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Five Seconds to Success

Aaron Stoker-Ring

January 19, 2016
Aaron Stoker-Ring

According to Adweek and other venues, 94% of all pre-roll ads are skipped after the first five seconds (with skipping not possible before the five second mark). The good news for brands is that that statistic is not entirely true.

According to the study in question, conducted in 2013 by research firm MetrixLab, 94% of respondents indeed stated that they had skipped pre-rolls. Only 52%, however, did so frequently. That’s no cause for celebration, but it’s also no reason to give up on pre-roll video.

Pre-roll actually offers the client some key advantages compared to other media.  In most cases, you don’t pay for pre-roll if the viewer skips. Another pre-roll plus is that you have five seconds to get a viewer’s attention. Think about it—a captive audience for five whole seconds.  They’re watching it so they can skip. That gives you crucial time to convince them otherwise.

Of course, it’s no easy task to get people’s attention and interest them in your pitch no matter how much time you have. It takes creativity. That’s what I like most about pre-roll.  It forces creativity and then rewards it.

My current favorite example is Geico’s “Unskippable” campaign.  Yes, Geico’s “save 15% on your car insurance” is well known—I know it and I don’t even own a car. And yes, it’s very simple.

But this campaign is actually about the problem of skippable video, and it solves that problem. They have me in five seconds, and then they keep my attention. Just to drive that home, watch the extended cut below.

Five seconds?  Try a little over a minute. If Geico wanted to, they could probably sell me something else in that time.