When a pre-roll ad — an ad that runs before the video you actually want to watch — pops up on YouTube, a typical reaction is to skip it.
One company, Providence-based ad agency Nail Communications, is going to extreme measures to stop viewers from impulsively clicking skip after five seconds, simply by saying, “You could skip this ad, but then, you’ll electrocute this puppy.”
Nail created the ad after estimating about 94% of pre-roll ads get skipped. To bring that percentage down, Nail told the Wall Street Journal it wanted to capture the attention of the viewer in the first five seconds, rather than waiting 29 seconds to deliver the punch line.
Obviously, they won’t really electrocute the poor puppy that anxiously looks at the man as he connects the wires to the “skip” button. It’s a great way to get people’s attention though.
“If I’m a brand manager, the skip ad button is a way for a consumer to say ‘I hate you’ a million times a day,” Nail creative partner Allen Becket told the Wall Street Journal. “We’re entering an era when consumers choose which brands to interact with and which they won’t, so that should worry us.”
According to YouTube, advertisers only get charged for pre-roll spots when people actually watch them. Nail only has to pay 50 cents because you stuck around and watched the entire spot, but at least they didn’t have to electrocute that puppy. Plus, the agency will donate 50 cents to the ASPCA every time someone watches the entire spot.
Here’s the full ad:
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