- YouTube, along with creative agencies including BBDO, Mother and Droga5, is promoting its 6-second video ad format at this year's Sundance Film Festival, according to Adweek.
- The on-site promotion includes 10 6-second films: Five by up-and-coming filmmakers and five by creative agencies. A gallery will also open on Jan. 21 to connect agencies and brands with filmmakers, and there will be a presentation by Lucinda Barlow, YouTube's global marketing director.
- YouTube’s goal is to highlight the value of short-form storytelling, especially in today’s mobile-first marketplace.
YouTube tapping Sundance to promote and pitch its new ad format demonstrates the platform is keen on highlighting, not just the utility of short-form content, but also the creative potential as well. Very short video ads are gaining some traction with brands, in part thanks to the popularity of mobile apps like Snapchat or even the recently re-purposed Vine, which limit video lengths to mere seconds.
Proctor & Gamble is one marketer that has embraced spots significantly shorter than the usual 30- or 60-seconds in length, with Chief Brand Officer Marc Pritchard noting that trimmer run times can address "ad-skipping behavior."
While short ads are harder for consumers to avoid watching in full, they might be intimidating for some marketers who worry that a few seconds isn't enough time to get a proper message across. The purpose of YouTube's showcase seems to be to connect more marketers and agencies with creatives who can make innovative short-form content that convinces brands of its value.
YouTube is also likely re-thinking its own ad strategy, especially as more of its audience migrates to mobile. Recent studies found that 59% of millennials only watch YouTube ads until they can skip and that just 29% watch ads to completion. Far shorter ads without an option to skip would address the issue.