Six seconds and counting: Optus makes the cut in Google’s global top 20 bumper ads

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An Optus advertisement featuring sprinter Usain Bolt has made Google’s inaugural list of the most popular six-second bumper ads from around the globe, featuring alongside offerings from Samsung, Nike and Coca-Cola.

A teaser for the Australian telco’s 4G Plus network, the Optus ad is one of 20 six-second ads to feature on the ‘YouTube Ads Leaderboard: Bumper ads’ list. The ad, made by creative agency The Works, is ranked 17 on the list.

Topping the list is a Samsung bumper ad for its Galaxy S8 smartphone line. Ads from Corona, Coca-Cola, Duracell, Nike and Revlon also make the cut.

Bumper ads are six-second commercials that brands can run through Google AdWords, often as add-ons to existing campaigns.

How to create a successful bumper ad

Examining what makes a successful six-second bumper ad, Google has delved deeper into the making of Duracell’s ‘Slamtone’ ad and canvassed the opinions of the team behind the campaign.

Duracell vice president of marketing Ramon Velutini explained the ad was part of the media mix for Duracell’s ‘Trust is Power’ brand campaign. The campaign seeks to build a story around Duracell batteries being a product that consumers can trust.

“To tell that story in a meaningful way, we had to account for how people consume media — in shorter bursts and often on mobile,” Velutini commented.

“Using six-second ads to complement our longer hero ads solved for that.

“The challenge was how to champion the product and convey a message of trust in a short amount of time — nailing it required testing and learning. Slamtone performed the best because it paired iconic features — our copper-top imagery and audible slamtone — with a clear brand message.”

Eric Helin, Wieden+Kennedy creative director, said the industry has become accustomed to shorter video lengths and a tendency to equate shorter clips with lower quality. As such it is “a different creative approach that requires different thinking”.

In the case of the Slamtone bumper ad, he stated that it wasn’t a matter of cutting down a 30-second story, but rather creating an entirely new story.

“The time constraint gives you freedom to do things you wouldn’t necessarily do in a longer spot,” Helin stated.

“A key tenet of the Trust is Power campaign was to ‘hero’ the product. So the creative idea for Slamtone and the other bumper ads was to do that in almost absurdly bold ways. The succinctness of six seconds makes the Duracell battery feel larger than life.”

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