Pro Tips, Tutorials

How to Create a 6-Second YouTube Bumper Ad

When you’re creating a video advertisement for your brand or a client, there are a number of approaches you can take, depending on the platforms where you’ll be promoting it. In our “Getting Social” series, we’re looking at the different types of ads and formats that work best on each social channel, and one of the most effective is the six-second “bumper” ads you can create for YouTube.


Bumper Ads Explained

Bumper ads are short video advertisements that play either before or after videos on YouTube. They are six seconds (or less) and cannot be skipped, meaning viewers will see the entirety of your ad before getting to their selected video. Since bumper ads are so short, they are designed to achieve increased brand awareness with concise and memorable messaging.

In this sense, bumper ads are like the original 140 character tweets, meaning when you’re creating them, you should always ask yourself how you can say more with less. Remember, with only six seconds to make your point, there’s no time to waste, so make sure that every edit, title, and sound serves a purpose and makes your video as impactful as possible. Viewers can’t skip bumper ads, so you’ll know they’re being seen. The question is, will they be remembered?

Crafting Your Bumper Ad

When you’re creating your bumper ad, you’ll need to include the following in the video:

1. A brand logo
For any kind of advertising, branding is key. And since the goal of bumper ads is to leave a memorable impression, you want to make sure that people leave the experience of watching yours knowing who the ad is for. Include the logo prominently so that it won’t be missed.

2. A simple call to action
Again, less is more here, so don’t include a lot of text in your ad. Decide on one main message or call to action and then make that the focus of the text. With only a few words (and seconds) to leave an impact, being memorable, but simple, is important.

3. Compelling video clips
Edit down your clips and videos to include the most eye-catching moments and interesting movement. Drone shots, gimbal shots, and vlogging style shots are great ways to make your video feel more dynamic. Check out the Pond5 clips I used in my ads at the end of this post.

YouTube Bumper Ad Aspect Ratios

YouTube has traditionally been a landscape (16:9) video platform. But with its incorporation of responsive video on mobile devices, you can now upload your ad in a vertical, square, or landscape formats. It’s up to you to decide what will work best, but if you need help understanding how to make your video in a vertical or square format this article breaks it down.

Related Post How to Make Responsive Templates for Vertical and Square Videos

Using Google Ads to Create a Campaign

Once your ad is final, it’s time to turn it into an active campaign on YouTube. To do that, you need to first sign up for a Google Ads account. Once you’re in your account, select “Campaigns” and then click the “+” icon to create a new campaign for the ad. This will then guide you through a series of steps to set up your campaign.

The first step is to choose the goal that would make this campaign successful to you. Google Ads provides a number of choices to select from. For bumper ads, I recommend selecting “Brand Awareness and Reach,” then from campaign type, select “Video” and “Bumper.”

Continue to give your campaign a name, set your budget, and select your target audience and demographic. Once all the data is complete, you can paste in the URL of the YouTube Video you already uploaded, or you can upload your video to your YouTube channel account.

Pro Tip: I also recommend making your bumper ad video unlisted on your channel, because having a public six-second video doesn’t provide a great experience for people browsing your content. The average YouTube video length is 4 minutes and 20 seconds, and shorter videos generally do not perform well, unless they are uploaded solely to be ads.

If you’re interested in learning about creating longer (skippable) ads for YouTube, check out the previous tutorial in this series, and if you have any questions about creating or setting up your bumper ads, just let us know in the comments below!

Related Post How to Create a YouTube ‘Skippable’ Ad That Won’t Get Skipped

Explore all the Pond5 media used in this tutorial in the collection below: