Reach, Frequency, and the Impact of Bumper Advertising

In early 2016, the bumper ad (:06) was born through the alpha, beta, hacked, then public timeline before full release. This ad unit was and continues to be revolutionary to the advertising ecosystem. During its infancy, you were only able to buy on a CPV and could scale moderately at the $0.01CPV (Cost Per View), while roughly having a 90% view rate and 80%+ completion % the average CPM sat between $9 and $10. As users of the AdWords platform are not allowed to bid in half-cent increments, bumpers were at a premium. This era before the bumper obtained its own strategy setting, impressions and views were both counted under the CPV pricing model, which helped grow the view count on a channel as a significant inflation tool, but not so much today.

 

Since being promoted out of beta into each user’s AdWords UI, a CPM model is the only way to buy this ad unit allowing media buyers to bid lower than the nine to ten dollar range we were forced into with only a CPV pricing option applied. Currently, my early 2017 bids have been between four and seven dollars depending on advertiser, seasonality, and audience scalability which is a pretty significant discount between 20-30%.  Moreover, the creation of this ad unit is a crack at the shorter form opportunities available on Snapchat, Twitter, Vine (dead), and Facebook. I am a firm believer in this ad unit for both brand and DR advertisers who have both proved to be more efficient with this type of ad placement included in their media mix.

 

While many variables affect campaign performance, as marketers we’ve split most advertising strategy into two different buckets, Direct Response, and Brand. Below I will show how each of these can take true advantage of a bumper strategy, but understand these methodologies can be applied interchangeably to both core strategies.
Direct Response (DR) – When we are trying to convert users with a bumper we do what many others do and provide a clear call to actions specifically limited time offers as the ad unit itself at 6 seconds’ max is a limited ad. Click Through Rates while lower on average in comparison to long form, in some cases you find that users click on the bumper at a higher propensity. The bumper is powerful because of its video and non-skippable and provides a clear reminder or introduction to the brand. Bumpers are incredibly powerful from a retargeting perspective for a variety of reasons (listed below). Bumper Media is having more of an impact for lower ticketed items (ex: apps) however with my experience working with higher ticket items and a longer purchase cycle; bumpers play a critical role conversion.

7 Reasons why retargeting with bumpers is a great value.

 

  1. Cost Effective – At a fraction of a long form unit, you can reach targeted users at a very efficient cost. More importantly, when leveraging retargeting and reaching users who have already been exposed to an ad, you are adding a frequency point on exposed users at a fraction of the cost
  2. Forced View & Six Seconds – We’ve been conditioned as TV and digital video watchers to expect:60,120,15, and :30-second ads. YouTube just moved away from their :30 forced because users have a choice. With a six-second ad, YouTube is again leveraging the platform to help the advertiser and user meet in the middle of the content relationship. Ultimately better audience sentiment from your brand in a better trade of time for content
  3. Creative Wear Out – With a different creative, you won’t have to retarget with the same video users see the first time. As consumers, we know how much we hate when advertisers don’t know what a “frequency cap” is
  4. Easy to develop – If you already have a long-form spot, there’s got to be a 6-second clip that you could pull combined with some quick video art or leverage the cards, and CTA overlay could provide an excellent way to convert users
  5. Brand – When we brand our product or service, we find ourselves locked into the audience and how and where we will reach them. Therefore, we need platforms that can scale while providing creative flexibility to test and understand user behavior and responses. While you don’t learn much from bumpers from a view metric perspective, brand advertisers obtain value in driving an immense amount of reach and frequency from a product introduction and retargeting perspective.
  6. Product Introduction – While 6 seconds isn’t long enough to give a full production introduction, how to use, and why you should buy. 6 seconds is long enough to engage, promote, and push a consumer to website or social platform to obtain more information. In this scenario and advertiser must have the strategy buttoned up and help the user get all the information necessary in the next phase (after the click or organic search).
  7. Retargeting – Any brand advertiser will tell you how great frequency is when branding a product. People needed to be introduced and touched multiple time before conversion, and while this does depend on the audience and where these users are in the funnel, many brand advertisers use bumpers to retarget for frequency while testing between 5 and 10 of these spots to gauge user response and tweak where necessary.

 

Regardless of strategy this ad unit was born in 2016 and continues to be undervalued and underutilized a year later. From experience, the impact is exponential if initiated correctly. At the bare minimum, the learning and understanding of how 6-second ads work will have increased benefit in the future of advertising as viewing fragmentation will continue, and users will navigate to the platform that provides the best media consumption experience.

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