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The Magic of the :06

Six-second ads fascinate me – largely because of how good many of them are. 

It doesn’t seem like you should be able to tell much of a story in that length of time, but through the use of metaphor and symbolism and letting people’s minds co-create meaning, you can really drive home a message. In many ways, a :06 might be better than a :30 because there is no time for extraneous noise that clutters a lot of :30s.

YouTube recently challenged a number of leading ad agencies to recreate classic fairy tales using the :06 format.  The catch is they also had to use those :06 ads as part of a longer story, the idea being that :06s work best not as a substitute for longer ads but rather as a complement to them.

Some of the tactics the agencies tried included:

  1. Tease a longer ad to come: See Energy BBDO’s twist on “The Three Little Pigs.”
  2. String together a bunch of :06s to tell a longer story: See BBH China’s remake of “Hansel and Gretel.”
  3. Using :06s to build intrigue force the viewer to connect the dots: As in GREY’s take on “Little Red Riding Hood” (my personal favorite)
  4. Using different :06s to highlight different product features: 72andSunny’s hilarious remake of “Goldilocks and the Three Bears”

Think with Google has more detail about the different agencies' approaches.

This format does challenge those of us on the research side to find new ways of assessing these ads because :06s often do not exist as standalone entities.