Clever YouTube Pre-roll Ads That Were Hard To Skip

By the Editor In Digital Marketing, Thunder Thursday No comments

We all know how disrupting and annoying the pre-roll adverts on YouTube videos are and although they tend to be fairly short we often find ourselves hitting the skip button. Research has shown that 94% of people skip pre-roll adverts, that is why it is so important for companies to get their point across in the compulsory first 5 seconds of a video.  Furthermore a recent study by PewDiePie (YouTube star) has stated that at least 40% of viewers use ad block when watching a video on YouTube.

In order to combat the above marketers and advertisers are having to make the first 5 seconds of an advert so clever that you almost don’t want to hit the skip button. These types of adverts really are rare as they have to be relevant to the user, compelling to watch and creative. Therefore we thought it would be worth sharing with you our favourite pre-roll adverts that have aired over the years.

  • Burger Kings User Targeted Pre-roll Advert

Burger King have made it clear that they are well aware that people hate pre-roll adverts and in order to show you this they launched the “Burger King Anti Pre-Roll” campaign. The campaign included over 64 unique adverts that were based on whatever the viewer was about to watch. The videos were placed before things like the Anchorman 2 trailer or a Jimmy Fallon clip. Check out the case study below to see the campaign in action.

  • Australia’s Missing Persons Pre-roll

The Australian Police teamed up with VML Australia to create a pre-roll advert that helps locate missing people. The campaign which was titled “5 Seconds To Change a Life” and encouraged users watching the pre-roll advert to either hit yes, which indicates that they had seen a missing person, or no, which skips the advert and indicates they haven’t seen a missing person. The advert used geo-location targeting to show you the missing person nearest to your location.

Over 1.2 million people saw the advert in over 5 days and 238 people clicked yes indicating they had spotted a missing person.

  • John Cooper Works Pre-Roll race

This is the most recent of all the pre-roll adverts. The advert challenges viewers to try and it the skip button before the new MINI reaches it. The race starts with a countdown and before you know it the car blasts off across the screen as you frantically attempt to hit the skip button. Watch the video below to see the campaign in action.

  • Geico’s Unskippable series

Geico recently launched their “Unskippable” series which cleverly delivers their message in 5 seconds but what happens after those 5 seconds is what makes these campaigns truly funny and unique. The ads will run for 15sec, 30sec and sometimes for even longer. Watch one of the commercials below to see for yourself.

  • Opel Mokka Plays with the skip button

The campaign use’s people’s attention on the skip button to their advantage by making the Opel SUV interact with the skip button as if it were an object. Viewers watch as the SUV crashes into the skip button, avoids the skip button in the dark and even drives over it.

  • Nail Communications Dares Viewers To Push the skip button

Nail Communications attempts to play on viewers soft sides in this campaign. They hooked up a sweet looking puppy to the skip button and then they dare viewers to push the button. At the end of the advert viewers were told that a portion of the money that was made from the campaign went to the ASPCA. The advert had a 26%view rate which isn’t too bad.

All this being said we look forward to seeing how YouTube Red changes the YouTube space in the future and whether or not people see the value in paying for a service that has always been free.