You are currently viewing Saying a Lot in Six Seconds: Crafting an Effective Six-Second YouTube Ad

Saying a Lot in Six Seconds: Crafting an Effective Six-Second YouTube Ad

Sometimes they say a little goes a long way. Sometimes they also say, time is money. When it comes to the six-second YouTube ad, both are true. It’s possible to say a lot in six seconds, when you opt for a video ad format that users can’t skip over. That’s what the six-second YouTube ad offers.

A quick recap of YouTube ad formats

The six-second “bumper” ad that we are focusing on in this blog is just one of a couple of different options.

Skippable in-stream ads

These play before, during or after other videos on YouTube and can be seconds to minutes in length. Viewers have the option to skip after five seconds.

Non-skippable in-stream ads

These also play before, during or after other videos and are a max of 15 seconds in length. Viewers do not have the option to skip the ad.

Bumper ads

Again, these play before, during or after other videos, and they are limited to six seconds in length. Viewers do not have the option to skip the ad.

There are also video discovery ads, outstream ads and masthead ads. Click to read more about those.

Benefits of the six-second YouTube ad

Why opt for the non-skippable six-second ad over others? Two of the main benefits are right there in the name. For one, since it’s only six seconds, you don’t have to invest too much time or too many of your own resources in the ad creation itself. Secondly, since it’s non-skippable, YouTube users will consume your content no matter what (if they are intent on watching the video that follows).

Quick bursts of information like this are ideal for general brand awareness and reach.

Saying a lot in six seconds

The thought of cramming your brand’s message into six seconds may seem a bit intimidating. However, we’ve outlined some best practices for crafting an effective ad in YouTube’s short format.

Mention your brand off the bat

You don’t have much time, so be sure to put your brand center stage—ASAP. Say your brand name, show your logo—however you can start the association quickly.

Simplify your story

Now’s not the time for a multi-tiered plot. Simplify down to the most critical pieces of information you want to convey. For example, if you want to highlight a particular service or product or showcase an offer—get to the point. If you want to simply generate brand awareness, hammer in your brand name, location and website. Don’t waste time on unnecessary words.

Rely on understood information

To help simplify, remember that some things do not need to be spelled out for the viewer. Save time by relying on “understood information,” i.e., cultural references and conventions that are generally well-known.

Focus on audio

According to Buffer, 95 percent of YouTube video is played with the sound on. Consider this stat and use music and/or voiceovers to your advantage in your six-second YouTube ad.

Pick up the pace in editing

This means using showcasing multiple shots into your short six seconds. The slower pace of shot transitions can be saved for longer-format video ads.


There’s certainly an art to crafting an effective six-second YouTube ad. With limited time real estate, it comes down to highlighting the most critical pieces of information to help you achieve your marketing goal while conveying your message in a way that will appeal to viewers.

Need help with your six-second YouTube ads? The McNutt & Partners team is here to help!

McNutt & Partners is a full-service advertising and digital marketing agency. Contact us today for your marketing needs! Call 334-521-1010, or visit our contact page.

Leave a Reply