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Short Form Video AdvertisingNOV 2020|Sean Jaques

Bumper Ads Boost Brand Reach

From ideation to deployment, creating a compelling marketing campaign to boost brand reach is no small feat. Once you have all of your creative assets, how do you make the most of them? 

You can maximize your impact and reach more people with minimal creative lift by adapting existing assets for different contexts and campaigns.

This is exactly what industry leading brands are doing with video ads: taking footage from longer advertisements and condensing them into six-second bumper ads to boost brand reach.

In this article, Colormatics covers the basics of bumpers ads including what they are and how effective they can be.

Additionally, we invite you to take a look at a few examples of top bumper ads from the U.S. as we break down what works well and what can be improved upon.

What are Bumper Ads?

Think of your online video viewing habits.

Most likely there are moments when you are deeply engaged watching your favorite channels. 

While other times, you watch just one video. This may be to learn a new skill, view a product demo or as a midday refuel to reset and recharge. 

Bumper ads were designed for these short-form “snackable” video watching sessions. 

Released in 2016, Google Ads provided advertisers with a new way to increase brand reach and awareness. A 6-second, unskippable video ad that plays before a YouTube video called a bumper ad. 

Ad specs & details

  • Video length: 6 seconds
  • Device: Shown on both mobile and desktop devices
  • Delivery: Bumper ads are presented prior to a YouTube video. 
  • File Type: Any file type accepted by YouTube and now Tiktok.

Brand Reach and Overall Effectiveness

Where a bumper ad is short on time, it is long on impact. 

In 2017, Google conducted a study of 122 bumper ad campaigns, finding that an amazing 70% drove a significant lift in brand awareness. with an average lift of 9%

Additionally, 9 out of 10 bumper ads drove ad recall lift over 30%.

When the Cato Institute wanted to generate a greater public understanding of libertarianism they used six-second, non-skippable YouTube bumper ads.

Packaged as snackable stories to drive users to the website. 

The team used a Brand Lift study to quickly measure the success of the bumper ad campaign, they found that the campaign:

  • Boosted Ad Recall +357%
  • Boosted Brand Awareness +125% 
  • Drove a 14% increase in traffic to the website.

Many brands are having similar results using short-form video. These statistics sound almost too good to be true. So, what is the catch? 

These non-skippable Ads can only run for six seconds.

Creating compelling ads in this extremely short format can be challenging - if you don’t know what performs well on YouTube.

Bumper Ads that Perform Well on YouTube

What can you possibly say in six seconds? 

A lot more than you think. 

Due to their short length, a bumper ad is ideal when looking to boost brand reach or generate brand awareness in a new market.

Hang with us as we break down what works well (and what we would do differently) using a few top bumper ads from the U.S. in the past year.

Bounce Dryer Sheets Bumper Ad


The millennial fascination with comedy is well-documented. From memes to absurd humor, brands are expected to crack jokes from time to time. 

Humor is a great way to grab your audience’s attention and make ads feel less “sales-y.”


Narration helps the viewer still experience the ad even if they turn their attention away from the screen. 

First 2 seconds of the video the brand name and product use was narrated audibly for a distracted viewer to hear.


Ad relies heavily on a visual shown in the last split second of the video. If the viewer had turned their attention away or had the video opened in a separate tab, the humor of the ad would fall flat.

Google for Education Productivity Bumper

Motion Design

Simple, effective motion design reinforces the brand message that Google for Education simplifies online school management.

6 Seconds

Ad was designed to fully fit within 6 seconds. The entire brand message is portrayed, rather than cutting down a 30 second video ad that may not translate well. 


There is no narration, the ad relies heavily on visual aids. If a viewer were to turn their attention away from the screen, they would miss this ad entirely.

Characteristics of a Good Bumper Ad

In a “new normal,” marked by indefinite uncertainty, online video is a powerful medium for positivity and exploring new ideas.

Think with Google conducted a survey in May 2020 that summarised 3 main reasons people are turning to video:

  1. To teach myself new skills
  2. To keep me going
  3. For review or product demos 

This video consumer behavior needs to translate into how advertisers are using video to tell a brand’s story. 

A good YouTube bumper ad will have the following characteristics:

  1. Simplified brand message.
  2. One main point.
  3. Light hearted and fun. 
  4. Visually appealing. 
  5. Narrated main point.

The bumper ad format offers advertisers a unique way to show ads to video watchers and increase brand awareness quickly. However, YouTube bumper ads are not the only video format you should use. 

Contact Colormatics to start building a video marketing campaign that will boost brand reach.

YouTube Bumper Ads Key Notes

  • Bumper ads boost brand reach.
  • Six-second non-skippable advertisement.
  • Plays at the beginning of a video.
  • Average brand awareness lift of 9%
  • Humor works. 
  • Narrate the important takeaways.