YouTube introduces six-second Bumper ads

YouTube announced a new ad format today that’s all about brevity.

In a blog post, Product Manager Zach Lupei said YouTube has been exploring formats that are better-suited for smartphone video watchers. Hence the creation of Bumper ads — video ads that are only six seconds long.

The idea of a really short ad isn’t new — the name suggests that the inspiration comes from those brief bumper videos you see on TV. And it makes sense that as online videos get shorter, ads will follow suit. (It’s not great when you sit through a 30-second pre-roll to get to a video that isn’t much longer.)

At the same time, YouTube is pitching this as a complement, rather than a replacement, to its existing ad formats. The idea is that an advertiser could run a YouTube campaign centered on a longer video, then use the brief Bumper ads to reinforce the message or reach more viewers. And since they’re so short, the Bumpers won’t be skippable.


For example, Atlantic Records used Bumpers to promote the band Rudimental’s second album, with each Bumper highlighting one of the guest musicians. Audi Germany, meanwhile, took a longer video ad and cut it down to smaller snippets.

“We like to think of Bumper ads as little haikus of video ads – and we’re excited to see what the creative community will do with them,” Lupei wrote, adding that they’ll be available to advertisers in May.