The Secret To Successful Pre-Roll Ads

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Let’s face it: people have been finding ways to avoid advertising since, well, basically the beginning of advertising. In the past, it meant turning the page, changing the station, channel surfing or simply leaving the room. Now, it means skipping pre-roll ads. (You know, those ads that play before YouTube and other digital video).

In the past, big-name brands (think Coca-Cola, Apple and Nike) could place an unskippable :30 ad; however, Google is removing this option next year. (There will still be unskippable :15 and :20 options). That’s a big change for a big platform and will have ripple effects throughout the industry.

YouTube has over 1 billion users who are watching billions of videos each day. And, the platform reaches a large swatch of 18-49 year-olds. That’s a lot of eyeballs — and potential customers. But to fully leverage this opportunity for our clients, there are a few things we keep in mind.

Find Them

It doesn’t matter how great our messaging and creative is if we can’t get it in front of the right audience. Luckily, we’re pretty darn good at that. YouTube has excellent targeting capabilities, and our team of media geniuses knows exactly how to employ those tools to maximize our clients’ results.

Hook Them Quick

Today’s consumers are saturated with ads online. We only have a limited amount of time to grab potential customers’ attention. No easy task in the day of fidget spinners and near-negligible attention spans. But, our all-star creative team is up to the task. (And it helps that we have our own in-house motion graphics/video suite, recording booth and photography studio).

Give Them What They Want

Before placing any ad, we get to know our clients’ customers. Then we deliver a message that speaks to them. Often, our approach is to entertain viewers. After all, entertainment is what they came for. Our ads, while amazing, are standing between the viewer and their content. So, we make our message worth their while.

Tell Them What You Want Them To Hear

All that said, we know better than to sacrifice the brand message for entertainment’s sake. We get to the point ASAP. We just do it in a clever, fun way. It’s all about balance.

Make It Easy For Them

If you want viewers to convert, you have to make the path to purchase completely painless. There’s no better place to do that than online. A simple click can take our clients’ customers directly where we want them to go. That’s why it’s so important to streamline the process and provide a clear call to action. If we’re advertising a product, our ads click through to that product page. If we’re trying to inform a viewer, we develop a dedicated landing page with pertinent information. The long and short of it is: it’s got to be a seamless journey that delivers on the promise of the call to action. Otherwise, potential customers get frustrated and feel like they’ve been tricked.

We Repeat: Hook Them Quick!

Many pre-roll ads allow users to skip the ad after :05 — even though most are :15 – :30 long. That means brands need an agency partner that can weave all the above messaging into just a few moments. Brevity, conciseness, pithiness, quick wit — Those are key to successful pre-roll ads. And they just so happen to be a few of our specialties.

Do We Still Have Your Attention?
Because the digital landscape is ever-evolving, Google continues to add more and more ad options for pre-roll video. We can help you navigate the shifting sands. Get in touch with us — it only takes a second!

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Rob Womack

If there’s anyone who can honestly say, “Been there, done that,” it’s Rob. After traveling the world for seven years in his 20’s, Rob went to LA and started working in film production. Then it was off to New York, where he learned how to program, which eventually brought him back home to Louisville to build websites. At Current360, Rob heads up our in-house production studio, creating all things digital for our clients — videos, commercials, radio spots, and a lot more. 

When he’s at home, Rob likes to create things like homemade kombucha and music.