

Unskippable video ads on platforms like YouTube are typically 15 to 20 seconds in duration. This short duration is intentional, ensuring that the viewer gets the brand message without feeling overly inconvenienced. However, it's long enough for the brand or business to create awareness and convey a concise message.

Why Are YouTube Ads Now Unskippable?

YouTube occasionally runs unskippable ads to ensure that advertisers can convey their message without interruption and maintain a consistent revenue stream. YouTube uses a combination of ad formats, including skippable and non-skippable ads, to balance the viewer experience and the revenue generation. This mix allows content creators and advertisers to reach their intended audiences effectively.

Non-Skippable YouTube Ads Specs

Non-skippable YouTube ads are typically 15-20 seconds long, which is shorter than older non-skippable ads that used to be 30 seconds. These ads can appear before, during, or after a video and are often optimized for mobile viewing.

Businesses and brands can choose to have these ads shown to viewers for various campaign objectives.

YouTube offers options for advertisers to target specific demographics and interests to maximize the impact of their non-skippable ads. Keep in mind that while these ads cannot be skipped, it's essential to create engaging and compelling content to maintain viewer interest and achieve your advertising goals.

Social Media Video Ad Specs

When it comes to promoting your brand or business on social media platforms through video ads, it's essential to follow specific guidelines to ensure your content appears as intended. Each platform has its unique requirements, but here are some general guidelines.

  • For Facebook, video ads are typically recommended to be 240 minutes or less, with a maximum file size of 10 GB.

  • Instagram video ads are typically recommended to be less than 1 minute, with a maximum file size of 4 GB.

  • On Twitter, videos should be between 2 seconds and 2 minutes and 20 seconds, with a maximum file size of 512 MB.

  • For TikTok, video ads can be up to 60 seconds long, and the video aspect ratio should be 9:16 with a maximum file size of 500 MB.

  • LinkedIn suggests video ads between 3 seconds and 30 minutes, with a maximum file size of 200 MB.

These specifications ensure that your video content is displayed correctly and performs optimally on each platform.

What are Rewarded Video Ads?

Rewarded video ads are a creative and effective advertising format used in mobile apps and games. These ads allow users to choose to watch a short video in exchange for a reward.

An example of this is in-app currency, extra lives, or premium content. This voluntary engagement makes rewarded video ads a win-win for both businesses and users.

Brands get a chance to showcase their products or services, and users get something valuable in return. This format has gained popularity because it offers a non-intrusive way to reach potential customers and keeps users engaged with the app.

Do Video Ads Actually Work?

Absolutely, video ads do work! Advertising is a vital tool for businesses to raise awareness, attract customers, and generate sales. It's not just about selling a product; it's also about building a brand and connecting with your audience.

Video ads work by reaching potential customers, conveying your message, and influencing their purchasing decisions. The effectiveness of an ad campaign depends on various factors, including targeting the right audience, creating compelling content, and measuring the results. When done correctly, ads can have a significant impact on brand visibility and revenue.

Curious to learn more about crafting the perfect tone and mood for your video ads? Check out the blog post, "Crafting the Perfect Tone and Mood Video Guide." This comprehensive guide will provide you with valuable insights and practical tips to create video content that resonates with your audience, evokes the right mood and emotions, and leaves a lasting impression.

Why Are Video Ads More Effective?

Video ads are more effective than other ad formats for several reasons.

  • First, they capture attention quickly and engage the audience on both visual and auditory levels. Videos can tell a story and evoke emotions, making them memorable.

  • Second, video ads can convey complex messages in a short time, and they often have a higher click-through rate compared to static ads.

  • Lastly, with the rise of video-sharing platforms and social media, video ads can be easily shared, increasing their reach. Their dynamic nature allows for creativity and personalization, enabling businesses to tailor messages to specific audiences.

How Long Should Video Ads Be?

The ideal length for video ads can vary depending on the platform and the goals of your campaign. As a general guideline, consider the following:

1. Short-Form Video Ads (under 15 seconds)

These are great for capturing quick attention, especially on platforms like TikTok, Facebook, and Instagram Stories. They work well for concise messages or teasers.

2. Mid-Length Video Ads (15-30 seconds)

This is a versatile length that works on most platforms, including YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter. You can convey more information while maintaining viewer engagement.

3. Long-Form Video Ads (30-60 seconds)

Longer ads are suitable for in-depth storytelling and explaining complex products or services. These are often seen on YouTube and some other video-sharing platforms.

Remember that the key to success is to create video content that is engaging, relevant, and tailored to your target audience. The length of the video should align with the depth of the message you want to convey and the preferences of your audience.

5 Types of Video Ads

1. Pre-roll Video Ads

These are brief video clips that play before the main content (e.g., YouTube videos). They grab your audience's attention right from the start, just like 6-second video ads, making them an excellent choice to deliver a concise message quickly.

2. In-stream Video Ads

These video ads pop up while you're watching a video, often in the middle of the content. They usually disrupt the content briefly and can be skippable or non-skippable. Skippable in-stream ads align with the 6-second video advertisement.

3. Out-Stream Video Ads

Out-stream video ads don't rely on existing video content. They can be found within articles or on social media, auto-playing without sound. Grab your viewers' attention right away to encourage them to enable sound or watch the full ad.

4. In-Banner Video Ads

In-banner video ads live within standard banner ad spaces. They play when a user scrolls over or clicks on the banner. Keep it short and engaging to make the most impact.

5. Post-Roll Video Ads

These ads play at the end of a video and are usually the last thing viewers see. They're often used for branding or to promote related content.

5 Viral Video Ad Examples

Viral video ads are like the golden ticket for businesses and brands. When a video goes viral, it means it spreads like wildfire on the internet, reaching millions of viewers. Here are some examples of viral video ads from popular brands that caught the internet's attention:

1. Old Spice - "The Man Your Man Could Smell Like"

Old Spice hit the jackpot with this quirky ad featuring the Old Spice Guy. It's humorous, and unexpected and was an instant hit, leading to countless parodies and memes.

2. Dove - "Real Beauty Sketches"

Dove's campaign promoting self-esteem and self-worth was heartwarming. It depicted women describing themselves to a forensic sketch artist and then how others saw them. The contrast struck a chord with viewers.

3. Blendtec - "Will It Blend?"

Blendtec's viral series of videos showed their blender pulverizing everything from iPhones to golf balls. It showcased the product's durability and entertained at the same time.

4. Pepsi - "Uncle Drew"

Pepsi transformed NBA star Kyrie Irving into an old man (Uncle Drew) and sent him to surprise people on the basketball court. The reactions were genuine and hilarious, making it a viral sensation.

5. Dollar Shave Club - "Our Blades Are F***ing Great"

Dollar Shave Club's CEO, Michael Dubin, introduced the brand with a hilarious, low-budget ad that resonated with viewers looking for affordable grooming products.

Learn how 6-second video ads can boost your brand's impact. Explore short form video advertising effectiveness, types, and inspiring examples!

5 In-Banner Video Ad Examples

In-banner video ads are those videos you often see while browsing websites or using mobile apps. They are usually in the form of banners and auto-play when the banner is in view. Here are examples from popular brands:

1. Airbnb

Airbnb uses in-banner video ads effectively to showcase stunning travel destinations and accommodations. These videos often feature happy travelers enjoying their stays, encouraging viewers to explore Airbnb's offerings.

2. Google

Google frequently uses in-banner videos to promote its various products like Google Workspace, Google Drive, and Google Meet. They provide quick explanations and features of these services within the ad.

3. Coca-Cola

Coca-Cola's in-banner video ads often center around happiness, unity, and sharing a Coke. These short clips are known for their catchy jingles and feel-good moments.

4. Nike

Nike uses in-banner videos to showcase its latest sportswear and sneakers. Dynamic visuals of athletes in action grab the viewer's attention and inspire them to check out Nike's product offerings.

5. Amazon

Amazon utilizes in-banner video ads to highlight its Prime Video service, Amazon Echo devices, and Amazon Fresh grocery delivery. These videos make it easy for viewers to learn about Amazon's diverse offerings.

5 Short-Form Video Ad Examples

Ember, a leading brand in the world of smart temperature control, released a captivating commercial that showcases its innovative product. The short video ad begins with a warm and cozy scene, featuring someone enjoying a cup of coffee or tea. As the camera zooms in on the Ember smart mug, viewers are introduced to the core concept of maintaining the perfect temperature for your favorite drink.

The video effectively demonstrates how Ember's smart technology keeps drinks at your desired temperature, allowing the viewer to connect with the idea of enjoying a hot drink, sip after sip. The soothing background music adds to the emotional appeal.

Businesses can learn from this example by understanding the importance of a strong visual narrative and evoking emotions that resonate with their audience. Ember's commercial is an excellent showcase of how simplicity and warmth can create a memorable short-form video ad.

Short-Form Video Ad Examples - Ember Commercial

The "Getting Back" advertisement is a powerful message, focusing on the theme of resilience and hope. The ad features individuals from different walks of life, each facing their unique challenges. Through compelling visuals and heartfelt stories, the message of overcoming adversity and getting back shines through.

The use of real people and their stories makes the video relatable and inspiring. It encourages viewers to believe in their strength and the possibility of bouncing back from setbacks.

Businesses aiming to create impactful video content can take a cue from this ad by harnessing the strength of human stories. By connecting with real people and their struggles, brands can foster a sense of authenticity and relatability, forging a deeper bond with their audience.

Short-Form Video Ad Examples - Getting Back Advertisement

Cuisinart's brand video is a culinary delight! This short ad artfully showcases their kitchen appliances and tools in action. With close-up shots of food being prepared and the effortless operation of Cuisinart products, it leaves viewers hungry for more.

The video excels at highlighting the product's features and how they make cooking a breeze. The upbeat music in the background adds energy and enthusiasm, making it engaging from start to finish.

For businesses in the culinary industry, the lesson here is to make your products the star. Showcase how they solve problems, save time, and enhance the overall experience. Use a catchy soundtrack to amplify the excitement and make viewers feel like they're part of the culinary journey.

Short-Form Video Ad Examples - Cuisinart Brand Video

NEC's 2022 brand video "Always Behind You" is a masterclass in establishing trust and reliability. The video combines visuals of cutting-edge technology, happy customers, and NEC's global reach to convey a strong message of support and partnership.

This video emphasizes the importance of consistency and commitment in building a brand reputation. The inclusion of real-world scenarios and heartfelt customer interactions demonstrates NEC's genuine dedication to its clients.

Businesses aspiring to communicate reliability can draw inspiration from NEC's approach. Focus on demonstrating your company's unwavering commitment to your customers, showcasing real-world success stories to build trust, and highlight the broader impact of your brand on society.

Short-Form Video Ad Examples - NEC - "Always Behind You"

Forcite, a trailblazing brand in the world of smart motorcycle helmets, launched a gripping 15-second brand film cutdown in 2022. This ad is a condensed masterpiece, efficiently capturing the essence of Forcite's innovation and style.

For brands looking to create short and impactful video films, the Forcite video ad provides a perfect example of delivering a clear brand message within a limited timeframe. It's a reminder that in the world of short video content, every second counts. Make sure your product's unique selling points are front and center, and craft a product story or brand story video that resonates with your target audience in just a few brief moments.

Short-Form Video Ad Examples - Forcite Video Ad


In conclusion, the rise of 6-second video ads marks a significant shift in the world of digital marketing. These brief, attention-grabbing video snippets have proven their worth in capturing the ever-changing attention spans of today's audiences. The importance of embracing this format is underscored by its ability to convey a brand’s message quickly and effectively, making it a valuable tool for businesses and brands looking to engage their target audience.

At Social Motion Video Production Company, we recognize the importance of 6-second video ads in the modern marketing landscape. Our expertise lies in crafting creative and compelling video ads tailored to the unique needs of businesses and brands. What sets us apart is our commitment to delivering results with speed and precision. We understand that in today's fast-paced digital world, time is of the essence, and our video turnaround in weeks, not months, ensures that your brand stays relevant and timely in the eyes of your audience.

For businesses and brands seeking to make a powerful impact with short-form videos, look no further. Our services are designed to help you harness the potential of this dynamic medium and elevate your marketing efforts.

Contact us today for more information.

About the Author

Michael Arking is the President and Co-founder of Social Motion, a leading video agency working with global brands including MARS, Nestle Sciences, and Panasonic. Contact Michael to learn more about how to leverage your video content for maximum impact.


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